More than 150 students walked out of a Missouri high school to protest a transgender student using the girlsâ€™ locker room, Fox News reports.
Lila Perry, a Hillsboro High School senior, was born male but came out as transgender last school year.
â€śThereâ€™s a lot of ignorance, they are claiming that theyâ€™re uncomfortable,â€ť Perry said about the walkout, which lasted for two hours. â€śI donâ€™t believe for a second that they are. I think this is pure and simple bigotry.â€ť
A small crowd of 30 to 40 people stayed to show their support for her.
â€śShe is choosing her life to better herself, to better accept herself,â€ť friend Gianna Warfel, 16, told STL Today. â€śI donâ€™t know what there is to discriminate about that. I really support the bravery she has.â€ť
Skyla Thompson, 16, calls Perry her best friend and explained that the girl often stays at her house overnight, since the Perry family struggles to accept their daughter.
â€śShe is such a good person,â€ť Skyla said. â€ś[Critics] are just judging her on the outside.â€ť
And Perry has plenty of critics.
Although Superintendant Aaron D. Cornman did not comment on the issue, he submitted a written statement explaining that the district â€śrespects the rights of all students and appreciates the fact that the students we are educating are willing to stand on their belief system and to support their cause/beliefs through their expression of free speech.â€ť
Jeff Childs, who has a niece and nephew at Hillsboro, showed up to join the Perry protestors.
â€śBoys need to have their own locker room,â€ť Childs told Fox News. â€śGirls need to have their own locker room and if somebody has mixed feelings where they are, they need to have their own also.â€ť
But Lila, who used the gender-neutral staff restrooms last year, says that she has identified as a woman since she was 13, and that she has every right to use the girlsâ€™ facilities.
â€śI wasnâ€™t hurting anyone and I didnâ€™t want to feel segregated out,â€ť she said. â€śI didnâ€™t want to be in the gender-neutral bathroom. I am a girl, I shouldnâ€™t be pushed off to another bathroom.â€ť
Perry ended up dropping her gym class, out of concern for her ownÂ safety.