ARDEN, N.C. — USA Today published a lengthy story about a child who was born biologically male, but identified early on as female.

“Colton” was born to Amy and Kevin. The youngest of three sons, the baby loved to cuddle and snuggle.

Then things begin to change as the boy started to grow up into his toddler years. “Colton” began to identify as a girl around the age of three and adopted “Emma” as her name. The parents did not thwart this from happening, not wanting to force Emma into being someone she was not. She was allowed to dress as a girl at home and play with dolls.

However, as Emma began going to school, things became more difficult to navigate, especially in a state that was so strongly opposed to the transgender community as evidenced by laws such as HB2. Emma came home from kindergarten crying on her first day of school. She told her parents that her teacher told her that she possessed a boy’s hair and body. The second day was no different when her teacher forced her to use the boy’s bathroom. Emma was basically outed as transgender which made her feel uncomfortable. She was even asked a lot of questions about her dress versus her biological gender which created embarrassment. In fact, Emma came home with “urine-soaked clothes in her backpack” saying that she did not want to use the boys’ bathroom “in gym class anymore and was not able to hold it.”

The parents began to communicate with a school counselor during the first week with a request to call their “transgender daughter” Emma, USA Today reported. But things got worse and eventually, Emma got a new teacher with a switched class assignment.

Eventually, Emma was able to use a single-stall restroom facility thus maintaining her privacy.

Struggles still persisted on the bathroom front. And other issues continue with regard to Emma’s acceptance by school personnel.

Visit USA Today to read the full story at


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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' former associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director.