Harm of ‘Don’t Say Gay’

by Sydney Wiser ‘23

On March 8, the Florida Senate voted to pass the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” bill, more commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The bill will restrict educators from including topics pertaining to gender and sexuality in grades kindergarten to third. Parents also have legal grounds to sue if they feel educators are engaging in these topics “inappropriately” in any grade. LGBTQ+ activists worry that the vague language of the bill could discourage teachers from even acknowledging that some children have two mothers or two fathers or reading children’s books that happen to have LGBTQ+ characters. Lawmakers claim the bill will prevent schools from making curricula that force inappropriate topics on children. In reality, this bill will create a culture of fear in schools and encourage the repression of a child’s identity.

No child should be pigeonholed into a sexual identity before they’re old enough to understand it themselves but must be shown non-heterosexual relationships. Equal representation in class lets children know that when they’re older, regardless of who they love, their feelings will be valid. Treating LGBTQ+ identities as if they’re taboo and only showing children heterosexual relationships breeds homophobia and prevents children from being able to safely explore their identities in the future.