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Transgender Kindergartner Fights for Right to Use Girls' Bathroom

Kai was born a boy but has been living as a girl for two years
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2016 1:11 PM CDT
Transgender Kindergartner Fights for Right to Use Girls' Bathroom
Sign for a gender-neutral high school restroom in Seattle, Washington.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – A Texas mother is fighting for the right of her transgender daughter to use the girls' restroom when she starts kindergarten this fall, KPRC reports. "Please understand I'm not fighting about bathrooms, I'm fighting about her life," Kim Shappley told the Pearland school board during a meeting Tuesday. Her daughter Kai was born male but identifies as a female and has been living as a girl for the past two years. According to KHOU, Shappley is a "devout Christian" who originally punished Kai's behavior. She says she had a change of heart. “When your 4-year-old is praying to die, you know you have to do something,” Shappley says.

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It's a change of heart the Pearland Independent School District hasn't had. Shappley says she was told Kai will have to use the boys' restroom, and the district superintendent has spoken out against LGBTQ issues in the past. "Children whose parents declare them transgender must go to the bathroom for the sex indicated on their birth certificate," KPRC quotes a district statement as saying. That goes against new Obama administration guidelines, which states schools must let transgender students use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. Texas is going to court Friday to fight those guidelines. (Read more transgender stories.)

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