The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving a school board in Virginia that is arguing a transgender teen should not be allowed to use the boy's bathroom.
The case, involving Gloucester County school board and student Gavin Grimm, will be heard next year, the Supreme Court justices confirmed on 28 October.
It is thought the ruling in the case could be used to decide similar cases in other districts in the country.
Shannon Minter, the legal director of the National Centre for Lesbian Rights, told the Associated Press: "Obviously, for transgender people, the stakes of this case are incredibly high.
"Whatever the court rules in Grimm may ensure that transgender people are accepted and included as equal members of our society, or it may relegate them to outsiders for decades to come."
Student Grimm, who identifies as male and want to be able to use the bathroom at his school that matches his gender identity, said in a statement to AP: "I never thought that my restroom use would ever turn into any kind of national debate.
He added: "The only thing I ever asked for was the right to be treated like everyone else. While I'm disappointed that I will have to spend my final school year being singled out and treated differently from every other guy, I will do everything I can to make sure that other transgender students don't have to go through the same experience."
The subject of transgender bathroom use has become political over the past year, with states including North Carolina looking to enshrine gendered bathroom use into law, and provoking accusations of discrimination towards the LGBT community.