GALESBURG, Illinois -- Being a transgender teen at Galesburg High School, Ali Mcdorman, always knew she would eventually encounter hate. However, she never thought that hate would come from an adult.
"I feel like grown people...like adults... wouldn't target a teenager," said Ali McDorman, a 16-year-old student who identified as transgender three years ago.
But Ali said she was targeted. In a Facebook post last week, one parent wrote:
"Did you know... that Galesburg High School is allowing a male student (who identifies as a female) to be in AND a change in the same locker room as the girls while they are changing?? #GHS "
"It wasn't derogatory towards me necessarily. They didn't say my name," Ali admitted. "But I am one of the three trans females at the high school. So I assumed it was me. I bit the bullet and I basically announced myself to be that person."
Ali said even after she commented on the post, identifying herself, the comments still kept coming.
"I believe there was close to 200 shares, and about 800 comments," said Holly McDorman, Ali's mother. "I don’t think the original post had that intent (to bully Ali). But it certainly got to the point that Ali was definitely bullied and name called."
"I think this entire situation blew out of proportions too quickly," Ali said.
According to the National Center For Transgender Equality, transgender students have the right to use restrooms and locker rooms "that match their gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate facilities."
"For us it's not even a question," Holly said. "She's a girl. She's a female. So, of course, she'd use the locker room. Why would you send another female into the men's locker room? It's just that simple to us."
Ali said the angry comments now make her feel paranoid.
"There has been a few threats," she said. "I've had people threaten to jump me in the halls or jump me after school. Just because I stood up for myself and other people like me."
Now, both mother and daughter said they just want every student to feel safe and accepted in school.
"We can let everyone know that it's ok to be themselves and that they can find acceptance in the world," Holly said.