On November 30, Nova Maday, an 18-year-old male who identifies as a girl, filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court seeking access to the girls’ locker room at Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois. The lawsuit claims Township High School District 211 (“the district”) “violat[ed] the Illinois Human Rights Act by treating her differently than other girls solely because she is transgender,” referring to the district’s refusal to allow Maday access to the girls’ locker room. Maday is the second transgender student to sue the district for access to the girls’ locker room. In 2015, the district settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S Department of Education and the ACLU on behalf of a transgender student allowing that student access to the girls’ locker rooms within a private changing area.
Maday, who is also represented by the ACLU of Illinois, claims the district “refused, withheld from, and denied Nova the full and equal enjoyment of its facilities, namely the girls’ locker rooms, based on her gender-related identity” in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act. The complaint admits Maday agreed to use “the private restroom in the nurse’s office to change for P.E. class” but also claims doing so caused “anxiety, depression, and worsening of her gender dysphoria” and that as a result “her P.E. grade rapidly declined.” The complaint states, “The District’s actions signal to Nova that she is not really a girl and should feel ashamed of who she is and about her body, in particular.” Maday seeks “an order directing [the district] to cease and desist from discriminating on the basis of gender-related identity by refusing transgender students, including but not limited to Nova, to use the locker rooms consistent with their gender identity” as well as “actual damages, including damages for emotional distress.”