Transgender community responds to lawsuit filed against federal government

Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over a new directive about transgender students in public schools. (Image credit: MGN ONline)

Claire Bow worked for the state for years -- 11 years as an assistant attorney general, and at other times, general counsel and executive director of the state Office of Risk Management. But some of her former coworkers might not recognize her now. "There was nothing I could do to change," she said, talking about her feeling about her gender.

Bow was born male. She says she never felt like a man, or a boy. "The first time I realized I was different, I was in elementary school," she said.

Wednesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the federal government. "This is about parents who are upset, grandparents who are upset and they want to make sure the safety of their children is taken care of," Paxton told reporters at a press conference. The AG says the Obama administration's directive to schools to allow students to use the bathroom that lines up with their gender identity threatens the safety of school kids. "Make no mistake, this is no reinterpretation of terms, it's an entire rewrite of law," Paxton said.

Bow disagrees. "I can tell you having come out as transgender, that nobody in their right mind comes out as transgender if they're not," she said. "This is crazy conspiracy theory nutjob kind of talk that there are going to be people pretending to be transgender."

She began her transition in 2012, and now she's part of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, where she uses her decades of legal expertise to help other transgender people change the gender marker on their driver's licenses and other legal documents. She says the Obama administration did not make new law in issuing the directive.

"There is no factual evidence to suggest that our presence in public is dangerous to anyone," she said. "What has been announced is really just the current interpretation of Title IX as it applies and it has been applied by the courts."

Paxton, meantime, has vowed to take his lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court.