To speak is a sin, or: ‘Don’t Say Gay’

I suppose this bill is conservatism of a sort, a return to the Florida schools I knew where homosexuality when discussed meant a tenth grade religion teacher ramming his index fingers together mimicking two penises, references to fanny packs as fag bags and The Picture of Dorian Gray as a “book written by a homo” (but on the reading list anyway), and PE coaches leaving the room while students beat up a peer whom they suspected of faggotry. The last incident didn’t happen at my boys Catholic high school, but it could’ve another year.

The bill:

SB 1834/HB 1557 does not ban LGBTQ+ conversations outright. Instead, it prohibits a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity until middle school.

Theoretically, that would include conversations about being LGBTQ+ or questioning, but also conversations about being cisgender and heterosexual.

Sen. Baxley sponsored SB 1834. He would not respond to arguments that it would harm LGBTQ+ students, saying only that the bill is needed to give parents greater control over their child’s curriculum.

“I think the parents should have a more predominant role in what they’re being exposed to and taught,” he said.

Also on the legislative agenda: the so-called “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” aimed at criminalizing physicians who, according to this Sun-Sentinel article, “provide gender affirming medical care, such as puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy, for minors.”

No one whose head isn’t full of sand believes public schools will stop teaching, say, the story of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn because to discuss their marriage would violate the conscience of a kid in the class who wants to underscore the absurdity of the law; but the point of these laws, like the school district in St. Augustine which canceled a civil rights lecture ahead of a bill soothing the poor wittle hurt feelings of white people who feel “discomfort” when taught about race, is to chill. Manny Diaz, Jr. of Miami-Dade, sponsor, also Was Just Asking Questions about vax requirements for other childhood diseases, which should readers a sense of what dwellers in the State with the Prettiest Name face.

Yet for the rest of the country Florida and the lax morality of South Beach are synonymous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: