Transgender teen Gavin Grimm is ready to push forward in his fight for gender equality in school bathrooms after the Supreme Court dropped his case

By Julie Mazziotta
March 09, 2017 10:07 AM

The Supreme Court may have dismissed his court case — as well as the lower court’s previous ruling in his favor — but Gavin Grimm hasn’t given up on the struggle for greater rights for transgender students.

The transgender teen explained why this is just one setback in his crusade for students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, a battle he never expected to lead.

“This fight is bigger than me,” Grimm, 17, writes in an op-ed for the New York Times. “I came to realize that very early on, and it is truer now than it ever has been.”

“This fight is for other trans youth in my high school. It is for other trans youth in Virginia. It is for all trans youth who are in school or one day will be. It is for the friends and loved ones of these youth, who want these children to be happy and healthy, rather than at risk and in danger as so many trans people are.”

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Gavin Grimm
| Credit: Sipa via AP Images

Now the face of the movement, Grimm initially was just a high school sophomore in Gloucester, Virginia, who was suddenly barred from using the men’s bathroom.

“The school board held a meeting — a public conversation about my genitals and restroom usage — without notifying me first,” Grimm, now a senior, recalls. “My mother and I found out by chance less than 24 hours before the meeting was to happen. An old friend of my mother’s had noticed a post going around Facebook, a rallying cry by adults in my community urging people to show up to the meeting in order to ‘keep that girl out of the boy’s room.’ ”

At that meeting, “people speaking out against me made a point of referring to me with female honorifics and pronouns,” he says. “They warned me that I was going to be raped or otherwise abused. They suggested that boys would sneak into the girls’ room and harm their children.”

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Grimm, with the help of the ACLU, eventually sued the school district and won the right to use the boys’ bathroom at Gloucester High School with Virginia’s Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. But he never had a chance, after the Supreme Court put a stay on the ruling until they could hear arguments on the case — and now the Justices have dismissed the case and cleared the previous ruling.

“Regardless of what obstacles come before me, regardless of what hatred or ignorance or discrimination I face, I will be fine, because I have love on my side,” Grimm writes.