Toronto

Transgender boy happy to make public schools more inclusive

A transgender boy, bullied to the point he was taken out of the public school system, is content to see the Toronto District School Board pledge new signage for its all-gender washrooms.

'Nobody really needs anyone just walking up to them and teasing them'

Matt said the TDSB decision means people can use the washroom 'instead of everybody teasing them.' (CBC)

A transgender boy, bullied to the point he was taken out of the public school system, is content to see the Toronto District School Board pledge new signage for its all-gender washrooms.

The 11-year-old boy suffered the worst of the taunting and bullying in an incident in the boys' bathroom in Grade 4. Three boys, who he had considered friends, demanded he urinate in front of them. He did not want to go back to school again, he said at the time to his mother.

Matt, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, now attends a private school but is satisfied with the move by TDSB — the result of a year-long human rights fight with the board.

"Everybody gets a chance to use the washroom," he told CBC News.

"If there's anybody who is gender-neutral or something, they can use that washroom instead of everybody teasing them about going into the girls' or boys' [washroom]."

Earlier this week, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and the TDSB announced it had resolved the human rights application filed by Matt's mother. The board said it would post signage for all-gender washrooms as well as develop resources to assist with designating these washrooms. 

The signs will only be posted on all-gender washrooms that already exist or are being built. There are about a dozen across nearly 600 public schools in Toronto.

'Leave them alone'

Matt said those who bully others for being different should "go away and leave them alone."

"Nobody really needs anyone just walking up to them and teasing them," he said.

"If everybody is the same, it would just be really, really boring."