About 150 students walked out of Hillsboro High School in Missouri on Monday for two hours to protest a transgender student using the girls’ locker room and bathrooms.
Lila Perry is a 17-year-old senior at the school who was born male but has identified as female since she was 13. Before that, she had been living as a gay male.
When she asked her school if she can use the girls’ locker room during gym class, she dropped out of the class after her request was met with fierce backlash from other students and parents uncomfortable with the idea.
“There’s a lot of ignorance. They are claiming that they’re uncomfortable. I don’t believe for a second that they are,” Perry told KMOV-TV.
“I think this is pure and simple bigotry. I wasn’t hurting anyone and I didn’t want to feel segregated out. I didn’t want to be in something gender-neutral,” she stated, referring to the faculty bathroom administrators encouraged her to use, which she declined.
“I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom,” Perry added.
Others disagree, saying it would mean that the other girls would just have to “suck it up.”
Tammy Sorden, whose son attends the school, said it’s fine to be different but added that that shouldn’t mean Perry is entitled to another locker room.
“The girls have rights, and they shouldn’t have to share a bathroom with a boy,” Sorden told the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
“Boys needs to have their own locker room. Girls need to have their own locker room and if somebody has mixed feelings where they are, they need to have their own also,” protester Jeff Childs said.
About 30 to 40 students staged their own walkout in support of Perry.