Judge denies transgender teen’s bid to use boys room in his school


By Madamnoire

For most, choosing which bathroom they will use – whether it be male or female – is an innate choice that needs no further thought. If you’re a female you use the female restroom and the same goes for males. But what if you’re transgender? How do you know which bathroom to use? Most would assume they would use the restroom that corresponds to his or her gender identity, but there are many factors to take into consideration. Notably, many people complain about transgenders using the restroom, saying they been uneasy and uncomfortable. The “restroom” question of whether to be trans-friendly or offer separate, private facilities has been a hot-button topic in the news.

Most recently, a federal judge denied a transgender teenager’s bid to use the same bathroom as his peers at his Gloucester County, Va., high school, on Friday (Sept. 4).

Gavin Grimm, a teenage boy who was born female, is now restricted to using a private restroom that he says makes him feel “singled out and humiliated.” Grimm had previously been using the boys restroom for several weeks with no issues, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which brought a lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board on his behalf.

The U.S. Justice Department also spoke in favor of Grimm saying:

“Singling out transgender students and subjecting them to differential treatment can also make them more vulnerable to bullying and harassment, a problem that transgender students already face. Allowing transgender students to use the restrooms consistent with their gender identity will help prevent stigma that results in bullying and harassment and will ensure that the District fosters a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, a result that is unquestionably in the public interest.”

According to the Washington Post, parents caught wind of the trans-teen using the boys’ restroom and complained. Their complaints resulted in the school board passing a rule that bans the restrooms to students of the “corresponding biological genders.”

Even after the judge’s decision, Grimm and the ACLU are not backing down. They will fight to appeal the “stigmatizing policy,” ACLU attorney Joshua Block said in a statement.

This situation in particular is one that is tough for me to answer and weighs heavy on my heart. To begin, I do not have any transgender friends, know any trans-individuals not have I never met any. Although I have those three strikes against me, I am sympathetic and sensitive to their rights as I have two gay male cousins. Transgender icon Janet Mock has described this situation as, “the great equalizer for all of us,” which many have equated to the Civil Rights era where Blacks were denied to use the same facilities as Whites.

While I don’t agree with gender policing or discrimination as a whole, I do understand the widespread concern of having a boy in the females’ restroom and vice versa, especially for younger kids school that are still learning notions of sex and gender. For me, I am more lax about these situations and welcoming of those of the LGBT community, but I know that the rest of the world is not on board with my millennial point of view. Some states are using “bathroom bills” that mandate people must use the public facility that matches the sex on their birth certificate. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Justice have even found that found that discrimination against transgender people—including denying them bathroom access—as a form of sex discrimination covered under the Civil Rights Act. At the end of the day, if the restroom provides a stall with urinals then I am personally good to go.

What are your thoughts? Are you in support of separate, private restrooms for transgender people? Or do you find it to be a form of discrimination?

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