Gavin Grimm and the fight for transgender rights
While most teenage kids are thinking about classes and their latest crush, 17-year old Gavin Grimm has been fighting for the rights of transgenders everywhere.
This is the story of a student who just wanted to go to school like any normal kid– and ended up going all the way to the high court.
Gavin Grimm: The start of it all
Before he became a sophomore in Gloucester High School in Gloucester, Virginia, Gavin came out to his family and friends as a transgender.
Though the school administrators were initially supportive to the point of allowing him the use of boys/ bathroom for two months, that changed when the school board held meetings after parents and residents complained.
During the meetings, the parents and residents called him a “freak” and said allowing him use of the bathroom would let other predators in, already a debunked myth.
In 2015, the board revoked his use of the bathroom and this triggered a two-year fight by Gavin for equal rights all the way to the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court never heard the oral arguments in G.G. v. Gloucester as they removed it from their calendar following the Trump administration’s repeal of Title IX guidance that protects transgender students.
Without Title IX, the high court said there were not sufficient grounds for the case.
No sign of releif for Gavin Grimm
Unfortunately, this means that Gavin won’t get to see the resolution of his case before he graduates from high school.
“For students, the immediate impact is the invalidation of their experience. That is surely devastating for them,” said Aidan Key, executive director for Gender Diversity.
But while Ilona Turner, legal director for the Transgender Law Center, noted that it could be some time before a case like Gavin’s could be brought to the Supreme Court again.
This is because it’s now up to the lower courts to interpret “what Title IX means separate from whatever the current administration thinks it means” before the Supreme Court can review their decisions after.
Other effects of Gavin Grimm’s case
The high court’s refusal to hear the case because of the withdrawal of the Title IX guidance will also have other effects throughout the other states.
North Carolina’s bathroom law had been challenged by American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and Jenner & Block.
A North Carolina federal district court had temporarily blocked the enforcement of the law against student plaintiffs using the same reason as in the Fourth Circuit Case that ruled favorably in Grimm’s case.
With the Supreme Court ruling, the injunction in North Carolina can now be challenged too.