Northern Virginia Schools Stand Up for Gavin Grimm in Transgender Bathroom Case

Gavin Grimm at the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon May 5, 2017, in New York City
Gavin Grimm at the GLAAD Rising Stars Luncheon May 5, 2017, in New York City
Photo: Getty

Four Northern Virginia school districts are showing support for Gavin Grimm, the young transgender man who’s been in a years-long battle with another Virginia school district over its policy when it comes to what bathroom transgender students can use.


In a friend-of-the-court brief submitted in support of Grimm when his case against the Gloucester County School Board comes up for trial in July, the school boards of Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax and Arlington counties said that they “must embrace the thousands of students in Virginia public schools who ... identify as transgender.”

“It’s a perfect opportunity for us to show support for Grimm,” Fairfax School Board member Ilryong Moon told the Washington Post, adding that Fairfax schools want to “support all students of different backgrounds.”

It’s been a long fight for Grimm, who sued the Gloucester County School Board after the then high school sophomore was barred from using the boys restroom in 2014 despite his gender identification as male.

His case made it all the way to being considered for hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court — until it knocked the case back down to the lower court after the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era rule on the treatment of transgender students.

Grimm’s case is now scheduled for a July trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Grimm’s case came to prominence after actress and trans advocate Laverne Cox shouted him out in 2017 while onstage at the Grammys.

Supporters say transgender people should be able to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, not their biological gender.


And as the Post reported, the Virginia schools in their brief made it clear arguments to the contrary have no basis in reality:

“Male students, teachers, and parents have not used the policy as a ruse to improperly access female restrooms. Sex offenders have not exploited the policy to prey on children. Transgender students have not suffered greater stigma or trauma,” the brief states. “Those fears have proved entirely unfounded.”



I support unisex bathrooms, so I don’t think using your identity matched restroom is a big deal. (Though I think unisex is safer) However, what is a concern for me in middle schools/high schools is locker rooms. I believe there is a lawsuit right now because a female bodied student was surprised by a transgirl in the locker room. She claimed to have not been aware until she heard a masculine sounding voice and felt threatened.

I don’t think there is any way to resolve all these issues and make everyone happy. Bathrooms should be a simple issue, although I do worry about bullying. Lockers are less so. Maybe we need to add smaller unisex modesty lockers where there are individual changing stalls. You can use them whether you are trans or require modest accommodation for any reason.

I want all kids to be and feel safe.