Ellie is a typical 15-year-old girl. She's just starting high school in her rural Pacific Northwest town, where the entire freshman class is only about 30 students. At school, she and her friends chat in the girls' bathroom like all teen girls do, and when she's at home, she talks with her friends online, NBC News reported.
Ellie is not transgender. But if she were subjected to a school policy that mandated students use the restroom that matched their biological sex at birth, Ellie might be forced to use a bathroom with the boys at her school. That's because she's genetically "male."
Just about a year ago, Ellie's mom (who asked that her last name not be published) took her to the doctor to find out why she wasn't experiencing certain symptoms of puberty. That's when the family found out that Ellie is intersex; she was born with Swyer Syndrome, which means she has XY chromosomes like those typically found in boys. Girls with Swyer Syndrome have unformed sex glands where other girls have ovaries; they need hormone replacement in order to encourage puberty and usually cannot become pregnant without an egg donor.