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Families speak out about anti-LGBTQ legislation targeting Florida classrooms

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, and Equality Florida are releasing video of LGBTQ families and educators in Florida speaking out about returning to school today with new laws in effect targeting them.

The video features transgender 10 year old Dempsey has spoken out against the law. Dempsey’s parents, Jaime and Dennis, were recently accused of child abuse for allowing their child to be herself. In a 2020 documentary about her family and life, Dempsey said that she wants other trans kids to know that “you are loved, you’re not alone. A lot of people are just like you – and be who you are.”

New laws are banning LGBTQ-related conversation in class, books are removed from shelves and state leaders are targeting evidence-based healthcare, despite the fact that every major medical association supports it as safe and lifesaving for transgender youth.

GLAAD’s poll of LGBTQ and ally voters in Florida finds 71% believe the laws’ intent is to attack LGBTQ people; 70% say the laws are emotionally damaging to children.

“This is a solution to a problem that does not exist, and it really comes down to this being legislation that is discriminatory against LGBTQ+ people,” says Parish, Florida Kindergarten teacher, Cory Bernaert. “The fear that I have now is: Am I going to be able to have pictures of me and my partner hanging up outside my classroom? Is my student who has two moms going to be able to talk about her moms? Are these discussions going to be labelled as ‘instruction’, which the bill says is illegal? “

The poll shows 77% strongly agree it’s more important than ever to vote as human rights for women and LGBTQ Floridians are being taken away by elected state officials, and that 67% are “extremely motivated” to vote in the midterm elections.

77% of LGBTQ and ally voters have an unfavorable opinion of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The 2018 gubernatorial race was decided by 32,463 votes out of 8+ million. LGBTQ and ally voters are positioned to make a decisive difference in Florida’s election this fall. (Read the pollster memo.)

“Florida’s LGBTQ and ally voters must send an unmistakable message that they are not going back in the closet or back in time,” said GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis. “Discriminatory, defamatory and dangerous rhetoric and behavior must stop now.”

“It is imperative that Floridians use the power of their votes to hold Governor DeSantis and his allies accountable for the hate they unleashed on our state,” said Equality Florida Press Secretary, Brandon Wolf.

4.6% of Floridians are LGBTQ; 24% of LGBTQ Floridians are raising children. 

About Equality Florida

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Visit or follow Equality Florida on Facebook and Twitter.


GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. Visit, connect on Facebook and Twitter, contact:


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