With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, a Virginia 16-year-old has filed a federal lawsuit against his school district, demanding he be allowed to use the boys restroom even though he was born female.
Gavin Grimm, who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, has been living as a boy since the end of his freshman year, according to the Daily Press in Hampton Roads.
In October, Grimm was able to use his public high school's boys restrooms and locker rooms, but in December the Gloucester County School Board voted to require transgender students to use either restrooms that coordinate with their physical sex or private bathrooms.
"As a result of the School Board's transgender restroom policy, Gavin is currently the only student in his school who must use separate private restrooms," the ACLU lawsuit claims. "The distinction stigmatizes Gavin and marks him as different from the other students; it isolates Gavin from his peers; and it exposes him to serious psychological harm. To avoid the stigma of having to use separate restrooms, Gavin has tried to avoid using any restroom during the school day."
Washington Blade reported that Grimm must use a unisex bathroom in the Gloucester High School nurse's office.
“I just want to use the restroom in peace,” said Grimm in an ACLU press release obtained by the Blade. “Since the school board passed this policy, I feel singled out and humiliated every time I need to use the restroom.”
The lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia claims that the Gloucester County School Board violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and Title IX.
"By requiring Gavin — a transgender boy — to use separate restrooms because of his 'gender identity issues,' the school board, under color of state law, has treated and continues to treat Gavin differently from similarly situated students based on his gender," the lawsuit alleges. "By excluding Gavin — a transgender boy — from the boys restrooms because the school board does not deem him to be 'biologically' male, the school board, under color of state law, has treated and continues to treat Gavin differently from similarly situated students based on his gender."
The School Board chairman and county attorney both declined to comment to the Daily Press regarding the lawsuit, stating they wanted to review it first. School Superintendent Walter Clemons also did not comment.
“Affirming children for who they are is simply the right thing to do, and rejecting a child's deeply held sense of who they are can have very serious consequences," James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, told the Daily Press. "It is sad that this is even a debate."