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My High School Won't Let Me Use the Bathroom, so I’m Suing It

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June 28, 2017
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Lambda Legal client Drew Adams

This post was authored by Lambda Legal client Drew Adams.

My name is Drew Adams. I’m a 16-year-old soon-to-be-junior in the International Baccalaureate program at Nease High School, in St Johns County, Florida.

I play guitar, piano, drums and ukulele – although admittedly, I don't always play well. I work with clay and do 3D art and sculpture. I have a dog named Bear, and two rats named Biscuit and Noodle. Sometimes I play video games (what teenage boy doesn’t?). I have my driver's license. I love to hang out with my friends.

I want to go to the University of Florida in a few years, and become a doctor one day. I volunteer weekly at the Mayo Clinic. I’ve been volunteering at local hospitals for years.

Nothing about any of this is particularly special. I mean, my mom thinks I’m special, of course. Her bragging can be embarrassing, but you gotta love her for it. Really though, I like to think that I'm a pretty normal guy.

But I'm also transgender. And that’s why I’m writing this.

My school district refuses to treat me like a normal kid. Because I’m trans.

I started using the boys’ room during my freshman year, when I began living as the boy that I am, and everything was fine. No one bothered me and I didn’t bother anyone else. But then one day, I was pulled out of class and told that I could no longer use the boys’ room, and would have to use one of the few gender-neutral bathrooms on campus instead. Apparently, someone had anonymously reported me, as if I was doing something wrong. I wasn’t.

When most kids use the bathroom at school, they don’t think too much about it. They take its simplicity for granted. They pick the closest one and go.

But now when I use the bathroom at school, I have to plan ahead.

Sometimes, I have to miss chunks of class time to get to and from a bathroom that I’m permitted to use. I’m forced to watch how much fluid I drink during the day so that I can go as little as possible. I’m a boy, but on my school campus, I can’t use the boy’s room.

In ordering me to stop using the boys’ restroom, I feel alienated. I’m isolated. I’m separated from the rest of my classmates. All because I’m transgender.

It's embarrassing and humiliating to be singled out as different – as not equal, as not normal – especially by those who are supposed to support me and help me succeed in school.

My mom even wrote letters and had meetings with administrators in my school, asking them to stop singling me out. Like I said, you gotta love her. But they’ve refused.

So I am standing up for my rights, and suing my school with the help of Lambda Legal, for one reason: I want to be treated like the normal kid I am.

I want my transness to be just a small part of who I am as a high school student, not something that isolates me from my peers. I want the school to treat me fairly, equally and – most of all – normally.

Because really, I'm just an ordinary guy named Drew.

If you're a trans student who's been discriminated against by your school, contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk.