Why Laverne Cox Encouraged Grammy Viewers To Google Trans Teen Gavin Grimm


On Sunday night, Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox walked onto the Grammys stage to introduce a performance from Lady Gaga and Metallica. But before she did, she used her platform to draw attention to an important moment for transgender rights.

"Please Google Gavin Grimm," Cox urged the audience — including those watching at home — when she reached the microphone. "He's going to the Supreme Court in March. #StandWithGavin."


Who is Gavin Grimm? He's a 17-year-old transgender high school student in Virginia who is fighting for the right to use the bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity.

Grimm received permission from school administrators during his sophomore year to use the boys' restroom. Following complaints from parents, however, the Gloucester County School Board adopted a policy requiring students to use bathrooms for their "corresponding biological genders," with the option for trans students to use "alternative private" bathrooms.

In 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Grimm's behalf, arguing that the school board's policy is unconstitutional and violates Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools. The Supreme Court will review his case in late March of this year. 

Last May, the Obama administration released a letter urging public schools to allow trans students to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity, also citing Title IX. The issue became a national conversation when North Carolina passed a controversial "bathroom bill" requiring individuals to use bathrooms corresponding with the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Grimm told the Washington Post that he wasn't watching the Grammys on Sunday night, and only learned of Cox's shout-out from his mother "shrieking" in the other room.

"I was just so thrilled because I love her. She's just a beautiful person inside and out," said the high school senior. "I was really touched and thrilled and honored that that was the first thing out of her mouth."

Cox — who's no stranger to mentioning causes at big events — undoubtedly brought Grimm's case to the attention of many people who otherwise would not have known who he was or why his story is so important. The actress also sent a message of inclusiveness when she addressed "ladies and gentlemen and all my gender non-binary peeps watching tonight."

You can learn more about Gavin Grimm's case in the video below, per the ACLU:

(H/T: NYMag)


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.