CHICAGO (CBS) — A transgender student’s fight to use the locker room of her choice at Palatine High School was headed back to court on Thursday.
Nova Maday, 18, has sued the school for restricting her access to the girls’ locker room.
The senior’s fight for equality at her high school began the October of her freshman year, which is when she started living as a girl. Maday said, instead of being allowed to use the locker room, school officials said she could change in the nurse’s office or a private area.
The district later reached an agreement with the federal government to allow Maday to use the locker room, but only if she used a private changing stall.
Maday said she has never had any of the other girls tell her they are uncomfortable with her changing in the same locker room and, as a result, doesn’t understand the motives behind the school district.
The school has argued they have made enough accommodations for Maday, but she and lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union disagree.
“They’re not giving me the accommodations that are equal, and to be treated like every other girl, and so it just feels like I’m being segregated by the district,” Maday said after a hearing in the case last week.
She said not having unfettered access to the girls’ locker room has caused her great emotional harm.
“It’s caused a lot of anxiety and depression. There were days that I could barely make it through school, because I wasn’t able to change in the locker room
Thomas Olp, senior counsel for the Thomas More Society, which has been allowed to intervene in Maday’s lawsuit, said because Maday is anatomically male, “she can be … he can be, excuse me, restricted from the girls’ restroom, from the girls’ locker room.”
“We define a tyranny as rule by one person. We live in a democracy, where the interests of the majority are important,” Olp said.
Maday’s attorneys said the fact she is anatomically male has nothing to do with her gender identity, and should have no relevance on whether she’s allowed access to the girls’ locker room. A Cook County judge was expected to rule Thursday on Maday’s request for an injunction allowing her full access to the girls’ locker room.