The PJ Tatler

In Missouri, Transgender Reality Meets Transgender Myth

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A 17-year-old boy, who wants to identify as a girl, has ignited a huge controversy in a small Missouri town outside of St. Louis by insisting he be allowed to use the girls’ restroom and locker room.

Wanting to be known as Lila Perry, the teen has not undergone gender reassignment surgery. He hasn’t even begun hormone therapy, a precursor to the surgery and a pharmaceutical means of growing breasts in men and adding other feminine physical characteristics.

Instead, Lila wears a wig and a dress — and insists he’s a girl.

Not surprisingly, the girls at the school are extremely uncomfortable and parents are beside themselves.

Washington Post:

If Jenner weren’t already a rich celebrity, would she have received the same support? How would other, less famous transgender Americans be treated?

On Monday morning, a small town in Missouri provided an answer.

For two hours, approximately 150 students stood in front of Hillsboro High School to protest a transgender teen’s use of the girls’ facilities.

And for those same two hours, the 17-year-old transgender teen huddled inside her counselor’s office — with the door locked.

“I was concerned about my own safety,” Lila Perry told the New York Times.

It’s not just her fellow students that are upset over Perry’s use of the girls’ bathroom and locker room. The issue has roiled this town, thrusting a quaint community of about 3,000 into the national spotlight. Last week, a school board meeting had to be moved after too many people attended to discuss Perry. And on Monday afternoon, the protesting students — who comprised about 13 percent of the school — were joined by angry adults.

“This needs to stop before it goes too far,” Jeff Childs, who has a niece and a nephew in the Hillsboro School System, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He and his 21-year-old son showed up to the school with “Girls Rights Matter” painted on the sides and back of his pickup truck.

“I’m not trying to be ignorant, but [the transgender student] is bringing it out in public for everybody else to deal with,” Childs said.

The controversy suggests that in some American communities, the debate over transgender rights lags behind the messages contained in glossy magazine spreads.

You mean, dealing with the reality of an anatomically correct male exposing himself in girls’ locker rooms and restrooms is something that should be “debated”? Thankfully, the parents and students protesting in Hillsboro probably never saw those “glossy magazine spreads.”

Lila’s story is hard to believe:

For Perry, her personal struggle began as soon as she could call herself a teenager. At age 13, Perry began to feel “more like a girl than a boy,” she told the Times.

By the middle of last year, her junior year at Hillsboro High, Perry was ready to come out as transgender. She was tired of pretending to be someone she wasn’t, she told the Post-Dispatch. She began wearing a wig, dresses and women’s makeup, although she has not had gender reassignment surgery.

When school began on Aug. 13, Perry told school administrators that she wanted to use the girls’ bathroom and locker room, instead of the unisex bathroom she had used as a junior.

The school consented, in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights that say students should be allowed to use facilities in accordance with their gender identification.

So far this year, Perry has been using the girls’ bathroom and locker room, according to local TV station KTVI.

That simple act set off a firestorm of controversy.

“Simple act”? Is he kidding? There is nothing simple about a boy pretending to be a girl who is allowed to share facilities where young girls take off their clothes. In what universe is this considered “simple”?

Elizabeth Price Foley, writing at Instapundit, has the most reasonable take on the controversy:

The 17 year-old student, who goes by “Lila” Perry, has not had any surgery or medical procedures to alter his male body. He wears a wig and wears girl’s clothing. So in my book, that makes him a crossdresser, and merely because he “thinks” he is a female cannot make it so. And of course, in true “victim” mentality, Perry is accusing all of the (actual) young ladies who are protesting his presence in their locker room as bigots:

“There’s a lot of ignorance, they are claiming that they’re uncomfortable. I don’t believe for a second that they are. I think this is pure and simple bigotry,” Perry told local news station KMOV.

This is typical far-left hyperbole, branding those who disagree with you as “bigots.” Transgender should be a label confined to those who undergo surgical alteration of their physical genitalia–you know, those who actually change their gender. It should not be so broad as to encompass those who subjectively “think” they are another sex, whilst still objectively possessing the genitalia associated with their genetic makeup. If it is a term that has any meaning at all, it must be judged by objective, not subjective, standards.

And I’m sorry, but “Lila” is clearly just a dude with a wig, and I wouldn’t want my teenage daughter to share a locker room with him/her/it:

Note the inability of Perry to realize the discomfort of his classmates. That’s because he’s bought into the myth — the myth that there is no difference between the sexes and that gender is  frangible and fluid. Biology is not destiny, nor even defining. And the myth makes all opposition to this gender confusion a crime of bigotry.

Is it really possible for a 17 year old to be certain that he is a different gender than his anatomy says? I think it ridiculous that we take teenagers at their word when they claim to be gay. It is common for teens to be confused about sex. It’s not uncommon for teens to be attracted to members of the same sex.  But in order to know if you are truly transgendered or possess a non-traditional sexual preference, you have to know yourself very well. And I put it to you: How well does a  17-year-old boy know his own mind?

The myth is now apparently accepted on the coasts and in urban America. But for most ordinary Americans who only want to be left alone to live their lives, care for their families, pay their taxes, love their spouse and kids, and lead a normal life, Lila Perry and his ilk are jarring examples of reality trumping a myth. In their America, girls get dressed in a separate locker room than boys…period. Why this rational, reasonable position becomes bigotry says more about those accusing townfolk of being haters than it does the people of Hillsboro.