An American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer representing a biologically male transgender student in Illinois says that his client should be allowed to shower in the girls’ locker room because "as a matter of science," he is “a girl through and through”.
Although the Palatine-Schaumberg Township High School District 211 allows transgender students to use locker rooms of the gender they identify with, it requires them to use private shower stalls or changing areas so as not to appear naked in the company of the opposite sex.
The student filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which ordered the school district to provide the transgender teen with full access to the girls' locker room or risk the loss of federal Title IX funding, which bans sex discrimination.
In a statement, the district said that it will “continue to provide private accommodations for transgender students to ensure a respectful school environment, and will not allow unrestricted access to its locker rooms as directed by OCR. The goal of the District in this matter is to protect the privacy rights of all students when changing clothes or showering before or after physical education and after-school activities.”
The school district’s superintendent, Dr. Daniel Cates, told Fox News host Megyn Kelly Tuesday night that he had received complaints from parents and female students who were concerned that their privacy was being violated by having biological members of the opposite sex in the locker room while they were changing.
But in a recent blog post, John Knight, LGBT director for the ACLU of Illinois, argues that Cates’ claim that his client is biologically male is offensive and scientifically inaccurate.
“Most damaging,” he writes, “the superintendent asserts that a girl who is transgender has a ‘male body’ and that transgender students are ‘of the opposite sex’ when defending the District’s position.
“Such assertions are wrong as a matter of science and offensive because they serve to challenge and undermine the very core of a person’s identity. A transgender girl is female. She is a girl through and through – not something in between as the District suggests.
“And although unnecessary to make a transgender person ‘really female’ or ‘really male,’ many transgender young people, including my client, have undergone medical interventions to conform their body to their gender.”