This High School Student Is Leading the Fight for Transgender Bathroom Rights

Gavin Grimm's legal battle against his high school could be the first case the Supreme Court hears specifically involving gender identity.

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Oct 13 2016, 8:20pm

North Carolina's controversial "bathroom bill," which requires people to use the same bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, has ignited a debate around the country over transgender rights.

And this fall, the Supreme Court may hear its first case about gender identity. In 2014, a Virginia high school student named Gavin Grimm transitioned from female to male and, after notifying the school of his gender reassignment, started using the boy's bathroom—until adults in the community became outraged about where Grimm goes pee.

"To combine male and females in the same bathroom, same gym room, you are opening up a door that is going to be disastrous," one community member said at a school-board meeting. Another claimed that the decision could set a dangerous precedent for the safety of the school's female students.

"All I want to do is be a normal child and use the restroom in peace, and I have no problems from students to do that—only from adults," Grimm responded. "I am just a human. I am just a boy. Please consider my rights when you make your decision."

The school board ultimately banned Grimm's use of the men's room, but his lawyers filed and won an appeal. The Supreme Court has issued a halt on the appeal, and Grimm will have to use a unisex bathroom until the court decides if it will hear the case.

Watch a clip from our episode with Grimm on Thursday's episode of VICE News Tonight on HBO and be sure to watch the full episode when it airs at 7:30 PM.

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