Posts Tagged ‘Coy Mathis’

Dear Time: Thanks for nothing.

June 6, 2014
I guess transpeople are trendy, now that Time says so.

I guess transpeople are trendy, now that Time says so.

One of the big buzzes at the beginning of last week (the day after Memorial Day) was that a transperson was to be featured on the cover of Time — Laverne Cox, one of the co-stars of Orange Is the New Black. Time teased us with a Q-and-A with Ms. Cox but kept the online version of the cover story behind a subscriber paywall. Some of my wonderful and extremely supportive friends were excited about this and messaged me on Facebook and sent links to the Q-and-A and offered me their copies of the issue when they were finished with it. And I, too, was somewhat excited, cautiously curious at how Time would play this story.

I finally got a copy in the mail at the beginning of the week (courtesy of my friend and former Fresno Bee colleague, Diana Ramirez-Simon), and, well, I wanted to read it and let it swirl around a little bit before I added my two cents to what I’ve been calling the last frontier of civil rights for some time now.

Okay, I’ve read it, all nine pages — actually, four pages, after you take out the photos and the half-page of air on the lede page — and, well, I’m not happy. Time, thanks for nothing. I’ll explain …


The bathroom thing again — or, the need for federal anti-trans discrimination laws

March 1, 2013
Coy Mathis: Does this 6-year-old girl look like a bathroom menace?

Coy Mathis: Does this 6-year-old girl look like a bathroom menace? Photo from

Feb. 28, 2013

My parents watch the local TV news almost as religiously as they attend Mass (or at least watch it on TV). That would mean WTNH, Channel 8, the ABC affiliate in New Haven, which airs newscasts from noon to 12:30 and 5 to 6:30.

The station has a comments segment on its dinnertime hour-and-a-half called “Voice of the People.” Generally, it tends to be a slightly less vile version of the comments that follow online news stories — it’s moderated and edited, of course, and the language is tamer.

But it can still be vile, nonetheless, and mainly populated by the people in the foil hats, just as newspaper website commentaries tend to be.

My folks and their transgender firstborn daughter were watching when the anchors mentioned that among the stories commented on was one I hadn’t heard up to that point: that of Coy Mathis, a 6-year-old transgirl in Colorado who, suddenly, after a year and a half in the school system, was told by her school district that she couldn’t use the girls’ room anymore. She’s now being home-schooled as her parents fight it in court. (And she and her parents also appeared on Katie Couric’s show yesterday.)

“Just saw your segment on the 6-year-old child that’s being allowed to live a transgender lifestyle,’ said one Channel 8 viewer, a Diane from New Haven. “I think people have sunken to an all-time low. That is a 6-year-old child! What is wrong with these parents? Have they gone nuts? Has the whole world gone nuts?”

“Yes, Diane — has the whole world gone nuts?” asks Albie and Rita’s firstborn, who heard the bile in the caller’s voice rise to the surface the longer she talked into the station’s voicemail.

Has the world gone so nuts that people still get so twisted out of shape over gender identity? Over a 6-year-old kid needing to go to the bathroom? Over some perceived heinous perversion? Has this world gone so nuts that people are so outraged because a couple chose to be loving and supportive of their child? And what the hell is a “transgender lifestyle,” anyway? (Please tell us, Diane, since you seem to know so much about the subject …)

And — on the day the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to take a big step toward recognizing civil rights and void California’s Proposition 8 — it further stresses the need for federal laws protecting not just gay rights, but trans rights as well.