Gavin Grimm

Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board

Location: Virginia
Last Update: October 6, 2021

What's at Stake

Gavin Grimm sued his school board for excluding him the restrooms any other boy in his school would use — simply because he is transgender.

Summary

When Gavin Grimm came out to his school as a boy who is transgender, his school board adopted a discriminatory new prohibiting boys and girls “with gender identity issues” from using the same common restrooms as other boys and girls. The new policy directed Gavin to an “alternative appropriate private facility” instead. Throughout the rest of high school, Gavin was forced to use separate restrooms that no other student was required to use. That degrading and stigmatizing policy singled Gavin out as unfit to use the same restrooms as every other student. The Board continued to exclude Gavin even after he began receiving hormone therapy (which altered his bone and muscle structure, deepened his voice, and caused him to grow facial hair), obtained a Virginia state I.D. card listing his sex as male, underwent chest reconstruction surgery, obtained a court order legally changing his sex to male under Virginia law, and received a new Virginia birth certificate reflecting that his sex is male.

Even after graduation, the school Board continued discriminating against Gavin by refusing to provide him with a transcript that matches the “male” sex designation on his birth certificate. As a result, whenever Gavin was required to provide a transcript to colleges or potential employers, he had to provide a transcript that identified him as “female.”

Represented by the ACLU and ACLU of Virginia, Gavin sued his school board for discriminating against him in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools. After four years of litigation—including a trip to the Supreme Court and back– the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in favor of Gavin on all his claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the ruling in favor of Gavin on August 26, 2020.

Update: On June 28, 2021, the Supreme Court denied the school board’s petition for a writ of certiorari.

Gavin’s testimony at a Gloucester County School Board Meeting

Deirdre Grimm’s testimony at a Gloucester County School Board Meeting