The story of Coy Mathis isn’t current news. However, the story seems to have resurged with multiple shares in social media the last few days, no doubt due to this Rolling Stones article: About a Girl. For those who haven’t heard, Coy Mathis is a six-year-old biologically male child who is transgendered. Because the parents of said child fought for Coy’s use of the girls’ bathroom and won, Coy has become a poster child for the LBGT civil rights movement.
Activists are still celebrating this win, but something in me cringes and wonders if they’re celebrating a little too soon. You see, it seems very convenient to diagnose an unsuspecting child and use her as a mascot. In fact, it smacks of manipulation from some source, which is why I delved a little more deeply than I might have into this story once it resurfaced. From just a cursory look at the family, it appears that this isn’t the first time they’ve had a lot of media exposure. And Coy is, by no means, the only interesting child in the family. Before Coy became legally female, she was considered to be the one neuro-typical child in the family. The other children are autistic, and one is mentally handicapped after having suffered from meningitis at four months. No, scratch that. The mentally handicapped child either had meningitis or RSV. And the parents went on a media crusade, asking for donations for this special needs child. These parents, especially the mother, have been in the media for a long time, looking for sympathy and donations.
I could be circumspect about this, but I don’t care to be. Coy’s mother has all the signs of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy and, frankly, it doesn’t surprise me that people are willing to use a suspect case as a champion cry. Am I making a great leap in diagnosing a personality disorder, when I have no medical degrees? I’m not making a diagnosis; I’m making a guess. I don’t like to see children used by adults. That’s why this story makes me sad. If Coy chooses to express herself through outwardly feminine trappings, far be it for me to stop her from doing so. But this child does not need to be a poster child for adult crusades.
As far as what Coy won–the right to use the girls’ restroom–the typical response is applause at the decision. “Gender is not defined by your plumbing!” people cry, meaning of course, that gender is a concept of the mind. I’ll tell you what IS defined by plumbing: bathrooms. Aside from the obvious, bathrooms are designed for the physical realities of anatomy. That’s why boys’ bathrooms have urinals, and girls’ have special trash receptacles and coin-op machines. In all this talk about gender as a mental rather than a physical concept, did we forget that bathrooms are designed for the physical side of things?
Also, may I ask why a biological boy is, by gender, a girl because he [sorry, she] plays with Barbies and prefers pink? Is it out of fashion to claim that gender is primarily nurture and not nature? Irene Pollack must be old-school, I presume. There seems to be a dichotomy between physical sex and concepts of masculinity and femininity in the mind and/or spirit. Does anybody else think this sounds like a modern day version of scientific gnosticism?