This 18-year-old transgender student has been banned from using the women’s toilets at the hairdressing school she attends despite her beginning to transition nearly a decade ago.
The incident took place in the Sicilian capital city of Palermo, located in south-eastern Italy, when a janitor at the hairdressing Institute reportedly told the transgender student, named only as Gabriella in reports, that she was not allowed to use the women’s toilets because she “has that thing between her legs”.
The head of the school then agreed with the employee, preventing the young woman from using the women’s bathroom. Gabriella reportedly began to transition at the age of 11, but the process was not complete by the time she had enrolled at the school, which still considers her to be male.
Gabriella is now reportedly thinking of leaving school, saying: “I don’t feel comfortable, they don’t treat me as who I am: a girl.” She has stopped attending the school and is thinking about dropping out permanently, according to local media outlet Fanpage.
The unnamed head teacher at the school is quoted in local media as saying that she is an attention seeker: “I think the girl is looking for visibility and I said it clearly to her and her mother when she came to complain.”
The head teacher added: “Apart from the bathroom issue, she has never been the subject of any discrimination. The janitor who stopped her did not intend to offend her but was only acting in compliance with the complaints raised by the parents of other students who let us know that they do not like their daughters going to the same bathroom as a man.”
But her classmates and teachers have taken her side and emphasised that she should be treated for who she is, according to local media.
Gabriella said: “For me, it is certainly not a game, nor is it a carnival. I take the necessary medications, I’m followed by an endocrinologist, I go to the sessions with a psychologist. I fight every day to free myself as a girl born in the wrong body.”