Adams v. The School Board of St. Johns County, Florida @LambdaLegal (USA)

Drew Adams is a 17-year-old student at Nease High School in St Johns County, Florida. Adams, born female, identifies as a boy. Seeking to be treated like “all other boys,” Adams has sought access to the male bathrooms at the school. As they have in many such cases across the nation, Lambda legal filed suit on Adam’s behalf.

According to the 2017 complaint: “Even though Drew’s sex assigned at birth was female, and even before he was aware that transgender people existed, Drew knew that his body did not feel like it fit him.” The complaint says: “Drew first began to understand why he felt the way he did when he was 14 years old, and saw a transgender man interviewed on television. When Drew heard the man describe what it meant to be transgender, everything clicked for Drew, and he immediately realized that he felt the same way.”

Included among the many factual allegations of the complaint are these two notable statements: “Gender identity — a person’s core internal sense of their own gender — is the primary factor in determining a person’s sex” and “every person has a gender identity.

Alarmingly, the allegation that “every person has a gender identity” is now frequently written into most legal complaints involving transgender plaintiffs. In fact, a “Sample Expert Declaration from a Transgender Restroom Access Case” available for download at the American Bar Association website contains that exact statement. The document was “Reproduced with permission from Shannon Minter, of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.” Like Adams, Minter, who was born female, identifies as a man.

The factual allegation that “every person has a gender identity” appears to conflict with the agender element of the vast transgender umbrella. For example, in 2017 an Oregon court ruled that Patrick “Patch” Abbatiello could legally change their sex to agender.

According to an Associated Press article describing Abbatiello’s court ruling: “People who are agender see themselves as neither a man nor a woman and have no gender identity.”

As is typical in court cases involving transgenderism, the use of sex stereotypes to prop up male or female gender identities that mimic the stereotypical traits of biologically sexed males or females was on full display. During proceedings, “Adams testified about his childhood and how he rejected stereotypically feminine toys and clothes even though he was born with female sex organs.” The complaint states “Drew cut his hair short” as part of his social transition.

Court documents explain social transitions this way: “Social transition entails a transgender person living in accordance with the person’s gender identity. For example, for a transgender boy, social transition can include, among other things, changing his first name to a name typically associated with boys, using male pronouns, changing his identity documents to indicate a male gender, wearing clothing and adopting grooming habits stereotypically associated with boys, using restrooms and other facilities for boys, and otherwise living as a boy in all aspects of life.”

In July, 2018, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled Adams should be allowed to use the boys’ bathroom. The school board has now filed notice they plan to appeal that ruling.

Court documents and news articles related to the case and this blog entry can be found at these locations:

Colette DuChanois (August 24, 2018). School Board signals plans to appeal transgender restroom ruling. News4jax.com (Archive)

Nick Jones (July 26, 2018). Transgender St. Johns County student wins restroom lawsuit. News4jax.com (Archive)

Andrew Pantazi (Posted Dec 11, 2017). Transgender teen takes the stand in civil trial over bathroom rights. Jacksonville.com (Archive)

Case: Adams v. The School Board of St. Johns County, Florida