Gavin Grimm opens up on his fears about becoming a trans activist
A US teen fighting to be able to be able to use a gender appropriate bathroom at school has opened up about becoming a national figure.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, 18-year-old Gavin Grimm said being thrown into the national spotlight was “a little scary at first”, but thankfully “nothing [bad] has ever happened.”
“I felt very much under a microscope, like a log of my privacy has been gone,” he added.
“There’s crazy, hateful people out there, and being physically trans is dangerous sometimes – a lot of the time, in fact.”
The Virginian trans teen sued his school board, after they ordered him to use a toilet that corresponded with his “biological gender”.
Although he wasn’t able to get a resolution to the case before he graduated, Grimm is now working to keep both trans rights at the top of the agenda, as well as make people more politically aware in general.
“I think people need to get more involved and more politically aware,” he told the magazine.
“Understand issues on a level that’s not superficial. Form opinions based on research and not headlines – you know, get your hands in it a little bot more and do what you can to advocate or exercise your political rights.”
Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) he had been set to take his case to the Supreme Court, however, after President Trump rolled back protections for trans people, it was kicked back to a lower court.
Liberty Counsul, who were fighting against the teen, also caused controversy during the case itself, with the Supreme Court having to explicitly demand they referred to Gavin as a “he”.
The case was also brought to international attention after Laverne Cox urged people at the Grammys to “google Gavin Grimm”.
Speaking of meeting the star, he added: “She was so articulate and so kind, and she definitely broadened the way I talked about things.
“One of the things she said that’s been very influential to me is her statement about how it’s not about bathrooms, it’s about the trans people’s right to exist in public spaces.
“I think that’s something that needs to be reiterated, for sure.”
Speaking at the time of the case, the ACLU also said it was about “much more than just restrooms”.
“This is a chance for the country to get to know our transgender family, friends, colleagues, and community members.
“What should become clear is that restroom restrictions bar transgender people from full participation in public life by making it challenging or even impossible to go to work, to school, to the movies, or a restaurant.
“And that letting transgender people use the restroom doesn’t intrude on anyone else’s privacy or safety. Gavin — and so many other transgender people all across the country — are living proof of that reality.