Report: Transgender woman sues Louisville nursing college

Vanessa Gilliam

Vanessa Gilliam WHAS 11

Vanessa GilliamWHAS 11

Vanessa Gilliam

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A transgender woman has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a nursing college in Louisville, saying she was humiliated when she was allegedly excluded from using the women’s restroom though she identifies as a female, a TV station reported Sunday.

WHAS-TV reported that the lawsuit was filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court on behalf of Vanessa Gilliam and that it accuses Galen College of Nursing of discriminating against Gilliam for being transgender.

Gilliam, a U.S. Army veteran and a single parent, told the station in an interview that she began physically transitioning from a male to a female after she started classes at Galen, according to the report. Gilliam said she was studying for a lab test when two Galen employees approached her and asked to speak in private.

“They said the reason that they brought me in there was because that I’m a man dressed like a woman,” Gilliam added. “They talked to me about using the women’s restroom and how they have to look out for everybody else and their safety.”

Gilliam said she was humiliated, so much so that she began to question her own identity.

“I went from feeling really confident to like, ‘Oh my God, I’m a guy in heels,'” said Gilliam, who no longer attends Galen. “I mean I’ve come a long way. From the military, to getting custody of my kids, to being a single parent. I’m not going to let somebody tear me down and I’m not going to let this tear me down.”

Gilliam is seeking reimbursement for her tuition and books, as well as damages for emotional trauma.

Galen said in a statement that it couldn’t comment because it hasn’t seen the lawsuit, but added that the college “strives to create and maintain a respectful and safe campus climate for students, faculty, and staff.”

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