Video: Transgender student gets citations


Campus Police Chief Kevin Grady (in white shirt), accompanied by a campus officer and a Richland Township officer, argues in a Dec. 1 video with Johnstown-based activist Gabriel Ross (left) and Seamus Johnston (not pictured) in the Sports Center.

Ryan Brown, Managing Editor

Link: a YouTube video Seamus Johnston posted Dec. 1 shows Campus Police Chief Kevin Grady arguing with Johnston, who filmed the standoff, and Johnstown-based activist Gabriel Ross in the Sports Center lobby. Ross eventually was cited for disorderly conduct.

A transgender student’s battle with university administrators has escalated since Nov. 16, with police issuing three disorderly conduct citations in less than two weeks for his attempts to use the men’s Sports Center locker room.

Seamus Johnston, who in October threatened to press charges against administrators for alleged rights violations, described the citations in a news release as “discrimination” and vowed to continue using the men’s locker rooms.

Johnston’s first citation, issued Nov. 16, said the student “repeatedly (changed) clothes in the men’s locker room, being a female.” The Campus Police officer who filed the citation said Johnston had been warned not to use the room.

Johnston described a tense meeting outside the locker room, in which Campus Police Chief Kevin Grady threatened to apprehend him if the disruptions continued.

Five days later, however, Johnston received a near-identical disorderly conduct citation.

After the Nov. 21 incident, Johnston said he received two letters from the campus conflict-resolution office, the university arm responsible for on-campus judicial citations.

The first letter, addressed to “Ms. Seamus Johnston,” threatened criminal defiant-trespass charges if he attempted to enter the men’s locker room again. The second, Johnston said, indicated that internal campus charges already had been filed.

Johnston said he since received a third citation Nov. 28 – just 12 days after his first encounter with police.

“I have no idea what to expect,” Johnston said before a Dec. 2 judicial hearing. “They might dismiss it or I might be suspended from the university or anything in between. I’m not worried about it.”

Judicial hearings are closed to the public.