Just one day after the Supreme Court announced it would be vacating a previously scheduled hearing in the case of Gloucester County School Board v Gavin Grimm, the teen at the center of what is arguably one of the most important transgender rights lawsuits in American history has published an emotional essay in the New York Times describing his experience fighting for equality under the law.
Gavin Grimm, now 17 years old and a senior in high school, had already changed his legal name and begun transitioning to male by the time he started his sophomore year in Gloucester Co., Virginia.
"I come from a fairly conservative community, and I wasn’t sure that I’d be accepted for who I am," Grimm explained in his Times essay. "Because of this anxiety, I did not ask permission to use the boys’ restroom. I was not yet accustomed to advocating for myself, and I worried that I would be asking for too much, too soon. Instead, I used the restroom in the nurse’s office."
After receiving his principal's permission to begin using a men's bathroom closer to his classroom, Grimm was surprised when, one day, "the school board held a meeting — a public conversation about my genitals and restroom usage — without notifying me first."
His gender, and body, were about to become the talk of the town. And though, Grimm explained, his family and friends stood by him during the meeting, and at others after that, he was ultimately told to stay out of the men's bathroom. "My school board had invalidated me in perhaps the most humiliating way possible," Grimm wrote.
Nevertheless, Grimm has taken his fight to the steps of the highest court in the land. And though they have ultimately decided to bump his case back down to the lower courts, he is clearheaded about the fight ahead, and what it means—not only for him, but for the larger transgender community, as well:
Two years later — two crazy, stressful, busy, breathtaking, rewarding, beautiful, fantastic years later — I stand stronger and prouder than ever. I stand not only with my family and friends, but with millions of supporters who stand with me. I stand with so many wonderful people at the A.C.L.U. that I proudly call my family. I know now what I did not know then; I will be fine. Regardless of what obstacles come before me, regardless of what hatred or ignorance or discrimination I face, I will be fine, because I have love on my side.
"This case will not be resolved until after I graduate," Grimm admitted. "But this fight is bigger than me."
You can read Gavin's full stirring essay here.