A 12-year-old athlete from Red Bluff, California, was ousted from the boy’s basketball team after they requested to use the girl’s rest room at school.
Junior White, who identifies as trans genderfluid and uses both she/her and he/him pronouns, played for Antelope School District’s boy’s basketball and football teams. White told Outsports that she usually avoided using bathrooms at school altogether. White was assigned male at birth but felt uncomfortable going into the boy’s room.
One day, she had to use the bathroom, but when she stepped into the girl’s room, she was reported to the principal and told she could only use the restroom in the main office.
Later, White formally requested to use the girl’s restrooms and changing rooms, a choice her family says is consistent with her gender identity. School administrators approved the request, but at the expense of her sporting career: The Whites received a letter explaining that if the middle schooler wanted to use the girl’s facilities, she could only participate in co-ed or girl’s sports.
“Junior is no longer eligible to participate on any male-only athletic teams, including basketball,” superintendent Richard Hassay wrote.
It hasn’t been an easy road for the young athlete, who’s faced harassment from other players’ parents and attempted self-harm. Her father, Matt White, says she’s one of the best players on her teams.
“It doesn’t matter who’s there, Junior stands out,” Matt told Outsports. “[She’s] one of the best players on offense and defense.”
White hopes to rejoin the boy’s sports teams and use the bathroom where she feels most comfortable. And advocates say she has every right to enjoy both privileges under AB 1266 a 2013 California law allowing students to participate on sports teams regardless of their gender. (AB 1266 doesn’t specify that the gender of a student’s team must be consistent with the locker room they use.)
Antelope School District has yet to issue a statement on the case.