Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial "Parental Rights in Education" bill into law this week as expected. Taking effect July 1, HB 1557 -- dubbed by critics as the "Don't Say Gay" bill – this piece of legislation bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity for students in kindergarten through third grade or "in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards," according to the text of the bill.
“The subordination and erasure of LGBTQ life that H.B. 1557 (Don’t say gay) seeks to achieve has already begun—and it has already imposed concrete harms on countless children and families in Florida.”
The law not only stigmatizes and silences those vulnerable students, exacerbating risks to their welfare, but also threatens school officials who foster a safe and inclusive environment for them.
While the signing of this bill will cause irreparable damage, we are continuously grateful for the folks on the ground doing life saving work and supporting our LGBTQ+ youth and their families.
Please share far and wide to help our communities and allies who may need it most.
The Zebra Coalition is a Florida based network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13 – 24. The Coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability.
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Through lobbying, grassroots organizing, education, and coalition building, they are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
The Center Orlando is one of the oldest LGBTQ centers in Florida and the entire US. It began as a safe space for LGBTQ+ folk living in Central Florida. Over the years, the Center evolved to become a place where queer people could call and then, eventually, show up to receive mental health counseling, HIV/AIDS health care, and other services.
They also host Q Chat Space to help Find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests, and get good information. Chat with like-minded peers in live chats designed for you and by you, facilitated by folks who care. Facilitators are people who work at LGBTQ+ centers across the US.
One Pulse Foundation was launched by the owner of the nightclub as a “sanctuary of hope” and a way of honoring the victims. The non-profit foundation has since put together 49 annual legacy scholarships based on the aspirations or careers of each of the lives lost.
Apart from the scholarship program, the foundation is also building a memorial to the victims, supporting the survivors and victims’ families through grants, and holding educational programs through the onePulse Academy.
If you’re struggling with your mental health and need someone to talk to, 7 Cups will connect you with caring listeners, and if you need trained mental health support, please visit the Crisis Text Line.
National Alliance on Mental Illness( NAMI) 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255