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As his trans daughter struggles, a father pushes past his prejudice

Updated: Apr 29

SMITHVILLE, Mo.  — Before his transgender daughter was suspended after using the girls’ bathroom at her Missouri high school. Before the bullying and the suicide attempts. Before she dropped out.

Before all that, Dusty Farr was — in his own words — “a full-on bigot.” By which he meant that he was eager to steer clear of anyone LGBTQ+.

Now, though, after everything, he says he wouldn’t much care if his 16-year-old daughter — and he proudly calls her that — told him she was an alien. Because she is alive.

“When it was my child, it just flipped a switch,” says Farr, who is suing the Platte County School District on Kansas City’s outskirts. “And it was like a wake-up.”

Farr has found himself in an unlikely role: fighting bathroom bans that have proliferated at the state and local level in recent years. But Farr is not so unusual, says his attorney, Gillian Ruddy Wilcox of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

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