We Don't Have to Wait for the Courts to Make Trans Kids Safe
This has been a very bad week for transgender kids. On Wednesday the US Supreme Court issued an “emergency” stay to stop a 17-year Gavin Grimm from using the boy’s restroom at his school. Joshua Block, his lawyer, described Gavin this week in a blog post on the ACLU’s website:
Gavin has facial hair, a deep voice, and a state ID that identifies him as male. In every aspect of his life outside school, he is recognized as the boy that he is. But when Gavin goes back to school for his senior year of high school, he will be singled out from every other student and forced to use a separate single-stall restroom that no one else is required to use.
According to his school board, Gavin’s mere presence in the boys’ restroom is a violation of other boys’ privacy. No one, including the school board, thinks it would be appropriate for a boy like Gavin to use the girls’ restroom. So the school board converted a couple of old utility closets into single-user restrooms that Gavin must now use to “protect” other students from his mere presence. He has been shamefully forced to use a separate restroom or the restroom in the nurse’s office for the past two school years.
Later in the week, as a direct response to the Supreme Court’s intervention, other school systems in the 4th Circuit (the circuit where Gavin’s case was initially decided) retreated from plans they had to treat transgender kids with respect and dignity. So while school systems are debating back and forth whether or not to let trans kids use the bathroom like other students or whether separate really can be equal, we’ve got a crisis on our hands, and the courts aren’t coming to save us any time soon.
Read more at The New Civil Rights Movement.