Gavin Grimm wins $1.3M settlement in years-long transgender rights battle

Gavin Grimm says on Twitter his share of the settlement is only $1
By: | August 30, 2021

The Gloucester County School Board in Virginia will pay $1.3 million in its settlement with Gavin Grimm, a transgender man who sued the governing body after school officials did not allow him to use the bathroom corresponding to his gender identity.

The payout includes attorney’s fees and costs to the nonprofit American Civil Liberties Union, which has represented Grimm over the past six years of litigation, according to AP News. The board agreed to pay the ACLU’s legal costs in a filing made in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, whose ruling was affirmed Aug. 26, 2020, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. On Twitter, Grimm said his share of the settlement is only $1.

“At one point in the litigation process I was offered the opportunity to ask for damages,” Grimm said in another tweet. “I declined, as it may have lengthened the case, exposed personal medical info, or even changed the outcome. My focus was on changing things in the schools ”

The 4th Circuit ruled in favor of Grimm, deciding that restroom policies segregating transgender students from their peers and denying transgender students accurate transcripts are unconstitutional and violate Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education.

Grimm was required to use “alternative private” restrooms or bathrooms that corresponded with his biological sex, female. He was barred from the boy’s facilities at high school.

Josh Block is a senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project. In an blog post, he cited an excerpt from the 4th Circuit decision: “We are left without doubt that the Board acted to protect cisgender boys from Gavin’s mere presence—a special kind of discrimination against a child that he will no doubt carry with him for life.”