Transwoman gives opinion, advice on Atherton controversy


by Michelle Arnold

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Updated Friday, May 16 at 10:56 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- Opinions run rampant when it comes to Atherton High School pushing to change school policy to include provisions for transgender students. Today WHAS11 talked to Holly Knight. She's the president of Sienna--the Louisville Transgender Organization.

"I was born in the fifties. I lived and went to high school in the seventies and you don't tell people in the seventies that you want to be a girl," said Knight.

For more than fifty years, Knight hid her secret from many.

"In July of 2008 I decided at that point I’m tired of this and it's time for me to be who I should be," said Knight.

Atherton High School Principal Tom Aberli hopes to change the school's non-discrimination policy on school spaces to include gender identity.

"If you are a transwoman you are born birth sex male, but you identify as female," said Knight.

That's the case at the high school. A transgender girl wishes to use the female restrooms and locker rooms.

“As a transwoman you're not going to feel comfortable going into a male bathroom and you're going to feel more comfortable going into a female bathroom,” said Knight.

Principal Aberli has been allowing the student to make use of those female school spaces for the last couple of weeks. That has some parents upset.

“My solution is not going to be popular in the transgender community,” said Knight.

Given the young age of the student, Knight believes a unisex bathroom--like Manual High School has--could be a reasonable decision for the school.

“I get that at a high school that there probably needs to be some provisions in that way for people that are uncomfortable on both ends. I think that's a good thing,” said Knight.

Knight understands that transitioning-- from identifying with your birth sex to your gender--is a process.

“I think there probably needs to be some time to go all through this type of thing. I think there probably needs to be some procedures. We have what we call standards of care before transsexuals get surgery. Probably most people don't know that,” said Knight.

Knight wants people to understand that this is an important issue, but one that requires time and compromise.

“I would think it would be a mistake for the transgender community and for everyone else to say we are going to be ok if you just present as female and you get to go to the bathroom for the girls," said Knight