A Guide In Navigating Current Transgender Issues In Florida.
This is a booklet to help educate you on the recentlegal happenings in Florida regarding the transgendercommunity. With this knowledge, it is our hope thatyou feel more secure in navigating these newchallenges. It can be disheartening to understand thescope of these attacks on the community.
However, may this booklet be a reminder to you thatyou are not alone. There are people in and outside of this community that are fighting for the progress,safety, and protection of the transgender community.“We don’t need your permission to exist” – Andrea Montanez
Gender: Identity based on social and cultural expectations.Gender identity does not have to coincide with one’s sexpresent at birth.
Sex: Identity defined by the hormones, genitals, andreproductive functions present at birth.
Transgender: A person whose gender identity does notcorrespond with the sex registered for them at birth
Pronouns: The third person personal pronouns that a persongoes by. These may look like he/him/his, she/her/hers, orthey/them/theirs.
Gender Dysphoria: A sense of unease that a person may havebecause of a mismatch between their biological sex and theirgender identity.
Gender-Affirming Care: A range of social, psychological,behavioral, and medical interventions aimed to support andaffirm an individuals gender identity. This can look likehormone replacement therapy, speech therapy, or evenprimary care.
Discrimination in Healthcare: Negative actions or lack ofconsideration given to an individual or a group that occursbecause of a preconceived and unjustified opinion.
Bill: A formal statement of a planned newlaw that is discussed before being votedon.
Current Legal Climate
There have been recent bills and laws passed that target transgender individuals. Knowing the scope of these bills allows individuals to understand how to stay safe, ensure their rights are upheld, and ensure that their identity is protected.
Recent Bills ImpactingTransgender Students
HB 1557: “Don’t Say Gay” Bill
Signed into law in 2022, this bill is often referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It originally prohibited the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade.
HB 1069: “Don’t Say They” Bill
HB 1069 is a bill signed into law in May of 2023 that adds to the previous “Don’t Say Gay” bill mentioned. This bill states that employees and other students are not required to use a person’s pronouns if they don’t align with the pronouns coinciding with their assigned sex.
You’re Still Protected Under:
Title IX: A federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education programs which encompasses LGBTQ+ students
The Equal Protection Clause: Constitution laws that enforcethat LGBTQ+ students should be treated equally
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: Protects queer students rights to speak on LGBTQ+ issues
Florida’s Parents Bill of Rights: Parents of LGBTQ+ students are able to direct the education and care of their children free from interference
The Equal Access Act: Requires schools to allow LGBTQ+organizations if they allow other clubs to meet
The Family EducationRights and Privacy Act(FERPA): Protects personalinformation of students andallows parents to request alegal name or sex assignedat birth amendment to theirchild’s education records
Title IX and The EqualProtection Clause: Provide legal protections for LGBTQ+ students
Additional Restrictive Bills
This law requires bathrooms to be separated by biological sexat birth. Single stall bathrooms don’t have to be separated by biological sex at birth. Transgender individuals must be provided a single stall bathroom and they are not able to entera restroom designated for the sex opposite of their sex at birth.Additionally, this bill prohibits gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms in schools, prisons, detention centers, and government buildings.
SB 1521: “The License to Discriminate in Healthcare”
This is a broad bill that allows healthcare providers and insurance companies to refuse services to anyone based on religious, ethical, or moral believes. The bill passed despite fear that this can directly be used to discriminate against queer, especially transgender individuals, in healthcare.
You’re Still Protected Under:
Title IX and The Equal Protection Clause: Protects against the discrimination of sex in schools which extends to sexual orientation and gender identity
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights: Protects the rights of all students, LGBTQ+students included
Below are resources to stay educated on the current legislative and social happenings pertaining to the transgender community
Equality Florida https://www.eqfl.org
Human Rights Campaign https://www.hrc.org
National Center for Transgender Equality https://www.transequality.org
Southern Legal Counsel southernlegal.org
It can be overwhelming to understand the laws that are targeting the transgender community. Knowing your rights and being educated on the legal landscape are great ways to stay safe while fighting against these attacks.
Below are some resources that you may utilize in the meantime:
The Trans Hotline 877-565-8860
A peer support hotline ran by trans people to connect trans people with emotional or financial support and other resources.
LGBT National Hotline 888-843-4564
A confidential safe space to discuss any issues regarding gender identity and sexual orientation.
988 Crisis and Suicide Lifeline 988
A confidential and free 24/7 service that provides support to individuals facing distress or crisis situations.