In 2017, the Supreme Court will preside over a case of blatant discrimination in the case of Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old trans boy who was banned from using his school’s male restroom.
Grimm’s story is similar to others in small-town communities all over the United States: rather than accepting him for who he was and allow him to perform one of the most basic human functions in peace, Grimm was banned from using the restroom most safe for him, while also using the entire community’s ire and ridicule against him.
Long before the “bathroom bill,” became front-page news, Grimm was barred from using his school’s men’s restroom in Gloucester County, Virginia. The high school senior then filed a lawsuit against the school in June of 2015, arguing that the policy violated his right for protection from gender-based discrimination.
Though the U.S. constitution should easily have applied to Grimm and other trans Americans, his status as a trans male complicates the matter. Currently, neither sexuality nor gender identity are protected statuses under the U.S. constitution, a right for which the LGBTQ community is still fighting.
“Though the district court denied [Grimm’s] request for relief, he received a landmark decision from the United States Court of Appeal for the Fourth Circuit, the federal appellate court that heard his appeal, in his favor. Shortly after Gavin’s victory at the Fourth Circuit, an order was put in place that would finally allow him to use the boys’ restroom when he returned to school this fall. Unfortunately, in August, the Supreme Court put a stop to that order thereby preventing Gavin from beginning his senior year of school free from government-sanctioned discrimination.”
It is despicable that this basic right to use the restroom where one chooses – and feels most safe and right – has to be ruled over by the Supreme Court. It is even more despicable that a Senior in high school must fight for this basic right in the nation’s highest courts.
As this case heats up and the verdict is rendered, it will no doubt plunge the nation into yet another transphobic conversation on this basic right that should be afforded to all.
You can read more about Grimm’s fight here.