I first met Gavin Grimm two years ago at an event at our home for panelists who were participating in an oral history project for the Hampton History Museum. The event focused on "growing up gay in Hampton" and its environs and is but one of the projects the Museum has undertaken to preserve the words of real individuals for posterity (watermen, members of the black community and others have been the focus of past efforts). My husband was on the panel as were several other individuals that we know. The event at our home was intended to let panelist get to know each other so that they would have a higher comfort level while being filmed and recorded. What struck me when I first met Gavin was his composure and how well spoken he was. I teased him that he was a 30 year old in a 16 year old body. It was an honor to be given an award as an "outstanding Virginian" along side Gavin earlier this month (see the image above - not the best photo of me!). Now, Gavin has been named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential individuals for 2017. The honor is well deserved and I count myself honored to know Gavin and his family, especially his amazing mother, Deirdre. The Daily Press notes Gavin's latest honor. Here are highlights:
Nearly two years after suing Gloucester County schools over its restroom use policy, 17-year-old transgender student Gavin Grimm has been named one of Time Magazine's most influential people in the world.
The magazine's annual 100-person list features artists, politicians, lawmakers, scientists and leaders of technology and business. Just shy of his 18th birthday Grimm is the youngest on this year's list. He was named last fall to Time's list of most influential teens for 2016.
"It's inconceivable. I still haven't really registered it. To have a place immortalized through Time, literally, and in the sense of the publication, is such an honor," Grimm said at his home in Gloucester. "To have a transgender youth activist on a list of influential people is a hugely important step forward for transgender advocacy. It sends the message that the story is being told and the message is being heard."
Time announced the list on Thursday and according to magazine, those included have a lesson to teach and the power to make people think. Grimm is listed as a pioneer along with people like Samantha Bee, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Chance the Rapper.
Kudos to Gavin! I definitely count Gavin as one of my heroes. He is an inspiration and those who are suffer from anti-transgender animus would due well to get to know him and/or other members of the transgender community. Gavin is proof that one person can make a difference. For those who have not seen it, make a point to watch Gender Revolution on the National Geographic Channel which was hosted by Katie Couric. The program should be mandatory viewing for legislators and right wing Christians. Ignorance and clinging to comfortable but untrue myths is not an acceptable excuse in this day and age.