10th grader Gavin Grimm is like any other high school student, he just wants to use the bathroom, but his status as a transgender youth makes things complicated.
“I’m fighting for my right to use the correct restroom … the men’s restroom,” the 15-year-old told WAVY. “There have been some parents in the community, or rather adults, that have had a problem with this.”
Grimm, who identifies as a transmale, was allowed to use the bathroom in the nurses office before more recently being forced to use the women’s restroom.
The Gloucester County School board delayed a vote earlier this week which would have addressed Grimm’s situation.
Virginia high schools are connected to some of the most restrictive in the country when it comes to transgender bathroom use – the Virginia High School league voted unanimously earlier this year to require trans-teens to have undergone sex change surgery in oder to compete with the gender they identify as, a procedure medical professionals do not support.
Violence against transgender teens over bathroom use has a history in the US. In March of this year, a trans-boy was physically and sexually assaulted after leaving a male bathroom in a Northern CA high school.
If Gloucester County were to side with Grimm, it would not be the first school system in the south to do so. Atherton High School in Louisville, KY, upheld their school’s nondiscrimination policy which includes gender identity in its list of protected classes. Their school board’s decision allowed a trans-female student continued use of the women’s bathroom and locker room.