A transgendered teen says he is being treated unfairly at his Durham high school by not being allowed to use the male washroom.

James Spencer, 16, says he knew for years that even though he was born a female, he was male.

It wasn’t easy for him to come out but what’s made the experience even harder is that he’s not allowed to use the washroom he feels comfortable in.

“It was segregating me from the other students, saying transgender people wrong, they are different, they are unaccepted and they need to be kept separate,” he told CityNews.

“They’ve told James that he needs the female bathroom, which is really quite offensive,” said his sister Jess.

The school has allowed him to use a private bathroom, usually reserved for maintenance and cafeteria staff however to do so he has to get the key from the office every time, which he says is embarrassing.

Toronto’s public schools have a specific policy on this issue. Under it, students are allowed to use the bathroom appropriate for the gender they are presenting as.

James started a petition and in less than a week almost half of the student body signed it to show their support.

Martin Twiss, Supt., Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board told CityNews they are looking at Toronto’s policy and some other boards that have made similar moves in this direction.

James says he plans on sending his petition to every school in the Kawartha Pine Ridge district. He then plans to present it to the school board.

He hopes his very public battle over such a private issue will help other transgender students as well.