I saw this article on Telegraph – and I felt quite mixed after reading it…on one hand, the transgender teen was allowed to express herself freely by wearing the clothing that she chose for herself…but on the other I hate the way she was treated and that she was isolated for so long. It’s great that she defended herself with the Equality Act, and I hope it encourages more people to do the same when they are being discriminated against.
The school thankfully backed down after telling Ashlyn Parram, 16 – who was born a boy but is undergoing gender reassignment treatment – that the teenage could not sit the paper because he was not wearing boys’ uniform.
Ashlyn, who was wearing a skirt, claimed to have showed headmaster Chris Walls a copy of the Equality Act 2010, which gave the right to be treated the same as other pupils.
But the teenager – who was wearing hair extensions and make-up as well as a girl’s uniform – said that on returning to the hall to sit the math exam she was made to sit at the back of the room 40ft from other pupils.
Ashlyn, who used to be called Lewis, told a newspaper: “The whole way through the exam I felt like bursting into tears, and it was around 15 minutes before I even started the exam because I was so upset.”
The teenager added they felt “like a freak” at Giles Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire. Ashlyn has now left the school and is hoping to go to college to study math.
“It’s sad that people can’t be more open-minded,” the teenager told the Daily Mail. Ashlyn’s mother, IT worker Miranda Johnson, 42, made a complaint which was investigated by the chairman of the school governors and dismissed in a letter in which he said all the allegations had been rejected. She said: “We don’t want a penny of compensation. It’s not about the money – it’s about protecting other children and educating people. “To be made to sit on your own during an exam is horrendous. If Ashlyn had been black or disabled there would have been uproar.” Ashlyn came out as gay aged 11. The teenager was later diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The teen is on a waiting list for hormone treatment and from the age of 18 will be eligible for full sex-change surgery. The Equality Act protects transsexuals from discrimination and harrassment including “by a teacher at school”. A school spokesman said: “Every time we get a complaint we will deal with it in a professional way.”