#StandWithGavin
February 13, 2017 12:42 PM   Subscribe

At last night's Grammy Awards, Laverne Cox's introduction of Lady Gaga was preceded by an apparently unscripted exhortation to google Gavin Grimm, the 17 year old whose case is going to SCOTUS next month. Represented by the ACLU, Gavin's case involves whether or not trans children should be allowed to use the bathroom and locker room facilities that correspond to their gender identity. Gavin responds to Laverne's shoutout [autoplaying video]. In related news (but a different case), "The Trump administration has elected not to contest a Texas federal judge’s injunction barring the federal government from implementing Obama administration guidelines that protect transgender kids in schools."

If Gorsuch is confirmed, it is unlikely he will be seated in time to hear Gavin's case on March 28. He's only had two (unpublished) opinions on trans-related cases, neither favorable to the trans person.
posted by AFABulous (38 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
excuse me for yelling but I JUST DON'T GET WHY PEOPLE WANT TO HURT PEOPLE? HOW CAN IT POSSIBLY INFRINGE ON YOUR GODDAMN CIVIL RIGHTS TO DENY OTHER PEOPLE THEIRS?

Shit like this makes me want to cry and scream and shake those assholes until their brains slosh some fucking sense into them.
posted by janey47 at 12:52 PM on February 13 [40 favorites]


Caution: despite the Advocate being a longstanding LGBT publication, there are almost always virulently transphobic comments on any trans-related article they publish.
posted by AFABulous at 12:53 PM on February 13 [11 favorites]


This video of Gavin and his mom picking out a suit for the Supreme Court argument is amazing.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:57 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


The Trump administration has elected not to contest a Texas federal judge’s injunction barring the federal government from implementing Obama administration guidelines that protect transgender kids in schools.

Sentences like these make my head swim -- by the time I get to the end I've lost track of the negatives and can't tell whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. I understand it's a precise explanation, but it's not a clear explanation, and it obscures the intentionality of the decision. In this case, it would be great to hear "The Trump administration has decided to allow Texas to discriminate against trans youth in that state."
posted by zebra at 1:00 PM on February 13 [44 favorites]


(That's not directed at OP, by the way, but at reporters who favor "impartiality" over helping people understand what's happening.)
posted by zebra at 1:04 PM on February 13 [10 favorites]


zebra, here's a timeline of that:

Last spring, Obama issued guidelines for how to treat trans students like human beings.
Texas and a bunch of other states sued him.
A TX judge issued an injunction stating that the federal government couldn't use those guidelines to protect students.
The US (Obama) filed a motion for a stay of that injunction, pending their appeal
Oral argument was supposed to happen tomorrow on that motion.
Trump's DOJ basically said, nah, nevermind, forget that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:04 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


That's easy. It's because to a depressing number of people in the world if you are trans or gay or anything other than what they are then you are literally evil and need to be punished and corrected. It's not about if your personal choices affect them in any way.

It's not about "protecting" cis people from predators that pretend to be transgendered. It's about preventing children from seeing being transgender as a choice and transgendered people needing to be saved from their sinful ways and made to see the light.

I don't want to seem like I'm merely engaging in LOL Xian bashing, I grew up in a evangelical home and I've seen this first hand, though many might deny it. Plus there's plenty of people of other religions who do the same and plenty of nonreligious people that just think their personal distaste for transgenderism is more important than other people's ability to choose their lifestyle.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:05 PM on February 13 [12 favorites]


zebra, not really. Let me break it down the best I understand it

1. Obama's DOJ issued guidance saying hey, schools you gotta let trans kids use the right bathrooms because they're covered under Title XI
2. Texas and some other states said no, fuck you, SEE YOU IN COURT
3. court said ok, we're blocking the Obama guidance, fuck trans kids
4. Trump's DOJ : ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by AFABulous at 1:06 PM on February 13 [8 favorites]


(psst "transgendered" is not a word because it's not a thing that is done to people. You wouldn't say "gayed people" or "blacked people")
posted by AFABulous at 1:08 PM on February 13 [34 favorites]


Can I say "Yay Gavin!" for having the gumption to stand up for this and the self-possession to be able to handle himself as well as he does?

Also, can I say I envy him his deeply cool name?
posted by Samizdata at 1:16 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


After reading the story and noting Gavin's classmates were fine with him using the men's restroom- why is it that adults are always the ones obsessed with what is within a teenager's pants, enough to make it a literal court case?

To me (a non-lawyer) it seems a lot of this could have been handled with some gossip with a generous side of eyebrow-wagglin' pedo-fear licentiousness: Why is Gary's Dad so interested in Gavin's underthings? So concerned that he's talking to the principal about it? Isn't it a bit strange that Jeff's Dad and Mom are so interested about Gavin's equipment and how he uses it to pee and in which room he pees? Doesn't anyone think these parents are just a wee bit too interested in other teenager's crotches and gathering groups of adults together to talk about kid's crotches and their contents? I do declare, I just don't understand some folks. [yes, I did say wee on purpose]

Thanks for sharing this story AFABulous.
posted by holyrood at 1:18 PM on February 13 [10 favorites]


There has got to be a special circle in hell for people who feel the need to pick on trans kids just trying to use the damn bathroom. There's not even any Biblical warrant for it, as one can at least try to argue for discrimination against gays. It's just pure meanness and cruelty and wanting to punish people for being something that makes you uncomfortable.

But, remember, guys, it's liberals who are living in a bubble! We need to really deeply engage with and understand the truths of conservatives.
posted by praemunire at 2:10 PM on February 13 [34 favorites]


(Just to say that "transgenderism" as a term has a whole lot of suuuper problematic usage behind it and us probably best avoided at all costs)
posted by Dysk at 2:26 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


The situation in Texas is awful, and has been for a while. With no federal intervention to keep the state government in check, this might only be the beginning.
posted by Dysk at 2:28 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


There has got to be a special circle in hell for people who feel the need to pick on trans kids just trying to use the damn bathroom.

I think the opposition boils down to the idea that a transgender person is really just pretending, and the assumption that the only reason someone would pretend to be another gender and use the bathroom assigned to that gender is because they are perverted.

This is what I have come to understand via conversations with an older relative who views LGBT people as "bizarre" and "unnatural". Trying to argue against that mindset is incredibly depressing and frustrating. Kudos to Gavin for doing it.
posted by dazed_one at 2:29 PM on February 13 [5 favorites]


The situation in Texas is absolutely going to get worse for trans people. On the horizon now are SB6 which specifically targets and prohibits trans women from existing in public (because let's be frank about what "bathroom bills" are really intended to do), SB92 which destroys city-level LGBT protections and SB89 which says the state can selectively enforce or ignore federal regulation (especially relating to LGBT rights). This isn't the first time legislature like this has been introduced, but in the current political climate, these bills have a high chance of passing and people need to be ready for that. The state governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and many others in the current state government have made it very clear that they are fully devoted to stripping trans people of civil rights at any cost.
posted by byanyothername at 5:33 PM on February 13 [6 favorites]


There has got to be a special circle in hell for people who feel the need to pick on trans kids just trying to use the damn bathroom. There's not even any Biblical warrant for it, as one can at least try to argue for discrimination against gays. It's just pure meanness and cruelty and wanting to punish people for being something that makes you uncomfortable.

I've heard people try to apply Bible verses that specifically forbid men wearing women's clothing, and women wearing men's clothing to transgender issues, arguing that these verses describe transgender people and using these verses to justify whatever laws they want to support. (Pretty much any crappy thing you want to be okay with doing, you can find the tiniest scrap of justification for it in the Bible.)
posted by 23skidoo at 6:20 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Gavin's public response to this was so cool. He's got more cool than I ever had in my life, and I'm rooting hard for him.
posted by Ruki at 7:22 PM on February 13


I think the opposition boils down to the idea that a transgender person is really just pretending, and the assumption that the only reason someone would pretend to be another gender and use the bathroom assigned to that gender is because they are perverted.


More often I see people saying that transgender people are "simply mentally ill" rather than pretending.
posted by laptolain at 2:53 AM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Just face the dirty facts of realtiy in 2017: The current government wants all GLBTQ folks rounded up and placed in private prisons where they can be worked as slaves, since the court already decieded that's just fine.

"Land of the Free"?
"Rule of law"?

Nope.
posted by Goofyy at 3:58 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


Except they aren't coming after LGBTQ people. They're coming after trans people specifically.
posted by Dysk at 4:42 AM on February 14 [8 favorites]


Yup. Over here on the B side of queerness, I'm fairly sure that at some point this administration is gonna come after me, and I would love to have you all standing up behind me when they do. But right here and now, with this particular act, it's trans people who are in the line of fire. Let's put the focus squarely where it belongs - supporting and standing up for and amplifying the voices of the trans, nonbinary, and intersex folks affected directly by this action.

To that end, this thread reminded me I haven't gotten around to setting up my recurring donation to Lambda Legal, so I'm off to do that. Thank you for the reminder.
posted by Stacey at 6:18 AM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Also, to allies: We need you. The trans population is small, poor, and reviled by the GOP. Please keep abreast of local legislation, oppose hate bills in your home state, and consider supporting Lambda or NCTE.
posted by beefetish at 9:39 AM on February 14 [7 favorites]


I'm a supporter of GLSEN, Lambda Legal, and Human Rights Campaign, because they're the ones I see in the trenches. If anyone has any other organizations they want to point me to for monetary support, please do so!
posted by janey47 at 10:12 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


If you have a few dollars to spare for Trans Lifeline, they may not be the ones fighting the legal battles, but they're helping to keep trans people alive and supported while those battles get fought. And the work they're doing has multiplied dramatically since the election. They could use some support too.
posted by Stacey at 10:20 AM on February 14 [4 favorites]


Other places to donate (@ names are for twitter):

Transgender Law Center @TransLawCenter provides info, help, resources https://transgenderlawcenter.org/donate

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund @TLDEF http://www.transgenderlegal.org/

Trans Relief helps fund ID documents @transrelief http://transrelief.com

Trans Assistance Project helps with legal/ID documents, meds, healthcare. https://www.transassistance.org/

National Center for Transgender Equality - Civil Rights Advocacy @TransEquality http://www.transequality.org/

@TransLawHelp http://translawhelp.org #translawhelp

Passport help fund https://t.co/qyLizVCtMK

Lambda Legal works for LGBTQ and HIV rights @LambdaLegal http://lambdalegal.org

GLAD Law - legal advocates @GLADLaw https://www.glad.org/

To help trans people directly, check the #transcrowdfund tag on Twitter.

And as always, ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
posted by AFABulous at 1:38 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


I just set up a recurring payment to Trans Lifeline. I have a hard time getting out to protests or even making phone calls (though I've been doing more of that ) but I do have some disposable income and have been trying to put that to good use. It just ticks me off that anyone feels that they have the right to tell another person what they can/can't do with their own body and how they should or shouldn't feel, who they can/can't love, etc. I'm doing this for my beautiful, brown, queer, daughter of my heart (won't say "goddaughter" because god doesn't enter into it) who is feeling attacked on all sides these days.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:01 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]


trans lifeline rules! i'm an operator.
posted by beefetish at 10:57 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


and -- giving money is great! but i am dead ass serious above when i say: make your voices heard on the state level. the GOP and right groups are very loud and very strident about their shitty feelings, it's important to register dissent to that
posted by beefetish at 10:59 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


And we're not talking about some small minority of religious nutjobs. 46% of the population believes that bathroom usage should be determined by the sex listed on one's birth certificate. Most trans people cannot change that gender marker, either due to lack of funds (surgery is often required) or legal prohibitions (you're not able to change it at all in some states).

This is one of the major problems with e.g. HB2. A trans person born in California can legally use the bathroom because they can change their BC without any hassle. A trans person born in Kansas is completely fucked. So it's impossible to accurately ban trans people from bathrooms and it adds another layer of arbitrary discrimination because no one chooses where they were born.
posted by AFABulous at 11:43 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


yeah and sorry to make this a very special episode™ but like also, the fact that we are subject to that level of scrutiny is apeshit fucked up. my dad found out he had an F on his birth certificate because of a paperwork screwup like in his late 50s, you all have no idea how much time and money this shit costs, it's so stupid
posted by beefetish at 11:58 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Tomorrow the Trump administration is going to rescind the guidance to schools that bars discrimination against transgender students. The students are still protected by law (Title XI) but this means they will need to sue if they are discriminated against. There will be no enforcement by the administration.
posted by AFABulous at 8:00 PM on February 20


Just coming in to post that SCOTUS is not amused by attempts to misgender Gavin.
Dear Mr. Staver [gross Liberty University person]:

It has come to the attention of this office that the cover of your amicus brief in this case identifies the respondent as “G.G., by her next friend and mother, Deirdre Grimm.” In fact, the caption for the case in this Court, as in the lower courts, identifies the respondent as “G.G., by his Next Friend and Mother, Deirdre Grimm.” )Emphasis added.) Under Rule 34, your cover is to reflect the caption of the case. Please ensure careful compliance with this requirement in this and other cases in the future.
posted by lalex at 9:06 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Note there are also transphobic comments on the ACLU article. Like, the very first comment.

The ACLU article is very shallow; has anyone found a deeper exploration of the case? If it's drawing on prior jurisprudence? If it's expected to set a precedent? What sort of impact it will have outside of Title IX? This might be more narrow than it appears, and I don't want to get my hopes up.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:38 PM on March 4


it's late and I'm tired but Chase Strangio and Joshua Block (ACLU attorneys) post a lot on the case. Buzzfeed has done some thorough reporting - I think Dominic Holden has written a lengthy article on the repercussions. Or check Zack Ford.

From what I remember, it's also drawing on Auer in addition to Title IX. It narrowly applies to schools that receive federal funding, so it's not going to be a panacea to anti-trans discrimination everywhere (I got that answer directly from Gavin Grimm's attorney, btw).
posted by AFABulous at 6:46 PM on March 4


Thanks for recommending Buzzfeed. I found the hardboiled legal details I wanted:
The Stories Behind America’s Transgender Progress In The Law
Supreme Court To Hear Critical Challenge Over Transgender Rights

Key point: This is just as exciting as it sounds. The Supreme Court is considering the broader questions this case raises, and explicitly not considering the narrow question.

Up until a few months ago they could have done a narrow ruling on the question of whether the various departments were allowed to interpret Title IX the way they did (which is the Auer question). Now that guidance is no longer in effect, because Trump rescinded it, and there is nothing for the court to consider except the question of whether that interpretation is correct.

However, the case won't be heard until April at the earliest.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 9:10 PM on March 4


Welp, this case won't be heard by SCOTUS. SCOTUS has vacated the verdict of the lower court in favor of Gavin, and sent it back to the Court of Appeals (4th circuit). What this means is that it has to be retried. Since Trump et al rescinded the Obama-era guidance that trans kids should be able to use the restroom that matches their gender identity, Gavin's team can't use that in his case.

Gavin's lawyer (Joshua Block) thinks the case will end up back in SCOTUS, but in 1-2 years.
posted by AFABulous at 3:29 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


This is a must read NYT Op-Ed written by Gavin. I could only imagine being this eloquent when I was 17.
posted by AFABulous at 1:11 PM on March 7 [2 favorites]


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