Virginia high school senior Gavin Grimm is now known nationwide as the plaintiff in a case over transgender student rights that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Grimm, who transitioned from female-to-male his freshman year, sued the Gloucester County district after it created a policy that limited bathroom access by biological sex.
That case, which the Supreme Court sent back to a lower court earlier this year, won’t be decided until after Grimm graduates. But he’s embraced his new public role as an advocate, he told lawmakers at a congressional hearing Thursday.
“I stand not only with my family and friends but with millions of supporters who stand with me,” Grimm said at a panel on “civil rights in the Trump era” held by congressional Democrats. “My case will not be resolved until after I graduate, but this case is bigger than me.”
Recently, the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidance on transgender students, which put schools on notice that they would be found in violation of Title IX if they don’t allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. Conservative groups and a host of states had pushed back against that guidance, calling it a threat to student privacy and federal overreach. The Trump administration did not assert a new interpretation of Title IX, saying instead that it would leave interpretation of the federal law to states and districts.
The move was a frequent topic of discussion among panel participants Thursday.
While Trump has billed himself as supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, “actions speak louder than words,” Grimm said, referring to the decision to withdraw guidance.
You can watch the whole panel discussion below.
Related reading on transgender students:
- Transgender Sister of Trump Inauguration Singer Gets Favorable Ruling in Court
- Attention Turns to Courts in Battle Over Transgender-Student Rights
- Trump Administration Rescinds Transgender-Student Guidance
- Many Schools Already Accommodate Transgender Students
- Obama Admin. to Schools: No Restrictions on Transgender Restroom Access
A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.