Gavin Grimm just made TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list. Grimm, the youngest person on the list, is a high school senior who, as he has said, just wants to be able to use the restroom like everyone else. After his Virginia school board forced him to use a reconfigured janitor’s closet, Grimm, who is transgender, sued. His case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but last month, citing the new Trump administration’s policy, refused to hear the ACLU’s appeal of the case and vacated a lower court’s ruling, all bad news for civil rights, and for Gavin.
“Gavin is the cherubic face of a reductive, dirty debate about trans people’s right to exist in public spaces without hostility, harassment and violence,” writes Janet Mock, was given the honor of honoring Gavin for TIME.
“Gavin Grimm was 15 when he reintroduced himself to his classmates at Gloucester High School in Virginia as the boy he knew himself to be. As someone who also transitioned in high school, I know intimately how freeing and fraught it can be to live your truth,” Mock writes.
She says that Gavin’s use of the boys’ restroom led to some parents complaining, “making a universal private experience a public spectacle.”
“Gavin’s refusal to be treated unjustly is an enduring reminder that we will not be stayed,” Mock says.
Asked in the TIME interview (video above) what he wants to be when he grows up, Gavin responds without hesitation: “I want to be someone who doesn’t have to justify his bathroom use.”
Image: Screenshot via TIME video