Supreme Court Denies Gavin Grimm: Why We Should #ProtectTransKids

BY: MARIAH ESPADA 

Since taking office, President Trump's executive orders and new policies have targeted some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in the United States. In mid-February, the Trump administration reversed Obama’s transgender bathroom policy that required public schools to allow trans students to use restrooms that align with their gender identity. 

Many people took to social media to express their fear of what this action will mean for the future, questioning how trans youth will be protected. The response to the order went beyond Twitter, as crowds actively protested in front of the White House. American University students have also spoken out against this issue.

“It pisses me off because President Trump claims he was a president for all, and that he’d be here for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Camille Torres, a sophomore and director of partnerships for American University’s chapter of No Lost Generation. “He would clearly rather attack the Democrats and reverse Obama’s work than stand by his campaign promise. It shows his maturity level that he’d choose attacking a political party over protecting the people he supposedly stands for.” 

Trans activist and television personality Caitlyn Jenner also had a lot to say, despite the fact that she voted for Trump in the presidential election. Jenner in the past has received major flack for sticking to her conservative, Republican views while trying to maintain her role as a leader in the trans community. In fact, Jenner was vocally supportive of both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump during last year’s campaign. However, Trump’s decision not to prioritize the lives of transgender individuals has left Jenner disappointed.

But this issue goes beyond Caitlyn Jenner. Gavin Grimm, a 17-year- old transgender teen from Virginia had his eyes set on bringing trans issues all the way to the Supreme Court this month.

Last year, Grimm sued his school district in Gloucester, Virginia for barring him from the boys’ bathroom. He had hopes of bringing his case to the Supreme Court, but this Monday SCOTUS scrapped the case and sent it back to a lower court for further consideration - despite agreeing in October to hear the case. This decision has left many disappointed in the court for their inability to make an impact on a pressing national issue. The outcome of Grimm’s case had been highly anticipated, as it would have arguably set the tone for trans rights moving forward. It also would have been the first case in which the Supreme Court would be debating transgender rights.

Looking to the Supreme Court to make an immediate change is now not as likely. However, because of Grimm and trans youth across the country, we need to #PROTECTTRANSKIDS now more than ever. Their Title IX rights are being tested at a very vulnerable and troubling stage in their lives.

Some are wondering, what exactly does Title IX have to do with trans kids? As part of the Fourteenth Amendment, Title IX makes it illegal for federally funded schools to discriminate against individuals on the basis of sex - which includes transgender students.

With the homophobia and bi/trans-phobia that exists, it is critical to create a support system to improve the future for these communities. The quality of these individuals’ lives impact the entire country, as they are the future builders of this nation. If we discriminate and discourage them now, who knows what the world will look in years to come. Political views aside, education is imperative in sustaining this country, and everyone should be willing to protect and comfort all children in that environment - despite their gender identity.

Cover: Vice

Jenna CaldwellComment