30 Comments

Now is our time to fight. St. Pete Pride is the largest pride in the Southeast United States, and we have a huge queer population and acceptance here like no where else I've ever been. Every time I walk the streets of downtown St Pete, I see queer couples of all shades openly holding hands in front of businesses with pride flags on display.

Nadine Smith, the director of Equality FL, said l at a gala I went to that she fought for the last 30 years in Tallahassee and for 27 of those years, no major anti lgbtq bills were passed. The mass exodus isn't the scalable answer like you said in your article.

We need the opposite, I want trans people from all over the country to come join us in the Trans March on June 24. As the Communications Director of the LGBTQ Democratic Caucus in FL, I'm not leaving. I'm a trans woman of color and this is my beautiful and queer home, and I want you to join us.

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Edit for clarity: my phrasing was intended to praise that you recognized that mass exodus is not the answer.

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I am calling for a Transgender March to the United Nations and an appeal to the UN Secretary General to declare Florida and Tennessee International Danger Zones for Travel by GLBTQI+ people and families on the basis of their open policy of Cultural Genocide of all Transgender people.

Anyone supporting this action can contact me at britfether@aol.com

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May 31, 2023Liked by Erin Reed

I'm terrified that Gianforte is going to try to follow DeSantis' footsteps and lead Montanans to a similar situation.

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I’m honestly so close to just giving up. I can’t afford to move out of Florida. If I could afford it, it doesn’t matter anyway because I’m stuck in a lease for another 13 months. I’m already bitchy and moody what seems like every hour that I’m awake. I can’t stand fucking people anymore especially rude motherfuckers in my complex who can’t as much say hello to me anymore since one of my neighbors thought it was her civic duty to warn people here I was trans as if I’m a serial killer. I’m just done. My life has been less than stellar since I was born trans anyway. So many people say “well you chose this” my question for them is “who the fuck would choose this life”.

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I'm so sorry you have been harassed. Please take care of yourself. You belong here 🫂

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Thank you. The last couple of days have been so depressing, and then a day doesn’t go by that the news here isn’t mentioning another anti trans bill Desantis wants to pass just to add more stress to our already stressful lives.

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Everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that even though a person on HRT does make it through the state gatekeeping rigors, there is the fact that the state now has a detailed ID and status of them as being Trans. Besides it being against that persons privacy to have that fact hidden or not have to be open about being Trans, they now can be called on to do whatever the state wants, such as wearing a sign publicly that they are trans.

This is basic blackmail.

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The situation in Florida is truly horrifying. Just reading the denial-of-care letters is sickening. So if not successfully counteracted, I guess this legislation means that state governments can deny care to any vulnerable group whose medical diagnoses or treatments are deemed politically incorrect? What a horrifying precedent. Thank you Erin for the excellent journalistic reporting, as always. It’s good that there are legal efforts to challenge this. I wonder what the chances of success with this route are? Such legal efforts were successful with the situation in Missouri. These are patients whose lives and health are at risk and they need care.

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I'm fortunate. I take a pretty low dose of T, and either the nurse or the pharmacy made an error the last time my prescription was refilled, and they provided me with 10x the amount I usually take, so I was able to stockpile my testosterone. I have enough to last me for probably another 2-3 months, but I have friends who are not so fortunate, who are already unable to get their existing prescriptions refilled, and friends with trans kids, and we're all having to choose between uprooting our lives and facing the uncertainty of moving out of the state or staying in the state with all of this hate and all of these legal barriers put in place by our state. It's not so easy to break a housing lease, or to find a new job and a new place to live and pay for moving expenses and relocate, but I know at least four people who either have already relocated or who are planning to do so very soon. This violence being perpetrated against us by our state is frightening in both its scope and its swiftness and intensity. I watched the committee hearings and floor sessions, and the rhetoric coming out of the mouths of elected officials was disgusting and disheartening and chilling. I'm hopeful that the judge hearing the legal challenge at 2pm this Thursday will issue a stay to pause the implementation of SB 254 while it moves through the courts, especially given the fact that we KNOW and have evidence to show that the so-called science on which the law and administrative rules have been based was intentionally skewed for the purposes of eliminating transgender healthcare in Florida altogether. It's a mess. A frightening, horrible, unpleasant mess. And it's bad for all of us, not just in Florida, but in all of the places facing these threats from our own governments. And it is incredibly hard to fight in places where the courts have been stacked by conservative governors and by Trump, but right now, it feels like the courts are our last, best hopes.

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Write to the White House maybe enough stories like your friends will finally move them , more empty promises today

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This Pride Month is going to be one for the ages😤

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Maybe Florida needs a workers walkout

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I don’t know what I would do if this happened to me probably some kind of cyber action because I wouldn’t put up with forced detransition after being on HRT almost 3 decades

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The situation is dire for many of us in Florida. I have had many people contact me for information on doctors that will provide GAT (HRT) and others that are leaving the state because of their children or their safety. I also know a lot of people that cannot escape.

I live along the Space Coast and, until the recent restricting, was in Randy Fine's district. (Yes, the "erase a community" Randy Fine.) Florida is my home. I was born in Miami. I don't want to have to flee my home. I don't particularly appreciate seeing my trans and LGBTQ+ siblings in fear. I cannot abide Randy Fine's ambition for the State Senate to go unopposed. Florida is about to have its second openly transgender woman running for State Senate.

Thank you, Erin, for introducing Representative Zooey Zephyr to us. It is through following her career and other trailblazers like Senator Sara McBride and Melina Farley-Barratt that the spark began to kindle within me. I'll be filling next week.

There is a resistance growing in Florida. Like a Phoenix out of the ashes, we are rising. After this past year, it is time for Florida to have transgender representation in the legislature.

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Thank goodness you actually interview trans people in Florida. That's something you won't see something on Mainstream media who just ignore this issue. I feel truly awful for these trans folks.

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The short-term solution to this problem is legal, and even that will probably take months, if not years. If an injunction is obtained, which seems likely, trans people in Florida will still live under a very dark cloud until the matter is resolved.

This is why I have always advocated leaving the state. When it's a matter of survival, if the situation requires it, you drop everything and just get out. This is not unlike the situation in Nazi Germany. If the Jews sat around thinking, "I need to finish my degree," "I have a good job," or "I can't get a good price on my house" ... Difficult and painful are a far cry from impossible.

I'm describing a Diaspora; and my heart sinks as I write it. We need to help and support these people in all the little (and big) ways we can. There are a number of GoFundMe accounts currently seeking help to leave the State. Each little gift helps someone, and is better than doing nothing.

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Do we just abandon our queer siblings with disabilities or financial struggles, or who have built lives and homes here and don't want to leave or don't have the means? A mass exodus is not a true solution. I respect anyone's decision to leave, but it doesn't solve the problem at all. What about all of the trans children here too? What about those who are closeted or haven't been on their self discovery journey yet? What about the many folks yet to be born that will inevitably discover their queer identity? Florida is not a lost cause and this is not Nazi Germany, that comparison is extreme. The policies being put in place are unpopular even among Republican voters. A significant portion of the state are people of color. For those who can, now is the time to survive, thrive, adapt, and put the work in to save our community and build a better future for all of us. They haven't stopped fighting yet, why should we?

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Of course, we don't abandon them. We need to help them however we can. And this *is* a war; but, in a war, you pick your battles and you don't stand and fight when the odds are overwhelmingly against you -- not without a very specific and very good reason.

The fight to transition medically and socially will be won in Florida, as it will be everywhere else in the US; but it will take place in court and it will take time -- perhaps lots of time.

If you think you can convince enough Republicans to oust their politicians on our account, you're welcome to try. I don't think that strategy has the slightest chance of success, at least over the short term. Cis people simply do not "get" us, and they won't begin to feel compassion for us until they see the suffering these policies have wrought.

The solution to this problem will be political over the long term -- and by that I mean the *very* long term -- but for the immediate future it will be found through legal action.

I never said we shouldn't fight. But I do say we shouldn't fight a battle we can't win. We should instead withdraw, gather our strength, and return when we can.

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If we want to reference any historical figures for civil rights, almost all meaningful protests and change in American history started in the South, and in the heart of where the problem was. There's a reason why many of the historical civil rights protests that still resonate to this day were in Birmingham. The people best equipped to fight here, are the people who live here, who understand the people and the culture and the politics here. The folks going to Seattle or New York or Boston aren't going to suddenly try to come back one day in mass numbers to fight later. And the history of civil rights fights in the US shows that on the record.

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You seem interested in the cause.

I'm interested in the individuals who will pay with their suffering and their lives while "the cause" is being fought.

Not trying to be a jerk; just being real.

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I'm very uninterested in arbitrary suffering in the name of "the cause" and I think that is actually somewhere we agree. But as someone in Florida and heavily involved in the transgender community here as well as mutual aid, how do you propose we rehome 100,000 people to another state? How many of them will have jobs and homes and the support systems and families they had when they left? After saving up to make that move, how many will end up on the streets? Most of us can't just get up and go without being put at far greater risk than we have here. Especially in a population with poor mental health, it's a very dangerous scenario and it's not very simple to just leave, logistically at that scale. GoFundMe will not scale to 100k people. The folks with the means who want to leave will leave without anybody telling them to. I'm staying and supporting multiple people financially and volunteering for my community and also fighting for them, because not everyone has the means to just leave, and if everyone in our community with resources leaves, those less fortunate will be left all alone here without any help.

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First and foremost, the villains here are the politicians who have done this. Please don't find fault with me because my solution seems harsh. It is they who have made the situation intolerable and the solution harsh. I am simply speaking the truth as I see it.

As I said, if you think you can address this situation politically, that's your business. I think it's a waste of time, energy and, frankly, hope. Think of the Jews in Germany in 1933. Would you have advised them to try to address the situation politically? I don't think you would, knowing what you know now. But they didn't know what you know now, either; they didn't know anything of work camps, gas chambers, a "Final Solution." They simply responded to the situation they were living in. Some of them got the hell out of Dodge; some of them stuck around. (Note: One of the Jews who got the hell out of Dodge was Albert Einstein. Consider the source.)

We don't all need to be there for the lawyers to do what they need to do. This case will be won in the courts; we will prevail. But it's pointless to stay in Florida while the fight goes on. There is little, if anything, that staying there accomplishes.

Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, some will need to flee with their clothes on their backs. Between you and me, I think a lot of people are going to stay, thinking, "It can't possibly get that bad." Wishful thinking? Why take chances?

It doesn't matter whether GoFundMe is viable for 100K people or not. Just get out.

Although it's not the reason for it, the departure of 100K people from the State would be a statistic that would make an impression -- if not now, then later. But that is not at all the reason for doing it. It's simple practicality. We're not fighting for some airy-fairy idealogical principle; we're fighting to live. And now is not the time.

Please don't counsel people to stay and fight, when you know what will happen. Please, do help people to leave, however you can, and rouse others to do so.

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We must fight for justice, here. This is discrimination, making arbitrary laws based on some people's opinions that reject others' very identities. This is *NOT* OK. F DeSantis.

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Erin, do you have any information about legal challenges to the law in Florida?

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Hi, I'm not Erin but if you're here in FL we've got a couple trans town halls soon in Tampa and St Pete going over things soon.

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Sorry, I’m about as far away as you can get, up here in Seattle WA. Can you update me in what they say at the townhall? I’m on the board of an LGBTQ org and would love to know what help you all are asking for.

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There's a hearing before a judge at 2pm June 1st for a challenge to SB 254. I don't really know more than that except for the name of the judge, Judge Hinkle.

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Thanks, I appreciate it. Do you know who is bringing the case? Is it ACLU?

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I don't know. Sorry!

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