Transgender student Gavin Grimm wins Supreme Court case against his school

Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a big decision in favor of Transgender rights. The court decided not to review an opinion by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, which allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom that corresponded to his gender identity. The case began in 2015 when Gavin Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board to allow him to use the male bathroom when he was a sophomore in high school. At the time, he was undergoing medical treatment for severe gender dysphoria. After notifying the school of his treatment, Gavin received permission to use the male restroom. However, when complaints came in to the school board, he was forced to use the unisex restroom in the nurse’s station or the female restrooms. Fortunately, Gavin won his case and now the Supreme Court has upheld that decision. Here is CNN’s breakdown.

The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a decision that allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom that corresponded to his gender identity, a victory for the LGBTQ community that has been fearful the high court would take up the case and reverse a lower court opinion.

The case concerns the scope of Title IX that prohibits schools from discriminating “on the basis of sex.” It began when Gavin Grimm, a transgender male who was then a high-school student, challenged the local school board’s decision to require him to use either a unisex restroom or a restroom that corresponds to the sex, female, he was assigned at birth.

Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito said they would have taken up the case for next term.

“I am glad that my years-long fight to have my school see me for who I am is over. Being forced to use the nurse’s room, a private bathroom, and the girl’s room was humiliating for me, and having to go to out-of-the-way bathrooms severely interfered with my education,” Grimm — who has since graduated — said in a statement Monday.

“Trans youth deserve to use the bathroom in peace without being humiliated and stigmatized by their own school boards and elected officials,” he added.

[From CNN]

As the article said, Gavin has graduated, and his court battle is over. But this ruling is a huge win for the LGBTQIA+ community. Gavin benefitted from Obama era policies, especially when the Obama Justice Department filed a statement of interest in Gavin’s case. But the Trump administration got rid of those policies. And although Gavin had won his case and subsequent appeals, the Supreme Court previously dismissed the 4th Circuit decision and sent the case back for further proceedings. Fortunately, the 4th Circuit ruled in Gavin’s favor again. When the case moved back up the courts a second time, it was aided by the 2020 Supreme Court LGBTQ worker anti-discrimination decision.

Monday’s decision was a huge victory and one the Transgender community, especially transgender youth, need right now. The anti-trans legislation that’s been passed this year has been devastating and threatens to set us back decades as a society. Not to mention the harm we are putting these kids in, both to their mental and physical health. We still have a huge fight on our hands, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Photo credit: Instagram

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11 Responses to “Transgender student Gavin Grimm wins Supreme Court case against his school”

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  1. Merricat says:

    Nice uplifting way to start the day! Civil rights are human rights.

  2. Mely says:

    This was really important news as states continue to target laws aimed at LGBTQIA.

  3. EnormousCoat says:

    This was great news! I don’t think Roberts wants Dems to pack the court and make it irrelevant, so I’m sure he’s trying to keep the crazies in line.

  4. SarahCS says:

    Fantastic news.

    I find it so frustrating that children and young people are having to fight these battles yet I applaud them for doing so.

  5. TheOriginalMia says:

    Great news! Saw Gavin’s interview yesterday. He was so happy & grateful. He also acknowledged there were still battles to be fought, but was thrilled his fight was over & didn’t have to go before the full court.

  6. Esmom says:

    This brings tears to my eyes. So many people fighting the good fight, Gavin is an inspiration.

  7. GR says:

    Gavin must put up with so much hate just to openly be who he is – what a brave young man!

  8. Mimi says:


  9. STRIPE says:

    I’m more and more in favor of unisex bathrooms. A few bars/restaurants I frequent do this – one has just a line of full door stalls on one side and a row of sinks on the other in one big room that’s open to the bar. No gender issues and also the line moves faster!

    • schmootc says:

      Agreed. It’s also more equitable – no more women waiting in line forever while men don’t have to wait at all.

      I do believe in another few years or so that we’ll look back at this time and think what was the big deal with letting people use the bathroom that reflects their gender? I watched American Experience on PBS recently – the episode about Stonewall. There was a 1960s clip of a man from an advocacy group talking about how gay people just wanted to be accepted and not harassed – they didn’t want to get married or adopt children. The “craziness” of thinking those two things might be possible was clear. Granted, those two developments did unfortunately take many more years to happen, but I have faith/hope we’ll continue to move forward on trans issues as well.

  10. mosi says:

    well, as a woman who was cornered in the unisex bathroom, when the bathrooms are unisex in bars and clubs- other places where people get intoxicated- they feel extremely unsafe to me. I would rather wait in line than bump onto a drunken bro.