An attack on part of our community is an attack on ALL of our community. On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) Florida has signed the anti-trans sports ban bill (HB 1475/SB 1028) into law. This law does nothing but discriminate against transgender youth, creating an issue where there is no issue, and threatens to disrupt the economic prosperity of our state.

Transgender students already face challenges in school environments, constantly facing discrimination and hostility from their peers, teachers, and even parents. Transgender students also disproportionately struggle with mental health compared to their peers, with 35% of trans high school students reporting to have attempted suicide in 2017.

By banning transgender students from participating in sports teams that align with their gender identity, HB 1475 will worsen the already dire situations many transgender kids find themselves in. This bill will further isolate and marginalize transgender youth, harming both their academic and social development, as well as their mental health.

The NCAA has threatened to cancel events in states that pass transgender sports bans such as what was signed into law today. The Governor now risks the state of Florida losing out on millions of dollars, specifically impacting local communities that depend on the revenue generated from NCAA events. Elections – Have – Consequences.

I am deeply disappointed in Governor DeSantis, but not surprised as he has followed in the footsteps of his mentor Donald Trump. Instead of focusing on fixing Florida’s broken unemployment system, the Governor instead wants to focus on stripping rights away from Floridians. From signing into law a bill that restricts access to mail-in voting, to this very discriminatory anti-trans sports ban, Ron DeSantis is more concerned with appeasing the Republican base instead of governing to create a more equal, accessible state for our residents.

Trans rights are human rights, and human rights are trans rights. Governor DeSantis is no friend or ally to the LGBTQ+ community,  and choosing to sign this bill on the first day of pride month shows his malicious intent.

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