In Virginia, a federal appeals court ruled that the trans teen who filed a lawsuit against his high school after he was denied access to the boys’ bathroom will proceed with his case.
Three judges on a panel for the 4th U.S. Circuit decided to overrule the district court and reevaluate the injunction filed by 16 year-old Gavin Grimm. The court also chose to revisit the American Civil Liberties Union claim in the lawsuit that a lower court dismissed the cased because of inappropriate standards. The court also will revive the Title IX lawsuit because a lower court dismissed it based on faulty criteria.
The decision made by the 4th U.S. Circuit court will allow Grimm to sue the Gloucester School District, but still cannot use the boys’ bathroom.
The 16-year-old teen said:
“Today’s decision gives me hope that my fight will help other kids avoid discriminatory treatment at school”
When asked about the lower courts original decision Grimm said:
“It makes it impossible for me to live as myself peacefully. The issue has outed me on grand scale, which should never have to happen to anyone.”
Grimm identifies himself as male but was born female. In 2014, Grimm was originally allowed to use the boy’s bathroom after he informed the school of his transition and received permission from the principal. The school board later passed a policy that required students to use the bathroom that aligns with their biological gender.
After the announcement was made that the board had passed the policy, one speaker called him a “freak and compared him to a person who thinks he is a ‘dog’ and wants to urinate on fire hydrants”
Then in July, the U.S. Justice Department’s statement of interest declared:
“that a failure to allow transgender students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity amounts to sex discrimination”
Grimm’s parent helped their son change his legal name after a psychologist said that Grimm suffered from gender dysphoria, which stems from a conflict between ones gender identity and their assigned sex at birth. Grimm was put on a hormone treatment plan to deepen his voice and alter appearance.
The ACLU spoke in support of Grimm saying:
“Gavin’s fight has been a beacon of hope in the face of increasingly hostile rhetoric against transgender people in Virginia, and across the nation. The court’s ruling sends a strong message to schools and lawmakers that discriminatory restroom policies don’t just harm transgender students, they put Title IX funding at risk.”
While the lawsuit is long from over for Grimm, it is a step in the right direction.