When then-15-year-old Gavin Grimm testified before his school board two and a half years ago, he didn’t anticipate that his fight to simply be himself would land him at the Supreme Court. And just a few short months from now, his case could change the legal landscape of transgender rights for generations.
Gavin Grimm is a boy from Gloucester County, Virginia, whose school board voted to bar him from the common restrooms that all other students use just because he is transgender. In November of 2014, he stood before his school board to explain his situation. “All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace, and I have had no problems from students to do that — only from adults,” he said to the board and those in attendance, many of whom feared or despised him. “I did not ask to be this way, and it’s one of the most difficult things anyone can face. … I am just a human. I am just a boy.”
With incredible poise and determination, Gavin stood up for himself as a room full of people called him a “freak,” debated his body, and voted on his rights. No young person — no person — should ever have to endure the indignities that Gavin faced that day. Now, Gavin is no longer standing alone before a school board. He is standing before the nation’s highest court with unprecedented support from individuals and institutions from across the country.
Today’s amicus, or friend of the court, filings in support of Gavin reflect an overwhelming consensus that trans people are a vital part of public life and that expelling trans people from restrooms, locker rooms, or any other space is intolerable discrimination.
Briefs filed in support for Gavin include:
- A brief from medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, and many others, reflecting the scientific and medical consensus that transgender individuals must be treated consistent with their gender identity
- A brief from school administrators from schools in 31 states and the District of Columbia explaining that treating trans students consistent with their gender identity poses none of the speculative problems that opponents of trans people raise
- A brief from over 100 domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organizations from across the country urging the court to uphold protections for transgender individuals under Title IX
- A brief from students, both transgender and non-transgender, explaining that fully including transgender students in school life only enhances the school experience for all students and leads to none of the fears raised by opponents of trans people
- A brief from over 90 transgender individuals speaking about their experiences as doctors, lawyers, artists, educators, scientists, public servants, and more as well as explaining how policies like Gloucester County School Board’s prevent them from fully participating in society.
What the briefs show, especially when compared with the minimal filings in support of the school board, is that this issue isn’t scary or complicated.
Treating transgender individuals as human beings is something that people have figured out in schools, workplaces, governments, and organizations across the country. At women’s colleges, in the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts, even in advocacy before the Supreme Court itself, transgender people exist, participate, and thrive.
Join us and #StandWithGavin.