A 15-year-old transgender girl living on the Iron Range in Minnesota, identified only as Jane Doe to protect her privacy, can finally breathe a sigh of relief and try to get back to normal life.
Last year, Jane was forced into the middle of a lawsuit for trying to live as a typical teenager. A group of parents sued her school to try to prevent Jane from using the bathrooms and locker rooms that match her gender identity because the parents were upset that the school was properly recognizing Jane's gender identity. Jane wants what all young people want: to be accepted for who she is and treated just like other students.
After this, a group of parents acting through an organization they named "Privacy Matters" and represented by the anti-LGBT organization Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a complaint against her school, the ACLU & ACLU-MN intervened on her behalf to make sure she had a voice in the case and that her rights were protected.
In April, the parents suddenly dropped the lawsuit against the school ending the court battle. This is great news for Jane as she can finally go back to trying to live her life without a threat of a lawsuit.
While Jane can move on, the same cannot be said for transgender teens across the country. While in office, President Obama issued a directive that schools allow transgender teens to use restrooms that matched their gender identity. After the directive, lawsuits similar to the one in Minnesota popped up around the country all filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom. These malicious lawsuits targeted teens who were just trying to live an authentic life.
President Trump has since rescinded the directive, putting thousands of teens at risk. At the same time that our lawsuit was happening, another lawsuit out of the state of Virginia was waiting to be heard at the US Supreme Court. Gavin Grimm had sued his school because they were not allowing him to use the restrooms that matched his gender identity. The Supreme Court recently sent the case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals to make a decision in light of President Trump’s rescinding of the directive.
Now transgender teens across the country are waiting to see what the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will do in the case G.G. v. Gloucester County School. The National ACLU is representing Gavin in that case.