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Judge blocks district from barring transgender student from using restroom of his choice

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Posted at 9:57 PM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 16:46:47-04

KENOSHA -- A transgender high school senior can now use the restroom of his choice at school. Tuesday a federal judge blocked the Kenosha Unified School District from barring Ash Whitaker from using the boys bathroom.

"We've been trying to take one step at a time and this was a good step," said Melissa Whitaker, Ash's mother.

Kenosha Unified Schools asked Whitaker not to use the boys bathroom at Tremper High School - one of the reasons he sued the district for discrimination.

"Anyone who started out about 16 standing up for himself for what he thought was right, and it was absolutely right in doing so, I couldn't be more proud," explained Whitaker.

Ash was born female. About three years ago, he told his mom he identifies as a male.

"I didn't see it coming at all."

Ash has three older brothers. Whitaker regrets the way she first reacted when Ash told her how he felt.

"I wanted a little girl all my life and what I tell people is that little girl is miserable, she was unhappy, she was bullied. Beautiful, smart, but not happy and this young man is so much happier," said Whitaker.

Mom stood by her son's side when he decided to take on the school district she works for.

"It's about loving my family unconditionally no matter what, because this is their life not mine."

Here is a statement from the KUSD attorney Ronald Stadler:

"The District is disappointed with the court's decision to grant an injunction. Nevertheless, the District is bound by the court's order. The District is reviewing all of its options, including whether to file an immediate, interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeals. Until an appeal can be made to the 7th Circuit Court the District must follow the order. If the appeal is filed, the District will ask the district court to stay its injunction order until the Court of Appeals resolves these legal issues. This order only affects the plaintiff in this case and the District will continue with all policies and procedures that were in place prior to the case for all other students. The District, like many others in the nation, looks forward to the final decision in this case."

"It's about winning today. Tomorrow's it's going to be other challenges," said Whitaker.

Learn more about the transgender community here or here.