Gavin Grimm. Photo credit: Danna Singer/ACLU

(Washington, D.C. – October 28, 2016) — Today, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to take up the case of a Virginia student, Gavin Grimm, who has been singled out to use a separate bathroom from his peers just because he is transgender.

“Schools cannot harass, discriminate against, and single out students because they are transgender, and we look forward to Gavin, backed by the ACLU, having his day in court,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director at Transgender Law Center. “Transgender students like Gavin in Virginia and our 17-year-old client Ash Whitaker in Wisconsin just want to get an education and be treated fairly like anyone else.”

Transgender Law Center, along with Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC and Pledl & Cohn, S.C., is currently representing a transgender boy, Ash Whitaker, in another case against a Wisconsin school district. Ash’s school forced him to use a separate bathroom from all other students, refused to refer to him as male, and even proposed forcing transgender students to wear a green sticker or wristband to better monitor their restroom use. In September, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against the school’s discriminatory behavior, requiring the school to treat Ash like all other boys as his case proceeds. The district court found that the injunction was necessary to protect Ash from the emotional, psychological, and physical harm Ash suffered as a result of his school’s discriminatory policy.

“Gavin’s case helped give me the courage to be myself at school, and I hope the Supreme Court will send a clear message to schools across the country that they can’t get away with treating students like us differently just because we’re transgender,” said Ash Whitaker.

In April 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Gavin is protected from discrimination under Title IX, the federal law protecting students from sex discrimination. Gavin’s case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.


Transgender Law Center is the largest national organization dedicated to advancing justice for transgender and gender nonconforming people through litigation, policy advocacy, and public education. Transgender Law Center envisions a future in which all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or