Most in new poll oppose laws restricting drag shows or performances

Associated Press/John Amis

Most adults said they oppose laws restricting drag shows or performances as Republicans in several states push to block the shows from being seen by children, according to a new poll. 

The results of an NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll, released Wednesday, show 58 percent of respondents said they oppose laws restricting the performances, while 39 percent said they support them. Democrats are the most likely to oppose such laws, with almost three-quarters of them saying they are opposed, but 57 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans also said they do not support them. 

Drag queen poll

Tennessee became the first state in the country earlier this month to prohibit what the state law calls “adult cabaret performances” from happening within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks or places of worship. Republicans have introduced bills to restrict drag performances in more than a dozen other states. 

Pollsters also found that a majority of respondents oppose laws that ban gender-affirming care for children under 18, with 54 percent saying they oppose it. That includes 68 percent of Democrats, 56 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans. 

Still, the percentage of people who support these types of laws has increased in recent years, rising from 28 percent in April 2021 to 43 percent now. 

Iowa and Georgia joined several other GOP-led states last week in approving legislation to ban at least certain gender-affirming care for youth. 

The poll found a split in views among parents with children under 18 and those without. Almost 60 percent of parents who have children under 18 said they support laws banning gender-affirming care for youth, while about the same amount of those without children under 18 said the same. 

The poll was conducted from March 20 to 23 among 1,327 U.S. adults. The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points.

SURVEY: 80% Support Broad LGBTQ Protections

Finally some good news.   This is why when the republicans in the red states say they are doing the will of the people, what they really mean is the will of their own minority, not the will of the majority of people.    Republicans have always been about a rabid ideologically driven minority ruling over the majority.   The majority of the people are pretty accepting with a live and let live attitude.   It is only those that demand the right to oppress others and to force others to live according to their church doctrines that support the republican anti-gay anti-trans legislation.    Hugs

The Freedom From Religion Foundation reports:

A new national survey has reassuring findings that Americans of almost all religions and no religion are growing ever more supportive of LGBTQ rights.

For instance, eight in 10 Americans (80 percent) in the Public Religion Research Institute survey support laws against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Even 62 percent of white evangelical Protestants, tied with Hispanic Protestants, favor such nondiscrimination laws. Jehovah’s Witnesses were at the bottom of the barrel, yet half support nondiscrimination protections.

Interestingly, in states showing the lowest level of support for nondiscrimination (Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota), two-thirds of state citizens themselves are against such discrimination, showing that state legislatures are not keeping up with demographics.

Read the full article.

The original survey is here.

Breakdown by religion is here.



Yeah, but it’s the 20% that are doing the work to take rights away.

The GOP lost its biggest vote driver: Abortion.

So, we are the new boogeyman.

But I can find no data showing that this is attracting new voters. Indeed, it’s repelling young voters, and the die-hard GOP base, the Silent Generation (late 70s), is dying off at a clip.

And this, this, is why the GOP is now openly trying to steal elections.

You’re dead-on. With its base eroding, and scapegoats proving less effective, the GOP is becoming more desperate. Blatant disregard for laws and protocols is the order of the day.

in a normal democracy, one that actually represents the people, we LBGTs rights would have been secured a long time ago.
The good news, though, is that despite all the efforts of our enemies and the news media, we are winning the hearts and minds of Americans.

I live in Kansas.

In a town of 450 people.

I’m openly gay.

The town has always embraced me, and my sexuality has never been an issue.

Another openly gay man sits on the town council, and he’s an EMT. He’s also a cowboy.

One of the largest ranchers in the area is a lesbian.

And so on.

None of this would have been possible when I was born in 1957.

SO true, the same with where I grew up! Coming out of closets in the last 50 years to our family, friends and neighbors has made all the difference. They see us as regular normal people now, the old stereotypes are gone for the most part but politicians are still pushing them with their “groomer/pedophile”. It’s not going to work, it will backfire!

I hope you are right. The drag queen stuff is not on this poll, though. I have a feeling that a lot of people will say yes to rights for generic gays and lesbians, but not some other specific subgroups.

So, in summation:


That about correct?

I keep saying this:

While the evil voices have been very LOUD of late, LGBTQ acceptance is higher than it’s ever been.

And yet, I worry that there’s always a time lag with any cultural shifts. Give it a few years for the GQP’s current anti-gay campaign to take effect and let’s see what the numbers are then. I like to be optimistic, but I often harbor serious doubts about this country whenever this topic comes up.

Give the current gay-positive generation of young people a chance to have children, only then to decide that they’d rather not have their kids be gay and then shift their political allegiances accordingly. I’m old enough to have seen this happen before, as have you.


DeSantis’ Reedy Creek board says Disney stripped its power

YES!   Those of us who followed Disney over the years have been struck by how quiet and seemingly accepting of the DeathSantis attempt to take over the company.   It is shocking because Disney lawyers are known to be tenacious and fierce against all opponents of Disney.    Now we know why.    While DeathSantis thought he was taking over Disney the company used the governor’s ego / ambition to get a 1.2 billion dollar tax relief now placed on the backs of the Florida taxpayers, and neutered DeathSantis attempt to take over.    Notice recently that Disney announced they are sponsoring / holding a very large conference on diversity and inclusion, something that DeathSantis says is illegal in the state of Florida for a company to do.    Disney is baiting DeathSantis to come after them.   As Ron just said, DeathSantis thinks he is a large shark in a big ocean, but in truth he is finding out he is only a goldfish in an ocean of sharks.   DeathSantis and his ideology driven handpicked board thought they were going to use Disney and its properties to force the right wing oppressive regressive agenda on the public.   Mermaids would be white again, no boys would be princesses, no princesses would be gay, all characters would be 1950s Leave it to Beaver stereotypes.    One last thing, I am tired of these right wing white Christian nationalists racists bigots claiming they are the majority and that they represent the will of the people.    They don’t, and they have not for a very long time.   That is why they are fighting so hard this last stand to return the country to when they were happy and in control.    They are a minority within a small minority.     Hugs

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handpicked board overseeing Disney World’s government services is gearing up for a potential legal battle over a 30-year development agreement they say effectively renders them powerless to manage the entertainment giant’s future growth in Central Florida.

Ahead of an expected state takeover, the Walt Disney Co. quietly pushed through the pact and restrictive covenants that would tie the hands of future board members for decades, according to a legal presentation by the district’s lawyers on Wednesday.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s new Board of Supervisors voted to bring in outside legal firepower to examine the agreement, including a conservative Washington, D.C., law firm that has defended several of DeSantis’ culture war priorities.

“We’re going to have to deal with it and correct it,” board member Brian Aungst Jr. said. “It’s a subversion of the will of the voters and the Legislature and the governor. It completely circumvents the authority of this board to govern.”


Disney defended its actions.

“All agreements signed between Disney and the district were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” an unsigned company statement read.

Taryn Fenske, a DeSantis spokeswoman, called the move “last-ditch efforts” to transfer “rights and authorities” from the district to Disney.

“An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law,” Fenske said in a prepared statement. “We are pleased the new governor-appointed board retained multiple financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.”

The previous board, which was known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District and controlled by Disney, approved the agreement on Feb. 8, the day before the Florida House voted to put the governor in charge.

Board members held a public meeting that day but spent little time discussing the document before unanimously approving it in a brief meeting.

DeSantis replaced those Disney-allied board members with five Republicans on Feb. 27, who discovered the binding agreement the previous board approved.

DeSantis and Disney clashed over the corporation’s opposition to what critics call the “don’t say gay” law, which limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

The new DeSantis-aligned board expressed dismay over the previous board’s actions.

“This essentially makes Disney the government,” board member Ron Peri said. “This board loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure.”

Among other things, a “declaration of restrictive covenants” spells out that the district is barred from using the Disney name without the corporation’s approval or “fanciful characters such as Mickey Mouse.”

That declaration is valid until “21 years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, king of England living as of the date of this declaration,” if it is deemed to violate rules against perpetuity, according to the document.

A development agreement allows Disney to build projects at the highest density and the right to sell or assign those development rights to other district landowners without the board having any say, according to the presentation by the district’s new special legal counsel.

Disney and its affiliates own the vast majority of the land in the district, and other companies have operated there with the corporation’s blessing.

The development agreement bars the board from regulating the height of buildings, which would be solely under the purview of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The previous board also agreed to give Disney vast authority over its own buildings, according to its declaration. The agreement states that Disney must review any exterior changes to the district’s buildings to ensure consistent “theming” with Disney World.

Aungst said he is hopeful Disney will work with the board and correct the agreement in a “very collaborative manner.”

But board members also approved hiring four outside law firms with Chairman Martin Garcia citing a need for “lawyers that have extensive experience in dealing with protracted litigation against Fortune 500 companies.”

One of those firms is Cooper & Kirk, which has gotten more than $2.8 million in legal fees and contracts from the DeSantis administration to defend a controversial social media lawa ban on cruise ship COVID-19 “vaccine passport” requirements, and a restriction on felons seeking to vote.

Cooper & Kirk’s lawyers will bill $795 an hour, according to the firm’s engagement letter. The boutique firm’s roster of lawyers includes Adam Laxalt, who roomed with DeSantis when he was training at the Naval Justice School in 2005 and made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate last year in Nevada.

The firm’s alumni include Republican U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.

The board also approved bringing on Lawson Huck Gonzalez, a law firm that was launched earlier this year. One of its founders is Alan Lawson, a retired Florida Supreme Court justice.

The board approved two local firms as well — Nardella & Nardella and Waugh Grant.

Outside legal help is needed because of the vast resources Disney has at its disposal, Garcia said.

“What it looks like to me [is that] because Disney has the Magic Kingdom, they thought they could be king for a day,” he said.

And they thought this through very carefully. I’m sure they have other strategies up their sleeves too. I can’t see how they would allow themselves to be ‘supervised’ by unelected board members, in which they had no say of the choice. People and businesses should have a vote in who represents/controls their district, especially since Disney did nothing wrong in the management of the district that would warrant a state takeover. This will be tied up in the courts for a while, while Disney can strategize other legal options.

If Disney’s lawyers are worth their salaries, they will have long ago identified every conceivable legal threat to Disney, from the highest level to the lowest. And each possible threat will have been gamed out by those lawyers to find a response for each, a course of action likely to be successful. They will have started this long ago and kept it up to date.

They’ve probably been ready for an idiot like deSantis for at least twenty years.




Transgender Day of Visibility – March 31, 2023

This link is from Ali.   I really want to thank Ali and those that also did what she did.   While I have been unable to deal with the blog and not able to even read much less respond to comments, Ali never stopped being here for us, she never stopped leaving comments, and she always left great links to positive LGBTQ+ articles.   I can not say how often laying in bed I would use my phone to open / see her comments and it would lift my spirits so much.   Thank you Ali.   You are one of the bright lights in my life like Randy that are helping me get back on my feet and being ready to again fight the good fight.    Hugs

Transgender Day of Visibility is an international event on March 31 dedicated to recognizing the resilience and accomplishments of the transgender community. On this day, we celebrate the transgender population amongst us, raise awareness about the struggles that they face, and advocate for more protected rights for them in a bid to reform society and empower this community — as it so rightfully deserves. Let’s join hands together with the trans community to celebrate not ‘fitting in’ when we all yearn to stand out!


There is no doubt that the transgender community continues to face discrimination worldwide. Be it in the workplace, schools, or society, it has been subjected to immense harassment and inequality in every part of the world for the ‘sin’ of being born different.

Rachel Crandall, a U.S.-based transgender activist, founded this day in 2009 to raise awareness for the incredible burden of discrimination the community faces in every setting imaginable. The need to bring a day of ‘visibility’ for the transgender community is indicative of the oppression they face in many sectors of life. Crandall wanted to highlight the fact that the only transgender-centric day that is internationally recognized is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is in mourning of members of the community who had lost their lives, and that there was no day to pay homage to living transgender people. By 2014, the day was observed by activists in Ireland and Scotland while, in 2015, many transgender people took part in the event by participating in social media campaigns. They successfully made the day go viral by posting selfies and personal stories.

Therefore, on Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, annually, we recognize and revere their contributions, successes, and relentless resilience in standing tall and strong in the face of injustice. Through this Day of Visibility, we hope to induce moral responsibility and tolerance, and lift the restrictions on the rights of transgender people.


The First U.S. Transgender Person

Christine Jorgensen becomes the first person to publicly transition — or medically complete her transition — in the United States.


On February 10, the Gender Recognition Act is passed, which allows transgender people to legally change their sex and have it recognized.

First Trans Mayor Appointed

Canada makes history as it elects the first-ever trans mayor, Julie Lemieux.

W.H.O. Removes “Transsexualism” From ‘Mental Disorder’ Designation

The World Health Organization decides to remove “transsexualism” from being designated as a mental disorder and coins a new term ‘gender incongruence’ in the sexual health category of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.



Where is Transgender Day of Visibility celebrated?

It is an annually recognized and celebrated event. People from all over the world participate in whichever way they can, including having discussions, taking direct actions, hosting rallies, going to a concert, or sharing on social media.

What does it mean to be transgender?

There are different definitions of being transgender to different people. The most common definition of a transgender person is someone whose gender identity turns out to be different from the gender they were thought to be at birth.

Why is Transgender Day of Visibility an important holiday?

Transgender Day of Visibility is an extremely important holiday because intolerance, hate, and harassment for the transgender community have continued to prevail for decades. The negativity effectively clouds the contributions of the trans individuals. This day is recognized to love and cherish the millions of transgender people in our neighborhoods and to treat them as equal members of society.


  1. Read up on trans lives

    The least you can do for the community is to have your knowledge topped up. Google stories of trans people and you’ll find a long list of resources on the topic — most of the articles, unfortunately, are based on subjects like ‘inequality,’ ‘discrimination,’ ‘transphobia,’ and ‘violence.’

  2. Share statistics, updates, and news

    Use social media platforms to make people aware of how transgender people have left a notable mark on the world. Share articles, statistics, and celebrate your favorite transgender-centric achievement in history with the hashtag #TransgenderDayOfVisibility. Spread the love we so obviously lack!

  3. Attend an event, meet transgender people, and make memories

    Yep, there is definitely going to be a Transgender Day of Visibility event near you on March 31. Attend a public event on this day, mingle with different people, and make new friends. Take pictures and think of beautiful captions to summarize whatever you learned about the trans community when you upload them to social media!


  1. There are different types of transgender people

    The most common types of trans people are trans women, trans men, and non-binary people — trans women are women who were AMAB (assigned male at birth) and transitioned to female; trans men are men who were AFAB (assigned female at birth); and non-binary people are people who do not identify with male or female (and may be AFAB or AMAB).

  2. The first trans Emmy Award nominee

    In 2014, Laverne Cox became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as Sophia Burset in “Orange Is the New Black.”

  3. Caitlyn Jenner became Twitter famous within hours

    It took five hours for Caitlyn Jenner to hit one million followers on Twitter.

  4. Transgender people make up 1% of the U.S. population

    There are more than 1.4 million people who identify as transgender in the United States.

  5. Gender confirmation surgery costs $15,500

    That’s merely an estimated figure, however, gender confirmation surgery (previously wrongfully referred to as ‘sex reassignment surgery’) can cost up to $50,000, and some can be as pricey as $100,000!


  1. Trans people have a hard life

    In July 2017, the U.K. government launched a survey to gather more information about the experiences of LGBT people in the U.K. Over 108,000 people participated, making it the largest national survey of LGBT people in the world up to that point. The findings showed that LGBT people were less satisfied with their lives than the average citizen, two in five experienced harassment because they were LGBT, and 24% accessed mental health services in the 12 months before that.

  2. Being transgender is not a crime!

    Why hold somebody accountable for something they have no control over? Importantly, why attach negative connotations to transgender individuals at all? Being born transgender is in no way a cause for distress — it is the way people react to their status that negatively affects the well-being of trans individuals.

  3. They have contributed to the world as much as cisgender people

    They have had just as much of a visible impact on society. We need this day to celebrate and remind the trans community that the value of their lives, accomplishments on international platforms, and contributions to history are not forgotten.


Year Date Day
2023 March 31 Friday
2024 March 31 Sunday
2025 March 31 Monday
2026 March 31 Tuesday
2027 March 31 Wednesday

House panel advances bill protecting war monuments, including Confederate memorials

Remember Florida prevents the real history of racism / slavery to be taught in schools and in fact one school district just stopped showing a pg movie about Ruby Bridges a 6 year old black girl who needed bodyguard escorts to go to an all white school because a white parent felt it would hurt white kids feelings to know how racist white people were / are.   But we can damn well make sure that monuments to the attempt to keep those racist days and slavery as a state right must be protected and displayed.   What does that say to all the black people in the state of Florida?   Remember the Confederacy went to war to over turn the legitimate government of the US and to break up the country.   The Confederacy was an enemy government that attacked the US and there are people who want to put up statues and monuments to the traitors / enemy soliders.   What country does that.   The losers of the war are dictating the winners must celabrate the losing army / officials.     Hugs   

‘No group, no individual, has the right to demolish history that belongs to all.’

A House committee approved a bill that could end efforts to move or “re-contextualize” confederate monuments and other markers of war.

The “Historical Monuments and Memorials Protection Act” (HB 1607) cleared its first hurdle in front of the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee, on a 10-2 vote.

Rep. Dean Black, a Jacksonville Republican who noted he was a “10th generation resident of Florida,” explained that “history belongs to all Floridians, indeed to all Americans,” in introducing his bill.

“If someone destroys historic monuments in one part of the state, all Floridians are diminished because of it,” Black contended.

Asked by Rep. Jervonte Edmonds why this bill was introduced, Black lamented that “mobs that would descend upon a community and tear down their monuments, statues, works of art” until the community is “compelled” to remove these edifices.


The bill would encompass historical depictions represented in the form of a “plaque, statue, marker, flag, banner, cenotaph, religious symbol, painting, seal, tombstone, structure name, or display constructed and located with the intent of being permanently displayed or perpetually maintained,” honoring military or public service, “past or present,” with no exceptions contemplated.

Black warned that if monuments were torn down, “people would walk in those parks and say that the things memorialized never happened.”

“They already do that with the Holocaust now,” Black contended. “And if we’re talking about the Civil War, that should never be forgotten. All of the stories should be told.”

Monuments could not be removed, and plaques and signs attempting to put those constructions in historical context would only be permissible “on the monument and memorial” if Secretary of State Cord Byrd signs off. And local governments “are expressly prohibited from removing those memorials from public view.”

According to a committee analysis of Senate companion legislation, this process “may incur workload costs” for the Department of State. But the sponsor thinks the price is worth it.


“It is their proper purview,” Black said.

Those who remove or damage monuments would pay treble the cost to restore and move them back, with “punitive damages” also possible.

“No group, no individual, has the right to demolish history that belongs to all,” Black contended.

Public entities owning the monuments, legal residents of the state, and “historical preservation” groups would stand for civil action under this bill.

“I want every Floridian to have the standing to defend the history that belongs to each and every one of them,” Black said.

The bill does allow for moving monuments “for construction, expansion, or alteration of publicly owned buildings, roads, streets, highways, or other transportation projects.” When such a movement happens, the structures must be “relocated to a site of similar prominence, honor, visibility, and access within the same county or municipality in which the monument or memorial was originally located.”

In support of the bill, Rep. Chuck Brannan of MacClenny likened monument removal to graverobbing.

“I may say something today somebody doesn’t like. Is somebody 100 years from now going to go dig my grave up and move me?”

The bill would take effect July 1, if signed.

Black’s bill is the House companion to SB 1096, filed last month by Sen. Jonathan Martin, a Republican from Fort Myers. That measure is also moving through committees.


“We must defend and learn from our history.”

And yet earlier today:


Only white nationalist history for these crackers.

He referred to ‘our history’… you know who ‘our’ is.


If “history is so important” why don’t they want it taught in the Florida school system?

Reminder… a statue honoring a Confederate hero erected in 1910 is akin to erecting a statue honoring Hitler, Mussolini, or Tojo in 1990.

It makes no sense, and it is not ‘historically significant’ in any way.

Yep… all Jim Crow nonsense in a panicked effort to remind black southerners of their place as second-class citizens.


Let’s be thankful, peeps, that today’s Republican Party is openly and without reserve “showing its hand” to the American people.

No more “nuance.” No more “careful crafting” of the bigotries and anti-Americanism.

It’s all out in the open now, for all to see.

“History belongs to all of us… And if my family’s history isn’t safe today, no one’s family history is safe tomorrow…”

Then stop banning history books that teach everyone’s history. Obviously POC’s history isn’t safe in Florida… Can’t say gay in Florida… “History belongs to” who, again?


He’s made sure that his great grandchildren won’t be able to read about “his family’s history” in history books that teach the oppression POC and Native Americans were put through by “his family’s history”… aka, HERITAGE!

White washing the father’s sins away…


One Year After “Don’t Say Gay,” Florida Parents Say They’re Enraged and Afraid


Gov. DeSantis’ anti-LGBTQ+ crusade has left parents of queer and trans kids devastated. Many say they’re ready to move, yet many more say they’ll stay and fight back.

In early February, a massive carpool descended on Tallahassee, Florida’s capital. Dozens of middle and high schoolers had missed Geometry and English class for the occasion; parents had taken hard earned days off work to chaperone their children. However, this was no school sanctioned event. It was the final deliberation meeting of the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, which would determine whether the state would move forward with a ban on gender-affirming care for trans and nonbinary youth. 

Although the Boards had been discussing a potential ban for months, this was the first and only chance the public would have to voice their concerns about the rule. For the young people who had traveled to Tallahassee that day, the decision would have an immeasurable impact on their lives. School would have to wait.

For three hours in a poorly-lit auditorium in the state Department of Transportation office, trans and nonbinary young people described the feelings of liberation, wholeness, and freedom they had experienced after receiving the kinds of medically necessary, gender-affirming care that was now up for debate. They described missing months of school due to dysphoria, and the friendships and self-love that blossomed when they received treatment. 


“Having my needs met in this way for the first time ever was the most beautiful experience I could have asked for,” said one teenager. 

“Growing up in a religious and fairly conservative household, I didn’t have the opportunity to receive gender-affirming care until I was 18. Because of that, I attempted suicide three times,” said another. “Gender-affirming care saved my life.”


Behind those who testified, dozens of heads — young people, their parents, siblings, and teachers — nodded in recognition. 

Despite their testimonies, and the decades-long support of such treatment by most every governing medical body, the Board voted to move forward with a ban on gender-affirming care for youth. Although they had previously claimed that the field needed more research before hormone replacement therapy and other treatments could be approved, the Board also paradoxically banned gender-affirming care for research purposes at public universities in Florida.  

Ron DeSantis

Unlike other states that have banned gender-affirming care through their state houses, Florida’s ban went into effect exclusively through the state’s medical board, without the vote of any elected officials. This means advocates and organizers have not had a fair chance to lobby against it, and their only opportunity to appeal will be through a right-leaning Federal Court system. In fact, the Tampa Bay Times has reported that members of the Board of Medicine who were appointed by Gov. DeSantis have contributed over $80,000 to his campaigns and political action committee. 

He “has figured out a way to subvert the democratic process, subvert the legislature, and utilize politically-appointed people who he can put into power at his will,” said Simone Chriss, Director of the Transgender Rights Initiative at Southern Legal Counsel.

Policies created by these officials have included the Board of Medicine’s decision to move forward with a ban on gender-affirming care for youth; the Board of Education’s ruling to limit trans people’s access to bathrooms; and the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration’s rule that gender-affirming care can no longer be reimbursed with Medicaid. In each of these instances, DeSantis’ political appointees have reshaped LGBTQ+ lives in the state. 

If “the Board of Medicine can establish new standards of care for any condition regardless of the consensus of the scientific and medical community nationwide, that’s a really scary precedent to set,” said Chriss. “I hope that the rest of the country is watching and is alarmed.” 

In the year since DeSantis passed the Parental Rights in Education Act, or “Don’t Say Gay,” as it has become known, he has used the idea of “parental rights” to reshape Florida in his political image. Since at least the 1960s, conservative Christian activists have used parental rights as a call to arms to assert their beliefs in schools, which activists on the right believe have been eroded by a progressive embrace of LGBTQ+ children and classroom lessons about systemic racism. 

The seeds of Don’t Say Gay were planted at the height of the pandemic, when conversations about mask mandates, vaccines, and in-person schooling quickly transformed into culture war talking points. Two days after “Don’t Say Gay,” DeSantis passed the “Stop WOKE Act,” which “prohibits instruction on race relations or diversity that imply a person’s status as either privileged or oppressed.” Over the past year, these bills have had what activists, LGBTQ+ children, and parents describe as a “chilling effect,” creating an atmosphere of self-censorship and fear. 

One Year After “Dont Say Gay” Florida Parents Say Theyre Enraged and Afraid

“Everything is a target now,” said Todd Delmay, an LGBTQ+ parent who has a child in public school and recently ran for state senate. That’s not due to what legislators explicitly wrote into the bill, he said; rather, “it’s what they haven’t.” 


Indeed, “Don’t Say Gay” is only six short paragraphs. However, those paragraphs were seemingly crafted to create an environment of paranoia and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, primarily through a clause that empowers parents to sue school districts over any material, at any age, that they deem “inappropriate.” 

Over the past year, parents say this has created an environment in which teachers are afraid to mention anything about gender or sexuality, even in casual conversations. “I served in the military, and they’ve essentially created a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell environment for kids,” said Michael Rothgeb, an LGBTQ+ parent in the state. 

This has included several school districts, including Miami Dade, removing their Safe and Inclusive Schools Guide, which offered comprehensive guidance on supporting LGBTQ+ students; the removal of pride flags in classrooms across the state; and the banning of books with LGBTQ+ subject matter, including one about two real-life gay penguins. 

“All of the things we were most afraid would happen if this bill [Don’t Say Gay] was signed absolutely have,” said Maxx Fenning, founder of Prism Florida, a youth-led nonprofit that provides free sexual health education. 

For many parents, this environment has forced them to consider leaving the state. “It’s a conversation that we have every week in our support group,” said NiX, a Florida parent who runs a group for the families of trans and nonbinary children. According to a recent survey conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA, more than half of 113 LGBTQ+ parents in Florida said they have considered moving because of Don’t Say Gay, and 20% had started taking the steps to do so. 

Zeth Pugh is one of those parents. Last year, as it became clear that a ban on gender-affirming care would come into effect, Pugh realized she had to move in order to protect her 15-year-old son, who is trans. He had been hospitalized for suicidal ideation and depression, and was hoping to speak with a healthcare provider about his options for gender-affirming care. “We can’t even get that kind of consultation now. It’s devastating,” said Pugh, her voice filling up with tears. Although their house is almost packed and they have realtors in Florida and Oregon, where they hope to move, Pugh said that she has “a bag ready” to leave the state with her son at a moment’s notice. 

Yet many parents are unable to uproot their lives due to economic or social factors. “There are constraints on people’s ability to [move], and it disproportionately impacts people who are low income,” said Dr. Abbie E. Goldberg, who conducted the UCLA survey. “The fact that they’re even having to look into options to change jobs or find a new home speaks to the fear right now,” she added.

Other LGBTQ+ parents say they see staying put as their responsibility. “When your freedoms are literally being taken away, you have to fight,” said Janelle Perez, who lives in Miami with her wife and two children. Her family fled to Florida from Cuba, and the efforts that they’ve made to build a life — a neighborhood full of siblings, devoted grandparents, supportive queer friends — are too immense to leave behind. “I’m not going to let these people push us out,” she said. “We want people to come here and organize and support us.” 


This echoes a sentiment shared by many parents and youth organizers. They worry that if supportive adults leave the state, queer and trans children will be left to fend for themselves in an increasingly hostile political environment. 

LGBTQ rights supporters protest against Florida Governor Ron Desantis.nbsp
LGBTQ rights supporters protest against Florida Governor Ron Desantis. GIORGIO VIERA/Getty Images

“We’re trying to combat this idea that Florida is a lost cause,” said Fenning. “It’s the third most populous state in the country. There are so many queer people here. We can’t afford to divest from the state in a way that would harm millions of people.” 

Fenning notes that if supportive allies move, disparities in access to healthcare, affirming spaces in schools, and sex education will only widen. Indeed, several school districts have already removed LGBTQ+ sex education from their curricula due to outside pressure, including in Miami-Dade and Sarasota Counties. In Jacksonville, JASMYN recently lost a 20-year-contract to support in-school Gay Straight Alliances after right-wing activists screenshotted an image from their social media accounts of a card game about sex-ed, which they sent to the school district with the false claim that JASMYN was preying on children. JASMYN, which has provided essential medical care across Jacksonville for decades, insisted that the game is only played with consenting adults. 

These incidents illustrate increasing tension in the state surrounding LGBTQ+ life. At all grade levels, the political atmosphere created by DeSantis has led to fears that things like HIV tests, mental health resources, and in-school Gay Straight Alliances violate “Don’t Say Gay,” despite widespread evidence that community acceptance lowers rates of suicide and depression. “​​The fact that these [parents] are being coached by conservative leaders to do things that will result in poorer health and even the death of their own children,” says NiX, “is one of the most evil things I can conceive of.” 

A member of the LGBTQ community holds a sign reading "Protect Trans Youth."
And more than half live in states where legislators have filed bans.

In light of these never-ending fires, such as the ban on gender-affirming care, classroom censorship, and harassment, many parents and activists are bracing themselves for a drawn-out fight. And, as DeSantis is widely expected to announce a presidential campaign, people outside of Florida may soon find themselves faced with identical policies. “There is no ‘safe’ anymore,” says NiX. “Only safer.” 

Simone Chriss, of Southern Legal Counsel, says that she has to constantly remind herself that her work isn’t just about winning legal cases; it’s the fight itself that matters. In her view, this is the far right’s greatest fear: “kids who are comfortable with who they are, who aren’t afraid, who aren’t hiding, and who are going to hold the people in charge accountable.” 

bell hooks once wrote that children are the most vulnerable members of our society, as they have no explicit rights, including the right to vote out the politicians who harm them. “When we love children,” she writes, “we acknowledge by our every action that they are not property, that they have rights — that we respect and uphold their rights.” Back in that room in Tallahassee, without the protection of doctors trained to help them, trans and nonbinary children were practicing the ultimate form of self-love: advocating for themselves, by any means necessary. 

NEWSONE: Horrific Details Emerge As Mississippi Police Accused Of Shooting Black Man’s Tongue Off

Horrific Details Emerge As Mississippi Police Accused Of Shooting Black Man’s Tongue Off
Police in Mississippi are under investigation after being accused of violating the civil rights of multiple Black men since 2019.

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Shameful: ‘Ruby Bridges’ Film Banned From School Because White Parents Feeling Some Kind of Way

The little black girl was 6 years old when she lived it.   Yet now white parents say that their kids older than she was are too young to learn how bad people of color including children were treated by white people.   This is our history, the history of our country.   This is one reason we need to keep repeating that black lives matter.   The white supremacists do not want evil of the mistreatment of back people known but I wonder why.   Is it so they can blame black people for their less economic situation today?  Is it so they can repeat the same racist attacks?   The reason to teach this is to show what we must not let happen again.     Also I notice the same people that screamed “fuck your feelings” when trump was president are now showing a lot of feelings.     Hugs

U.S. Deputy Marshals escort 6-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, in this November 1960, file photo.
U.S. Deputy Marshals escort 6-year-old Ruby Bridges from William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, in this November 1960, file photo.

Even though the Disney film “Ruby Bridges” has been shown during Black History Month in Florida’s Pinellas County for years, it was recently pulled because a parent was worried that it would teach white children about the racism that Black children faced.

Emily Conklin, whose child attends North Shore Elementary parent, refused to let the student see “Ruby Bridges” when it was shown earlier this month. Conklin believed that the movie was inappropriate for second graders.

She made a formal complaint on March 6, stating that the use of racial epithets and images of white folks who harassed Ruby as she walked into a school will allow white children to see the racist history of segregation.

School officials for Pinellas decided to ban the movie at the St. Petersburg school until a review committee can evaluate it. This is ultimately a result of Florida parents having more say in deciding what children can see and read in schools.

In an open letter, Ric Davis—who is president of Concerned Organization for Quality Education for Black Students—wrote: “Many from historically marginalized communities are asking whether this so-called integrated education system in Pinellas County can even serve the diverse community fairly and equitably.”

He continued: “The (Pinellas) district’s leadership appears to fear the potential consequences of not acting in the way they have on these two decisions. This approach to challenging times in education in our state raises serious questions about Superintendent (Kevin) Hendrick’s leadership.”

The demographics of enrollment in Pinellas district schools is 51% white, 20% Hispanic, 19% Black and 4% Asian, according to state records. The rest of the students enrolled are of Native American or Pacific Islander descent or are categorized as belonging to two or more races.

Conklin was one of two parents who refused to let their children watch the movie after the elementary school sent out permission slips, which included a link to a trailer two weeks before the movie before was shown to classes.


Ruby has become a powerful civil rights activist. Here she is as an adult. Florida wants her to hide, but she never has!


It’s amazing how young she is. The Civil Rights movement wasn’t that long ago.

There is no longer an education system in Florida. The fascists have dismantled it. Welcome to Floridumb.

The f your feelings crowd sure is concerned about the feelings of White children — and only White children.

She made a formal complaint on March 6, stating that the use of racial epithets and images of white folks who harassed Ruby as she walked into a school will allow white children to see the racist history of segregation.


Underline is mine.

Because the black children already know about it. 😦

My question is:
What is the non-racist history of segregation?

Permission slips for second graders to see a PG film is reasonable.

Two parents vetoing it for the entire school system, however, is not.

So because a few parents are uncomfortable with a movie, no children can watch it in that school? This is so ridiculous.

Why is it we let one right wing extremist ban whatever they want at the detriment of the rest of us instead of telling that nut jobto sod off?

It’s Florida. The higher-ups (notice it wasn’t the teacher or the curriculum) are looking for excuses to cancel anything having to do with civil rights, and those parents gave them the excuse they needed.

Unbelievable. How does ONE parent have this kind of power. What about the REST of the parents.

One parent has that ridiculous power right now because of one very ambitious right-wing occupant of the governors office, named ron desantis.

So, how far does this go? Just sit around and let them white wash history? Are people going to get mad and put a stop to this?
I really don’t know, it seems they are getting away with re-writing history to placate Conservatives.

1 in 5 American Trans Kids Live in States That Have Passed Bans on Gender-Affirming Care

A member of the LGBTQ community holds a sign reading Protect Trans Youth.
ANDREJ IVANOV/AFP via Getty Images

Though the full human impact of the current legislative assault on trans existence can never be quantified, a new analysis from the Human Rights Campaign shows its magnitude. According to new statistics from the LGBTQ+ organization, more than one-fifth of trans youth live in states that have passed bans on gender-affirming care for minors. 

On Wednesday, HRC released a new map outlining attacks on gender-affirming care by state alongside a new report with information pulled from the organization’s own legislative tracking. The report also drew from data compiled by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law showing that there are more than 300,000 trans youth aged 13-17 in the United States. The map also illustrates which states have already banned gender-affirming care for minors and which are currently considering laws or policies to do so. 

According to the report, 22.9% of trans youth live in states that have passed bans on gender-affirming care for minors, a list that includes Arizona, Utah, Texas, South Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. In three states — Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas — temporary court injunctions are currently blocking those bans. In addition to youth living in states that have already passed bans on gender-affirming care a further 27.5% of trans youth are at risk of losing access. 


Combined, over half of trans youth (50.4%) live in states where they’ve already lost access to or are at risk of losing access to gender-affirming care, according to the HRC report. However, as ACLU communications strategist Gillian Branstetter pointed out on Twitter, this statistic accounts for every state that has a proposed ban, even though many of those bills will likely never pass into law. According to a separate report by HRC, 91% of the anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in 2022 failed to become law. 

However, that doesn’t change the fact that the mere introduction of these bills profoundly impacts LGBTQ+ people, especially trans people. Jay Brown, senior vice president of HRC, stated that Republican politicians “are spreading propaganda and creating more stigma, discrimination, and violence against transgender people just to rile up extreme members of their base.”

January report by the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization Trevor Project found that state-level anti-trans laws negatively affected the mental health of 86% of trans and nonbinary youth between ages 13 and 24. 

“LGBTQ+ people are living in a state of emergency,” Brown said in a press release. “Today’s findings illustrate how the ongoing assault against transgender people is taking hold across the country and underscore how dire the situation is growing for our community by the day. These dangerous and discriminatory policies advocated by power-hungry politicians are void of any credible purpose.”

USA TODAY: Educational model wanted students ‘to be nice.’ That’s controversial in Florida now under DeSantis.

Educational model wanted students ‘to be nice.’ That’s controversial in Florida now under DeSantis.
A review of district records shows how some public schools are distancing themselves from SEL lessons amid accusations that they’re indoctrination.

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