Born This Way: Transgender Student Access to School Bathrooms

[To view a PDF version of this article, click here]

 

Madison Shaner*

Introduction

Nicole Maines was born Wyatt Maines, and from a young age she knew that she was different from her twin brother; she knew that she was a girl despite the fact that she was born in a male body. With the support of her family, Nicole was able to grow up openly transgender. She went through a gradual transition process in elementary school, and, initially, her school was supportive, including allowing her to use the girls’ bathroom. However, another student’s grandparents found out about Nicole and they began making complaints to the school, and that student began to follow and harass Nicole. The school then told Nicole and her family that she could not use the girls’ bathroom anymore; she either needed to use the boys’ bathroom or the bathroom in the nurse’s office. Nicole felt trapped; she couldn’t use the bathroom consistent with her gender identity. Nicole’s family later sued the school, and in 2014, the Supreme Court of Maine ruled that Nicole’s rights had been violated. Continue reading “Born This Way: Transgender Student Access to School Bathrooms”