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Religious Tolerance logo

Transgender persons and transsexuals

2015-SEP: Conflicts in a Hillsboro,
Missouri high school concerning
a transgender student:

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Part 2 of two parts.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay

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photograph of Lila Perry

Another photograph of Lila Perry, from Facebook.

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2015-AUG-27: A discussion at a school board meeting (Cont'd):

Another Hillsboro parent, Wendy West, suggested alternate solutions. she said:

"If she is comfortable living as a girl, then we should respect that. Do all of our student body girls need to be uncomfortable as a result? No. That's why I think we need a compromise." 1

She suggested:

  • Cordoning off a section of the girl's locker room that a female transgender student could use in isolation from other girls. Presumably the same modification could be done in the boy's locker room if needed.


  • Labeling some washrooms "transgender-friendly." 1

This would seem to imply that the existing washrooms would be sorted into four groups:

    • Some washrooms would be restricted to female cisgender students. These are the vast majority of students who were identified as female at birth, and who continue to identify as female today.

    • A similar number of washrooms would be restricted to for male cisgender students -- those who were birth-identified as male, and continue to identify now as male.

    • One or more washrooms would be for transgender students who were birth-identified as female, and identify now as male.

    • One or more washrooms would be for transgender students who were birth-identified as male, and identify now as female.

The average high school in the U.S. has just under 900 students. This implies that there are an average of about 5 transgender students per school. Only some of them would be out of the transgender "closet" and open at school with their gender identity. 2

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2016-SEP-05: A rally in support of transgender equality :

Lila Perry and her supporters organized a rally on SEP-05. She thanked her fellow students for their involvement in her desire to help and inspire:

"... other trans and gender nonconforming young people."

At a press conference, she said:

"I believe that my school isn't special. I believe that there are places like Hillsboro all over the county where young people are hurting, feeling alone, and being discriminated against because of who they are. And I believe it's important, now that I've been put in this position, for me to stay strong for all of those young people and for my community. 1

Lila Perry is pleased at the support she has received from the high school administration. She rated them as a 9 on a scale from 1 to 10 in their effort to make her feel safe.

Student Skyla Thompson, 16, said:

"She is such a good person. They are just judging her on the outside." 3

Gianna Warfel, also 16, said:

"She is choosing her life to better herself, to better accept herself. I don’t know what there is to discriminate about that. I really support the bravery she has." 3

"Tina" is a reader of the article about Lila Perry on the web site. 3 She posted a comment to the article, saying:

"Who’s to say that none of the actual females in the locker room are bisexual or lesbian? And they’d be more comfortable with that?"

She raises an interesting point. In a gym class containing twenty girls, an average of about 2 girls will be either bisexual or lesbian. This has been true for as long as the high school has existed. But, to our knowledge, undressing in the presence of other girls who are sexually attracted to girls has never been raised as a problem.

Adam Sharp, a reporter for The Gateway Pundit, interviewed Lila Perry. She said that her parents are not supporting her in her protest. She said:

"They just tell me they want to be left out of it and they also don’t accept me being transgender." 5

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2015-SEP-14: Lila Perry was interviewed on The View:


Lila reported that the controversy has largely calmed down. There is less hatred directed at her, and fewer death threats. She said: "It's been a roller coaster."

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The core problem and how to solve it:

Early in the pregnancy process, an embryo's sexual organs start developing. The brain's higher functions develop in the fetus much later in pregnancy. In about 0.6% of humans, a gender mismatch between body and brain can develop. This causes the person to be transgender.

The basic problem is that there is no concensus on how to define a person's gender. That is: who is to be called a boy and who is called a girl:

Gender can be defined in three different ways:

  • Newborns are normally identified as male or female in accordance with the appearance of their genitals. This gender is then recorded on their birth certificate. (However, to complicate matters, a small percentage of newborns are intersexual, and their gender is ambiguous. They are normally assigned a gender based on a DNA test.)

  • Everyone has human DNA throughout their body. Most people have two sex chromosomes in every cell that are either XX or XY chromosomes. The former is a genetic female, the latter a genetic male. (However, to further complicate matters, some people with XY (male) sex chromosomes have "complete androgen insensitivity syndrome" (CAIS). Their body cannot respond to testosterone. They are genetic males who appear and develop as a typical female, and who identify as female.)

  • There are two structures in the brain which are part of a mass of fibres that connect the brain's two hemispheres. They have either a female or a male design which differ in size and neuron density. They cause the individual to identify as either male or female. In a MTF transgender person like Lila, a person who is identified as male at birth and transitions to female later in life -- these structures are of the female form. In a FTM transgender person who was recorded as female at birth and transitioned to male, they are of the male form. The commonly used expression that a MTF transgender person has a female brain in a male body (or vice versa in the case of a FTM transsexual) is literally true. They are not "gender confused." They do not have a psychological problem. Their brains are hardwired to be transgender.

Generally speaking:

  • Religious, social, and political conservatives often regard a person's birth-identified gender as defining their gender throughout life. They refer to a MTF transgender persons as male, and use "he" and "him" as personal pronouns. A FTM transgender persons is considered permanently female and is referred to as "she" and "her." They often consider transgender persons as "gender confused" and recommend counseling and therapy in spite of its zero or near-zero success rate.

  • Religious liberals, the LGBT community, and LGBT allies generally refer to a MTF transgender person as female and a FTM as male. They recognize that therapy doesn't work, and advocate that others accept that a person's gender identity cannot be changed through counseling during adulthood.

The solution to the conflict is dialogue. Unfortunately, this requires persons with divergent views to assemble, suppress their natural tendency to impress their ideas on people who think differently, and and seek reality. That is extremely difficult to do, and so is rarely attempted. Without successful dialogue, change in society can take decades.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Emanuella Grinberg, "Bathroom access for transgender teen divides Missouri town," CNN, 2015-SEP-05, at:
  2. "Numbers and Types of Public Elementary and Secondary Schools," National Center for Education Statistics, at:
  3. Tom Cleary, "Lila Perry: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,", 2015-SEP-16, at:
  4. Dustin Siggins, "More than 150 students walk out of classes to protest boy using girls’ locker room," Life Site News, 2015-SEP-03, at:
  5. Jim Hoft, "Hillsboro Trans Student Lila Perry Says 'It’s Dehumanizing' to Use Gender Neutral Bathroom," The Gateway Pundit, 2015-SEP-05, at:
  6. "Lila Perry on the View," You Tube, 2015-SEP-14, at:

  7. book cover Jazz Jennings, "Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen," Crown Books for Young Readers, (2016). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store Publishers Weekly comments "... "For readers looking for a candid introduction to some of the issues facing trans children and teens, this book is an excellent start."

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-OCT-24
Latest update : 2016-OCT-25
Author: B.A. Robinson

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