The Fight for Bathroom Equality for Transgender Students: a conversation with Gavin Grimm and his attorney Joshua Block (ACLU)

Monday, October 24, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Location: 
Room 127, Sterling Law Building, 127 Wall St

The Supreme Court granted an “emergency” stay in August to stop Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old transgender boy from Virginia, from using the boys’ restroom at school.

Gavin has facial hair, a deep voice, and a state ID that identifies him as male. In every aspect of his life outside school, he is recognized as the boy that he is. But when Gavin goes back to school for his senior year of high school, he will be singled out from every other student and forced to use a separate single-stall restroom that no one else is required to use.

According to his school board, Gavin’s mere presence in the boys’ restroom is a violation of other boys’ privacy. No one, including the school board, thinks it would be appropriate for a boy like Gavin to use the girls’ restroom. So the school board converted a couple of old utility closets into single-user restrooms that Gavin must now use to “protect” other students from his mere presence. He has been forced to use a separate restroom or the restroom in the nurse’s office for the past two school years.

With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Gavin bravely took his school district to court, arguing that the school board’s policy violates Title IX, the federal statute that protect students from being excluded from school programs and resources on the basis of sex. The United States Department of Education and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with Gavin as well. As a result of the fourth circuit’s ruling, Gavin was preparing to begin his senior year with a fresh start. He would finally be able to use the restroom without being isolated. But sadly, because of the Supreme Court’s stay, that won’t happen.

At this event, Gavin and his attorney, Joshua Block, will answer questions relating to the lawsuit, and the broader significance of the fight for bathroom equality.