Florida transgender student barred from using women’s bathroom

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Meet Alex Wilson, who is sort of between genders just now. Wilson, who was born male, is four years into a hormone therapy process designed to transform him into a female but hasn’t undergone gender reassignment surgery.

Nevertheless, as Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA reports, the transgender student is mad because the trade school he attends has prohibited him from using the women’s restroom.

Wilson is a certified nursing assistant. He’s taking classes at Pinellas Technical Education Center — a public school in Clearwater, Fla. — with the goal of eventually becoming a licensed practical nurse.

Until Monday, he had been using the women’s restroom at school. After an unidentified student complained to the administration, though, school officials pulled Wilson out of class and told him he could no longer use the women’s restroom.

The consequences for future women’s restroom use are allegedly grave.

“If I continue to use the female restroom that I would have charges pressed against me,” Wilson told WFLA. “And that because of that I would be removed from the program as a nurse.”

Right now, the student says he is using a facility in an inconvenient storage area, which he finds humiliating. It’s not clear if the men’s room is a viable option, or what other bathroom options Wilson has on the campus. Whatever the case, Wilson is displeased.

“It’s not right. And the fact that I would have to continue to use that restroom for the continuation of my education, that’s not right,” the student protested.

A spokeswoman for the career and technical school offered the administration’s take on the kerfuffle.

“In a scenario such as the one you’re describing, a person will be offered access to a private restroom,” said Melanie Marquez Parra. “And that’s for the individual’s privacy and for the privacy of other students.”

The WFLA reporter who covered the story pointed to a reasonably similar case in Colorado involving transgender first-grader Coy Mathis. The Colorado Civil Rights Division, which enforces Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws, decided in favor of Mathis after he had been prohibited from using the girls’ bathroom at a public elementary school. (RELATED: Transgender first-grader wins civil rights suit after girls’ bathroom ban)

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