Meet Trans Civil Rights Hero Gavin Grimm—and the Pastor Who Calls Him a Girl

Gavin never wanted to become a symbol for trans rights in America: He just wanted to use the bathroom. But now he resides at the center of the national battle around anti-trans policies that threaten the rights of trans people across the country.

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Apr 14 2017, 3:20pm

"Youth, Interrupted" is a series on trans teens in the United States whose lives have been dramatically disrupted by anti-trans "bathroom bills" and other political battles. Watch and read more from the series here.

Gavin Grimm is a teenage boy from rural Gloucester, Virginia. He is also the plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking the right to use the boys' bathroom at his high school. His case has crawled its way through a series of appeals all the way to the Supreme Court, making Gavin a central figure in the transgender civil rights movement. In March, the court decided not to hear Gavin's appeal—meaning he and other trans students in schools across the US must continue to deal with discrimination.

In our final installment of Youth, Interrupted, Broadly meets with Gavin at his home, where he explains the heartbreaking toll that this fight has taken on him. While in Virginia, Broadly host and trans woman Diana Tourjee also visits pastor Ralph VanNess, who is one of the loudest voices of opposition against Gavin and also works as a security guard at Gavin's school. While opponents to trans civil rights like VanNess are often quick to vocalize their beliefs, they rarely have to come face-to-face with the people they preach against.