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HPPR Government & Politics

One Transgender Boy's Take on the Bathroom Controversy

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Michael Stravato
/
Texas Tribune

Alexa Ura of The Texas Tribune recently visited Benjamin Elder’s home and found him to be an average ten-year-old kid. His favorite food is mac and cheese and he loves to play outside. He’s a big fan of American Ninja Warrior and Minecraft. His room is filled with Pokemon figures and stuffed animals. Most people don’t realize he’s transgender, and that’s sort of the point, says his mom.

The transition hasn’t been easy. At first, Ben used the bathroom in the school nurse’s office. But when the other kids began to make fun of him, the school came up with an easy fix: Let Ben use the boys’ bathroom.

Now the Texas Legislature has tried to fix a system that isn’t broken. When asked what he would say to Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick in light of Patrick’s plan to force Ben into the girls’ bathroom, Ben had two simple words: “You’re mean.” Then he erupted into a fit of giggles.