Gloucester officials hold community forum on transgender bathroom policy

Gloucester holds forum on transgender bathroom policy

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Community members got a chance to voice their opinions this evening to the Gloucester County School board in regards to a possible new bathroom policy that would affect transgender students.

“This new policy will lead to a slippery slope effect with no end in site. Will this policy just include high school or will it include elementary school and middle school?” one pastor asked.

A full house as the Gloucester County School Board held a special forum to hear from those in the community on a new proposed policy that would effect where transgender students use the restroom.

“Male and female remain in their respective bathrooms,” one man said.

The policy change would allow transgender students to use the restroom consistent with the student’s asserted gender identity.

As of now, the policy requires transgender students to use a separate and private facility.

“Any policy prohibiting trans students from public spaces is exclusively malicious,” Gavin Grimm said.

Grimm, who identifies as a trans man, brought up the issue four years ago. He is suing the school board after feeling discriminated against.

“I may have graduated from Gloucester High School, but the conversation about trans right did not leave with me,” Grimm said.

Gavin Grimm, who is suing the Gloucester school district, watches the community forum.
Gavin Grimm, who is suing the Gloucester school district, watches the community forum. ((Source: NBC12))

It was a long line and hot button issue that had people fired up on both sides of the issue.

"While your child was going to prom and doing sports, my child was fighting for the right to use the bathroom,” Grimm’s mother said.

Some brought their beliefs:

  • “I haven’t seen anyone else bring a bible,” one man said.
  • “The elephant in the room is the ACLU. That’s the elephant in the room. They are intimidating this body and this county,” Another man said.

Some brought their experiences:

  • “I have heard some transgender students say they have to wait until they get home to use the restroom because they are scared,” one student said.

Vincent Staples, a current student who identifies as transgender, was in the crowd and said he’s uncomfortable no matter what and wants people to gain a better understanding of what being transgender means.

“It affects me directly, because it’s such an uncomfortable feeling no matter what bathroom I’m using,” Staples said. “Everyone needs to be considerate of other people’s feelings and beliefs, but they need to realize that this new proposition is a change for the greater good."

There was no vote taken in the meeting.

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