A transgender woman in Florida is sharing her story of becoming the first transgender person to win a legal battle to be allowed to use the bathroom in her local school district.
“The last thing I want to do is take a picture of myself in the girls’ restroom,” said Caitlyn Smith, a transgender man.
“But I’m going to do it anyway.
I’m a fighter.”
She was elected to the school board of the Pinellas County School District in September of 2019 and began taking the girls bathroom after a local teacher told her she should use the boys’ restroom.
“I went to the bathroom every single day, and I would walk around the building and the locker rooms,” she said.
“They didn’t have to tell me, so it just went on.”
After the district denied Smith a restroom access permit for one year, she challenged the decision in the state’s highest court, which ultimately ruled in favor of the district.
Smith’s case has been heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the outcome could have a big impact on the transgender community in Florida.
“This case has enormous implications for transgender students and transgender rights in schools nationwide,” said Jessica Binder, a staff attorney at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), an advocacy group that works to protect transgender students.
“We are confident that the Supreme Court will recognize the importance of this case.”
According to NCTE, transgender people make up less than 1 percent of the population in the U