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Va. teen Gavin Grimm named one of world’s most influential people by TIME

Gavin Grimm

GLOUCESTER, Va. – Transgender teen Gavin Grimm has fought a legal battle with the Gloucester County School Board over bathroom use, since 2014, when he was a sophomore at Gloucester High School. He  recently made TIME’s List of the Most Influential People of 2017, along with two former Richmonders.

Grimm, who was born female, but identifies as male, sued the Gloucester County School Board in 2015 when his school stopped allowing him to use the boy’s restroom.

The Gloucester County School Board enforced a policy that requires transgender students to use a separate restroom from their peers.

Since then, his case has been stuck in the court system, moving back and forth between local and federal courts.

Grimm, now a 17-year-old senior, has become a symbol in the transgender community, fighting for his rights. He recently spoke before Congress, saying ““My case will not be resolved until after I graduate, but this fight is bigger than me.”

In a video interview with TIME, posted below, Grimm said he “never would have dreamed” the issue would gain national traction.

“This process has been stressful. It’s been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve had opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, which has been beautiful, and I’ve met so many amazing people, which has been wonderful,” Grimm said in his interview with TIME.  “But it’s never lost on me that I’ve had these experiences because of a conversation that just should never have happened.”

Earlier in the month, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request to expedite his case, which followed the Supreme Court’s March decision to send his case back to a lower court.

The appeals court denied Grimm’s attorneys request for an expedited briefing schedule and expedited oral arguments.

The court also vacated their own decision and will let the district court ruling stand for now. That court turned away Grimm’s request for a preliminary injunction.

During a press conference in March, Grimm said he was disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision but called it a “detour,” saying he is focused on the long term in a case that could set legal precedents.

“I don’t think this signifies a loss or any sort of detrimental outcome. I think we’re focused on moving forward like we have been so far.  You can’t predict everything in a case, and I think this is just one example of that.”

Grimm is currently a senior at Gloucester County High School.  He said recently that he never expected the high court to rule before his graduation later this year.

Also on the list by TIME are two former Richmonders. Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist to President Donald Trump, grew up in Richmond and is a graduate of Benedictine High School.  Bannon’s childhood home is in Ginter Park, where as a child Bannon delivered newspapers. Bannon attended Virginia Tech after graduating high school. He now lives in California, according to reports.

Bannon’s family still lives in Richmond, and told reporter Jake Burns the media is “twisting” headlines to make Bannon out as someone he is not. His family said Bannon is a hard worker and a patriot.

Federal Bureau of Investgiations Director James Comey also has ties to Richmond, where he served as an attorney for the Richmond Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He lived and worked in Richmond for close to a decade, serving as an instructor at University of Richmond in addition to his well-known work as a prosecutor. Comey helped developed Project Exile, which is credited with the steep drop in gun related violence that began to drop off in 1997 and persistently decline other than a few recent years of an uptick in violence.