Danielle Johnson was born a male. Ten years ago Darren began transitioning to Danielle.
“For me it was really more so just that I didn't identify as a male through the younger part of my life, simply because the fact it was other things that crossed my mind as well as my heart about what I felt as though I should have been,” said Johnson.
Johnson says it was in high school when she discovered she wasn't born in the right body.
When she needed to use the restroom in school she wanted to use the women's, but never did because of fear of what could happen.
“Being in the south it was definitely a battle I knew I wasn't going to win, especially being younger and because of the fact that being transgender female and male wasn't something that was so much in the media as they are now, I knew I wasn't going to have a dog in the race,” said Johnson.
Friday, President Obama issued a directive that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms consistent with their chosen gender identity or risk losing federal funding.
Johnson believes it was a right move.
“I think when you already have to deal with growing up in the south, you already have to deal with the bullying why make it any harder for them?” said Johnson.
State Senator Gardenhire says the federal government is going too far.
He is one of 26 Tennessee legislators who signed a letter opposing the directive.
“It’s strictly extortion; it's extortion by the federal government to promote their social agenda by withholding the money. I can't believe they would put local school districts at risk,” said Gardenhire.
Senator Gardenhire says the decision should be left to local school districts.
“I believe that gives the decision making down to the hands of the people who were elected by the people to make those decisions,” said Gardenhire.