FOUNTAIN, Colo. -- Inside her Colorado Springs home, surrounded by painted walls in her favorite color, you get a tiny glimpse into the soul of Coy Mathis.
“I got my girl scout pin”, said Mathis as she played in her bedroom.
It’s a view shared by her since she was born. Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis saw things, heard things, that told them Coy was different.
“(She liked) anything pink and sparkly,” said Coy’s mother. “We noticed at 18 months.”
What the Mathis’ couldn’t explain, Coy eventually did. “They’re saying I’m a boy when I’m really a girl,” she says.
In 2006, Coy Mathis was born a boy, the first of three triplets.
“When she finally was able to tell us “I’m a girl” things didn’t change, we were just clued in to who she was,” said her father, Jeremy.
Inside their Fountain, Colo. home with five children, compassion is key, even when there is disagreement.
It's a rule the family says they have learned not everyone practices, not even those who run Coy's elementary school Eagle Side near Colorado Springs.
“Nobody wants a difficult world for their child. You want them to have the easiest path and that’s probably not going to happen for Coy,” said her mom.
The difficulties started two years ago when Coy’s path collided with her maturing thoughts and questions.
“She just kept crying and said she was scared that she was going to grow up and have a beard and a hairy chest and everybody would know she was born a boy,” said Kathryn.
Her parents hoped kindergarten would help her start her new life.
For over a year she attended school as a girl. She blossomed until January when things changed, “Because the school is just being mean to me,” Coy said.
“They told us our options were to use the nurse’s bathroom, the boy’s bathroom or the staff bathroom,” her mom said.
The family has taught Coy that’s unacceptable.
“The nurse’s bathroom is just for people that are sick,” she said.
Days later Jeremy and Kathryn started home-schooling their children.
They say while the school may know a lot about teaching reading writing and arithmetic, they know very little about teaching tolerance.
“They’re creating a giant divide and that’s a huge loss for the school because they have a really good opportunity for their students. They’re using it as a way to discriminate instead,” Kathryn said.
The Fountain/Fort Carson school district declined to comment on this story since the family intends to pursue legal action.
The Mathis’ attorney, Michael Silverman, says this case will be a big test for Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination act and how it affects transgender students.