Let’s get one thing straight — Florida is not. Drive ten hours along the state’s sun-kissed shaft, and you’ll find vibrant gay Florida enclaves centered around rainbow-painted sidewalks, LGBTQ+-owned businesses, and chosen families where all identities are welcome.
Considering the state’s anti-LGBTQ history, this might come as a shock. In the 1950s and 60s, the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee attempted to eliminate LGBTQ people from schools by demonizing gay teachers and upending their careers. Anita Bryant’s anti-gay campaign in the 1970s led to a repeal of Florida’s non-discrimination ordinance, causing a disastrous ripple effect around the US. Most recently, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill to restrict the discussion of sexuality and gender identity in public schools — an act of social-emotional terrorism against children and educators alike.