A Denton mother says she feels her transgender son is being used as a ‘political pawn’ the debate over transgender bathroom use heats up across the nation.
Amber Briggle remembers the day she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. She said her baby was perfect. But since then, the mother says a lot has changed.
Briggle recalls when Gracie was a little more than 2 years old, he began exhibiting masculine traits.
“One of the first things he told me was, ‘Mom, I like Spider-Man and I'm a boy,’” she said.
At first, Briggle and her husband just thought Gracie was a tomboy. At 5 years old, he asked his parents to stop wearing dresses and cut his hair short. But just shy of his seventh birthday, Briggle said he started having problems at school.
“I noticed how he'd get home from school and just dart to the bathroom like he'd been holding it all day,” Briggle said.
So she began asking questions.
“I sat him down and said, ‘Honey, what is going on?’” Briggle recalled. “And he said, ‘Mom, I don't want to use the girl's bathroom anymore. I don't feel like a girl. I really feel like I'm a boy, and I've always been a boy.’”
Briggle said she contacted the school principal who allowed the Denton ISD first grader to use the bathroom in the nurse's office. Briggle said her child immediately began to flourish.
“In three weeks, his reading level and grades jumped three levels which was remarkable. All because we solved this bathroom problem,” the mom said. “I've just noticed he's really become more himself. He's not really as awkward with people.”
It was at that point when Briggle said her child, born Gracie, shed her female name and identity and transitioned to a transgender boy.
“It didn't really surprise me what he said,” Briggle said. “But it did change a lot of things.”
In a show of support, Briggle even changed the names of the two bathrooms at her business from ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ to ‘gender neutral.’ But Briggle says the biggest changes have come from within her child.
“He is a well-adjusted, intelligent, articulate, popular child,” she said. “If this is our child, if this is our challenge, I welcome it. “We're very blessed and very fortunate to have him.”
In a statement to FOX 4 about Denton ISD’s current bathroom policies, a spokesman said, "We do not have a written board policy. In such situations, we work with students on an individual basis."