Metro Weekly

Advancing Equality: AGLA to honor Gavin Grimm’s family

Gavin Grimm to give keynote address at AGLA's 35th anniversary reception

Gavin Grimm - Photo: Todd Franson

Gavin Grimm – Photo: Todd Franson

Gavin Grimm was recently named one of Time Magazine’s most influential teenagers of 2016. Now it’s his family’s turn to be honored.

“We’re always honoring everybody who’s LGBT, but sometimes we forget who’s actually behind us and helping us, and who was there to support us” says Bruce Hightower, a member of the board of directors of the Arlington-Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Alliance (AGLA). The nonprofit civic organization will honor Grimm’s family with its Equality Award for their acceptance and support of Gavin’s much publicized lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board at AGLA’s 35th Anniversary reception on Nov. 11.

AGLA will also honor transgender activist Evie Priestman and Equality Prince William for their efforts in advancing equality.

Grimm, who is suing to be allowed to use the boys’ restroom at his school, will give the keynote speech at the reception. “What Gavin’s gone through has just been incredible,” says Hightower, who praises Grimm for demonstrating an emotional toughness and maturity that far surpasses his age. “He’s in a small town, and people harass the hell out of him, and they bully him, but he never stops smiling.” — John Riley

AGLA’s 35th anniversary reception is Friday, Nov. 11 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy. in Arlington, Va. Visit

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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