Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law needs to be stopped

Rylee Tolar, Journalism 1 reporter

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law needs to be stopped because it will harm LQBTQ+ youth and honestly, it doesn’t need to exist, there isn’t a good purpose for it. It will do a lot more harm than good, it doesn’t have any pros, only cons.

The LGBTQ+ community has fought for its rights for decades and that’s just what has been noted, the community itself has been here long before then. “Don’t Say Gay” passed in early March, but if it grows and moves across the country it will erase decades of fighting for rights that already should’ve been the community’s in the first place.

Homosexual students deserve to learn about their history just as much as the heterosexual students. People who support the “Don’t Say Gay” law talk about how we shouldn’t teach sexuality on students because it “pushes” it on them. The sexuality that they are referring to is homosexuality not heterosexuality. The media is full of heterosexuality especially in kid’s movies, like Disney for an example. In almost every movie, the character has a love interest that is the opposite sex. But homophobic people don’t complain about that.

Whenever homosexuality is brought up its considered “taboo,” but if we normalized talking about other sexualities beside heterosexuality, those topics would no longer be taboo.

According to CNN.com, “The Trevor Project’s research has found that LGBTQ students who learned about LGBTQ issues or people in classes at school were 23% less likely to attempt suicide in the past year. Conversely, when LGBTQ topics are made taboo, that stigma is often internalized and can negatively impact a student’s mental health and sense of self.”

Not only does the “Don’t Say Gay” law affect the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, but it also affects individuals in that community, both out and people who aren’t out yet. With the law being passed, those in Florida might fear for their wellbeing.

People in the community already fear for their wellbeing, they have society’s opinion to be worried about but also the opinion of those close to them to worry about. Like classmates, friends, family and parents. If the law spreads to other parts of the nation, more and more people are going to either stay in the shadows or go back into the shadows.

“In less than two months since the start of the year, conservative state lawmakers have filed more than 170 anti-LGBTQ bills — already surpassing last year’s 139 total — with at least 69 of them centered on school policies, according to Freedom for All Americans. The nonprofit group, which advocates for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections nationwide, said in an email that it didn’t track LGBTQ school policy bills last year, as it was not as much of a “sweeping trend” as it is now,” said NBCNEWS.com.

People in the LGBTQ+ community are starting to feel erased and invisible again, and it isn’t just the “Don’t Say Gay” law and the book bans either. Lawmakers or other people who have positions of power are not only trying to take homosexuality out of schools but also out of everyone’s lives in general.