Federal court rules against transgender Gloucester teen fighting for right to use boys’ bathroom

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UPDATE: A federal court has ruled against a transgender teen who wanted to use the boys bathroom. 

On Friday, the ACLU announced that the student sought a preliminary injunction to resume using the boys' bathroom at Gloucester High School this fall. 

U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar's order keeps a policy in place that requires transgender students to use alternative private facilities. 

The court has not yet ruled on whether or not to allow his claim to move forward. 

“It is difficult to face another school year of being singled out and treated differently from other students. I am determined to move forward because this case is not just about me, but about all transgender students in Virginia,” said Gavin Grimm.

The ACLU says they will appeal. 

Gloucester County, Va. - Gavin Grimm was born female but always knew he was a boy.

“It was literally killing me to lie about who I was,” he says.

A sophomore at Gloucester High School, Gavin now lives openly as a boy and legally changed his name this year.

“It was terrifying to come out,” Gavin says. “I worried for my safety. I was scared but I came to find out that I didn`t have anything to be afraid of.”

But coming out to his classmates was not the issue; instead it was which bathroom he could use.

“It`s simply that I need to use the restroom just like any other human being, and I shouldn`t be forced to use the restroom that I don`t belong in,” he says.

Gavin was first told to use the nurse's room. That was too far away from his classes, so he used staff bathrooms. When that didn't work out Gavin says the school allowed him to use the boys' room, which he still does.

“At least it gives me some window of time to enjoy my right,” Gavin says.

However, that window of time may be closing.

The Gloucester County School Board is now involved, putting to a vote which bathroom Gavin and other transgender students can use.

“To force me back into that lie would be mentally damaging in a very severe way,” Gavin says.

Gavin's father, David, says it hasn't been other students, but other parents that don't understand.

“Your first thought is defend your child,” he says.“I don`t think it was as much of speaking out against my son as much as not understanding what transgender is.”

The school board is scheduled to make their decision December 9.

“Gloucester High School needs to be on the right side of history and the school board needs to realize that,” Gavin says.

55 comments

  • Da Truff

    If Gavin really is a boy, then he better have the parts. I can’t stand transgenders who don’t get ALL of the operations done

    • Chris

      Excuse you, I personally know him. He is one of the most guyish people I know. So for give me when I say this. YOUR IGNORANCE IS THE REASON PEOPLE DIE. thank you have a nice day.

      • concerned parent

        Just because a female acts like a guy and says they really really want to be a guy does not give them the right to use boys restroom. If that was true I now many “butch” lesion who would love to venture the men’s facilities. I don’t really see a point in debating this cry for attention. If you allow her to use the men’s restroom and she has lady parts, you would all be held responsible in the event a sexual assault occurs. Safety first, the school rest rooms are separate for a reason. Dmv will not allow for gender change on a license without documentation of surgical gender alteration.

  • hbrogan57

    Sorry, but you are 15 years old….just because you have changed your name doesn’t give you the same rights as the other “boys”. And I highly doubt that you have had all of the surgeries necessary to make a complete change. I can change my name to Princess Consuelo Bannahammock. But that won’t give ME the right to use the woman’s bathroom……….

  • Chelleigh

    It will be interesting to see what decision the school board will make. It’s awesome to see this boys parents are supportive of him and very brave for Gavin to speak out. Good luck now and in the future Gavin. 🙂

  • q2theheart

    This story reeks of selfishness. All this kid is talking about is his rights, well what about the rights of the thousands of others who are not confuse with their sexuality? Gays and transgender’s kill me when they step on the rights of normal people just for their own right to choose. Somethings there is simply no choice! Sexuality is one of them. If you choose to change your sexuality, the responsibility is you have to accept the consequences. This selfish person is trying to make people accept the consequences of his mistake. They didnt choose to be different from who they are, why should they suffer?

    • SLA0104

      What is selfish about this? It’s a bathroom. He needs to use it, he goes in..uses it…and leaves. What rights is he taking from these “normal people”? Please, tell me, because out of all the comments on this article, yours stood out. It stood about because it REEKS of ignorance and a close minded mentality. Man, heaven forbid this guy wants RIGHTS?! WHAT YEAR IS IT?! You’re an idiot.

    • Chloe Aaryn

      Gender identity is not sexuality. This story is not about sexuality, it’s about gender.
      Knowing ones gender is the opposite to confusion.
      How is he (& all other transgender PEOPLE) impacting on anyone’s rights?
      Q2THEHEART, assuming you are not transgender & did not choose your gender understanding, what makes you think anyone else “chooses” their gender? To quote the only thing you actually got right ” Somethings there is simply no choice!”
      Go & educate yourself please.

  • REAL_American

    Sad to see all the hatred and ignorance, but not really surprised. I’m wondering how tolerant those of you that are screaming that this child should have already had an operation would be if it was YOUR son or daughter that was transgender.
    Shame on you for spreading your hatred and intolerance..

  • annoyed

    Ok my issue while reading is this is SO selfish in the end on the students part because it plain says they allowed gavin to use nurses bathroom AND faculty to accommodate and nope not good enough. What a jerk.

    • equally annoyed

      As a graduate of this school let me inform you that having to go from say D hall all the way to A hall on the OTHER SIDE OF THE SCHOOL to get to the nurses restroom is a ridiculous notion rather than simply being allowed to use the proper restroom nearby. As for the staff restrooms it was a nice gesture but they are few and far between, there are maybe 4 or 5 that I have ever counted in the ENTIRE school. Gavin shouldn’t be made to jump through hoops just to exercise his daily needs as a human being. YOU, sir or ma’am, are the jerk

  • Named

    She is a she, a female! Not Male, but FEMALE with female parts. She wants to use the boys room, next she will want to use the boys locker room/showers. So if a boy, male student wants to use the girls room and girls locker shower rooms, it will be ok… also??

  • Buttt__Phucking__Susan

    Sheeple, listen to me.

    None of this matters. What matters is that in America, little girls can still grow up, get married, and then make false allegations of abuse. Then they can collect child support, lifetime alimony, and get the mortgage paid for by a man working three jobs to survive. That’s how it works.

    This is every woman’s dream, and let’s make sure it comes true. After all, this IS America. God bless the USA.

  • Tish

    Boy or Girl use the bathroom of your gender………………………..You was born a female but wanna be a boy so go use the FEMALE bathroom

  • concerned parent

    If Gavin still possess female reproductive organs, and has not received surgery to change sexual organs. Gavin must use the restroom associated with his current sexual organ. That the laws for the general public. I’m a grown man if I change my name to Jane, is it OK if I hang out in the girls restroom. There is a safety and security factor that must be considered. Prisoners can go to the other genders jail unless they possess that genders sexual organs.

  • Nikki

    You’re all so arrogant. HIS name is Gavin; to say he’s not equal because he hasn’t gone through the changes that cost nice amounts of money. You all obviously have no clue the struggles he faces.

    • andanotherthing

      There is nothing in the interview or article that states that this person has undergone ANY sort of operations. And I doubt that most doctors are going to do that sort of operation on someone that’s 15 years old. Also, if this person is already complaining about what bathroom to use instead of worrying about other issues I would have to speculate that he/she is going to have a very hard life ahead of them.

      Welcome to the real world. Things don’t always go YOUR way.

      • Lauryn

        Gavin, who is A BOY, deserves just as much rights as anyone else in that school. I KNOW him, and I KNOW he has had an operation. Don’t be close minded because you arent trans yourself.

        • GAVIN GRIMM

          Lauryn, i dont know who you are, and i urge you not to make erroneous claims. i have not had an operation. please do not lie about me, even on my behalf.

          • GAVIN GRIMM

            thank you everyone for the positive comments, and for all the folks who have made negative ones, thank you for exercising your duty as citizens to speak about issues that trouble you.

            however, facts remain facts. im sure you all know what i believe (as well as what SCIENCE believes) to be factual. these negative comments will not bring me down, it only strengthens my will to educate people! the positive comments keep me going and i cannot thank my supporters enough.

          • Chloe Aaryn

            If you are Gavin then I wish you well. I would like you & all other transgender people to know that not all countries make life as difficult for trans people, I do not suffer the indignity that you currently incur. Eventually through the efforts of yourself & others you will be afforded fair treatment & many more people will come to understand that transgender people do not negatively impact on others.

          • hbrogan57

            I would be willing to bet that you would be singing a different tune if the roles were reversed and this was a male that insisted on using the woman’s restroom…..

          • hbrogan57

            If you are Gavin and this statement is, in fact, true. Then you are still a girl and should still be using those facilities. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. It’s called living in the real world and things don’t always go YOUR way. Most people wouldn’t have any issue if you had already undergone the necessary surgery. Until that happens you have to abide by the appropriate rules.

  • Frances

    If Gavin wants to use the boy’s restroom, Gavin should also take PE with the boys and shower with them. I am sure the other boys will not have a problem with this. Gavin should also be separated with the boys any time the boys and girls are split up.

  • Dinkk Winkkerson

    This is really very easy people. If your plumbing matches the boys room you go there. If your plumbing matches the girls room you go there. Until you get your plumbing remodeled you go to the bathroom mother nature assigned to you at birth.

  • Chelsea

    undergoing reassignment surgery isn’t what makes you transgendered! some trans people don’t ever get a surgery! educate yourselves, people! Gavin, please don’t let all these negative people bring you down. you are so strong and a lot of people are looking up to you right now even if it doesn’t feel like it.

  • Kaci

    I am with you 100% Gavin. For those of you who are disrespecting you and your mom, Just don’t listen. You have every right to be who you want to be. Deirdre you are not a bad parent and neither is David. You did what was best for your child, no other parent would understand why unless they were put in the position of having a transgender child. Keep your head held high and I hope you can use the bathroom that you should be able to, Not forced to use the girls. I’m fighting for you and every other human being who is transgender and hope one day people will understand why.

  • Ann

    I admire the bravery of this young man. Through his advocation of equal rights for the transgender community, he is paving an easier road for future students in his shoes. Keep up the fight Gavin and do not give up. It’s people like you that create future positive change for others!

  • havi3

    So long as this school continues to discriminate against Gavin by failing to treat him as male, the school remains in violation of the US Dept of Ed. ruling (search: “Arcadia CA School District transgender” and “Downey CA School District transgender” to read case law about this.

  • Buttt__Phucking__Susan

    I’m 6’4″ with a receding hairline and a VERY hairy back. I guess I can just put on a strapless sundress, declare myself a woman, and hangout in the ladies locker room, afterall, it’d be my right as a “woman”.

    • Chris

      I fail to see the validity of your argument. This has something to do with rights of someone who is Trans, not a Heterosexual wanting to sneak a peek.

  • Brave

    This is only an issue while Gavin is in public school. Out in the real world he can go into whichever bathroom he would like. I think to just make it to graduation, he should just continue to use the faculty bathrooms. Just my opinion. I think Gavin is very brave to do what he is doing!

    • Chris

      that’s false, if you are caught going into a rest room and you are trans, and haven’t had the surgery, then you would be locked away as a sexual offender. Have you not read the law, because that’s an act of criminal neglect.

  • former classmate

    We’re all rooting for you Squiddy! Keep your chin up, you’ll win this fight if we have anything to do with it!

  • Chris

    Trans. people are Mentally their other gender, doesn’t mean that their wrong or a “abomination”. People who are Trans serve a large part of our military, so you can shut up about not letting them have their rights. And also, Homosexuality transgender and all the other LGBT is natural, this happens in penguins and dolphins. So would you people come out of your ignorant shells and face reality other than the hate you’ve herd at church, and go listen to the song “same love” and analyze that, cause I guarantee that you will find truth in it.

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