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Gavin Grimm: Trans man wins four-year battle against school policy

Nick Duffy August 12, 2019
Gavin Grimm attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City.

Gavin Grimm attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

Transgender man Gavin Grimm has claimed a decisive victory in his battle against a policy at his former school that forced him to use female toilets.

Grimm, now 20, has spent the past four years of his life embroiled in the legal battle with Gloucester School Board in Virginia over its 2014 policy stipulating that students should use the toilets of their “biological sex”,

Unconstitutional conduct cannot stand

In a decision on August 9, US District Judge Arenda Wright Allen sided with the complaint from Grimm, writing: “There is no question that the board’s policy discriminates against transgender students on the basis of their gender non-conformity.

“Under the policy, all students except for transgender students may use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

Gavin Grimm attends the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon on May 5, 2017 in New York City.
Gavin Grimm attends the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon on May 5, 2017 in New York City. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for GLAAD)

“Transgender students are singled out, subjected to discriminatory treatment, and excluded from spaces where similarly situated students are permitted to go.”

She added: “The perpetuation of harm to a child stemming from unconstitutional conduct cannot be allowed to stand.”

Gavin Grimm welcomes ‘closure’ to long-running legal saga

Grimm, who graduated from Gloucester High School in 2017, now lives in California.

The court injunction orders the school board to provide him with a corrected version of his student transcript that refers to him as male.

He was also awarded “nominal damages in the amount of one dollar.”

Grimm said: “It is such a relief to achieve this closure and vindication from the court after four years of fighting not just for myself, but for trans youth across America.

“I promise to continue to advocate for as long as it takes for everyone to be able to live their authentic lives freely, in public, and without harassment and discrimination.”

The case was brought with help from the American Civil Liberties Union.

It received significant attention in 2017 after Laverne Cox broke from the script while presenting at the Grammys to urge people to “google Gavin Grimm”.

She congratulated Grimm on the victory in a tweet on Saturday, writing: “I just got goosebumps reading this decision. This is just incredible.

“Congratulations @GavinGrimmVA and your entire family. Congratulations [lawyer] @JoshABlock.

“Thank you and everyone at the @ACLU for fighting not just for Gavin for for trans people everywhere! #TransIsBeautiful”

More: gavin grimm, toileets, Trans, Transgender

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