Maine Court Makes ‘Momentous Decision’ in Favor of Transgender Student

Ana Martinez

On Thursday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of a transgender student after her elementary school denied her access to the girls’ bathroom. By doing so, the school violated state anti-discrimination law, Al Jazeera America reports: In the Maine case, Nicole Maines was using the girls' bathroom at her elementary school after school officials and her parents agreed it would be best for her social development. The grandfather of a fifth-grade boy complained to administrators, and the Orono school district determined that she should use a staff bathroom. Her parents said that amounted to discrimination; in a letter to the school, her mother wrote that being relegated to the staff bathroom gave Nicole feelings of "depression, lack of self-worth, and as she put it, freak-ness," according to court documents.  Nicole's father said all he had ever wanted was for his daughter to be treated just like her classmates. He said he was overcome with emotion when he learned of the decision. State high courts have never before sided in favor of a transgender person using the bathroom of the gender they identify with, according to the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD's Transgender Rights Project, called the ruling "a momentous decision that marks a huge breakthrough for transgender young people.” 

Please consider supporting our work.

I hope you found this article important. Before you leave, I want to ask you to consider supporting our work with a donation. In These Times needs readers like you to help sustain our mission. We don’t depend on—or want—corporate advertising or deep-pocketed billionaires to fund our journalism. We’re supported by you, the reader, so we can focus on covering the issues that matter most to the progressive movement without fear or compromise.

Our work isn’t hidden behind a paywall because of people like you who support our journalism. We want to keep it that way. If you value the work we do and the movements we cover, please consider donating to In These Times.

Ana Martinez is a Spring 2014 intern.
Illustrated cover of Gaza issue. Illustration shows an illustrated representation of Gaza, sohwing crowded buildings surrounded by a wall on three sides. Above the buildings is the sun, with light shining down. Above the sun is a white bird. Text below the city says: All Eyes on Gaza
Get 10 issues for $19.95

Subscribe to the print magazine.