Gavin Grimm on the fight for transgender bathroom rights heading to the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court announced Friday afternoon it will take up the case of Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old transgender boy whose high school in Gloucester, Virginia, will not permit him to use the restroom corresponding to his gender identity.
VICE News spoke to Grimm on Skype hours after the announcement was made. The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case could mean that Grimm won’t get clarity soon. “It’s a shame that now, well into my senior year, I’ll be having the conversation of whether or not I’ll be allowed to use the bathroom like my peers,” Grimm said.
Grimm and his lawyers at the ACLU argue that the Gloucester County School Board’s restroom policy violates Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination in schools, and is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. Although the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Grimm in April, the Supreme Court issued an emergency order in August to stop Grimm from using the restroom while they decided whether to hear the case. Earlier last month, Grimm and the ACLU told VICE News they did not want SCOTUS to take up the case, as that meant Grimm would not be able to use the boys’ restroom until a final decision had been made.
Grimm notified Gloucester High School of his gender and name change at the start of his sophomore year in 2014. Although Grimm used the men’s restroom for weeks without incident, a series of complaints from parents and community members prompted the school board to take a vote on restroom policy. On Dec. 9, 2014, the board voted 6-1 to bar Grimm from the men’s restroom. They then offered Grimm modified janitor’s closets and the nurses’ restrooms as potential facilities.
VICE News’ Antonia Hylton met with Grimm in September, at the start of his senior year of high school, to discuss his two-year battle and the prospect of facing the Supreme Court.