Shhh… Don’t Say Gay

Shhh... Dont Say Gay

Will Klatt-Breed, Contributors

Surely by now, you have heard about the so-called “Don’t Say Gay Bill”, a name given by critics. In March of 2022, a bill was passed in Flordia that directly targeted the LGBTQ+ community. Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis stands as the face of this law and is known for discriminatory behavior in regard to Transphobia and Homophobia. Now, what exactly does it do to communities, students, and educators in Florida?

The “Don’t Say Gay Bill” prevents K-3 public schools from discussing or learning about sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to everything that one considers as not age appropriate. This includes textbooks, pictures, posters, and the diversity of different types of families. In these past months, many politicians have reviewed and are talking about changing these vital student resources. The bill gets rid of any “safe space,” at school as parents will be notified about their children seeking any sort of mental health services while at school. Part of the reason for this bill is school districts have been sued more frequently by parents concerned that teachings they deem inappropriate are being promoted.

During the ceremony of the signing of the new bill, Gov. Ron DeSantis states, “Florida parents have a fundamental role in the education, healthcare, and well-being of their children. We will not move from that. I don’t care What corporate media outlets say I don’t care what Hollywood says. I don’t care what big corporations say here I stand I’m not backing down in Florida. We will make sure that parents can send their kids to school to get an education, not an indoctrination.” Other supporters of the bill have similar stances. State Rep. Joe Harding, a Republican, told TIME magazine in February that the bill’s intention is to keep parents “in the know and involved on what’s going on”. 

Supporters might say this bill is to keep parents and guardians in the loop of their child’s life, which is a fair point, but this bill does no such thing. It silences a community that deserves a voice and education in schools. In order for children to grow up in a healthy environment where they can feel comfortable discussing their sexual orientation and gender identity, these conversations must not be taboo in 2022. In addition, we should not force children and faculty to suppress a vital part of their identity. It would only negatively impact young LGBTQ+ members that could not express their true authentic selves. 

To put it simply; this law is discriminatory there is no indoctrination in learning about other perspectives and what you can be and how you present yourself. This bill is just one in a long history of legislation passed to put down the LGBTQ+ community and silence their voices in trying to keep them out of sight and out of mind.

The LGBTQ+ community and Florida residents clapped back in response to the bill. Many schools in Florida have seen many protests and walkouts. There has been a spike in protests nationwide to support and fight against discriminatory homophobic laws. Even if you are not a part of a community that has been attacked and oppressed, we must still unify and stand up against laws that oppress our nation because if one of us is oppressed we are all in danger of that same fate.