Gov. Ron DeSantis with fans during Day One of the Walker Cup at Seminole Golf Club.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Anti-Trans Athlete Bill Is Exclusionary Garbage Meant To Deny the Existence of Transgender People

Really, Florida? You again?

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On the first day of Pride 2021, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an anti-trans bill targeting Florida students. Dubbed “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” it’s meant to “protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. Basically, the bill he signed into law would prohibit an athlete that was not assigned the female gender at birth from participating in school-sponsored events for girls and women.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports, and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” DeSantis said at Tuesday’s signing event at the Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, according to Axios. He followed that up by writing on Twitter, “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.” And honestly, it’s anti-trans garbage meant to deny the existence of trans people.

Florida joins many other states this year alone that have tried to block student-athletes from playing on teams that do not match the gender assigned to them at birth. From Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signing legislation restricting transgender students from participating in K to 12 sports, according to NewsNation, to the Idaho Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, via KMVT News, states across the nation are targeting the transgender community.

It’s blatant anti-trans rhetoric meant to erase trans youth. Sorry, not sorry DeSantis, but trans people are real. No law or measure by your transphobic party and community can change that fact. And this bill speaks so much to the kind of person you are and the people with whom you surround yourself.

And it’s made even worse by DeSantis and his response when asked what message he’s sending to the LGBTQ community by signing an anti-trans bill during Pride Month. He said, “It’s not a message to anything other than saying we’re going to protect fairness in women’s sports.”

There is a clear-cut message being sent out by each and every state that enacts or tries to create laws that restrict the rights of transgender youth, including Florida. This message says that trans youth don’t belong, that they are the other, and that their very identity is false. This is discriminatory and promotes the exclusion of transgender people in other areas of life.

In the words of Charlotte Clymer, a well-known transgender woman and advocate, “This is a fabricated issue that has grown out of a broad lack of knowledge about trans children and trans health care coupled with an intentional effort by Republicans to dehumanize trans children.” And if we’re not careful, Republican lawmakers will use this momentum to their advantage to target other arguments like blocking gender-affirming medical care.

Ultimately, The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act doesn’t protect women or girls. It excludes them via harmful bills that erase their existence, and the LGBTQ community isn’t going to stand for this or any other harmful bills men like DeSantis try to establish. So, what can you do? Educate yourself on what’s going on when it comes to LGBTQ issues via sites like the ACLU and use your voice to speak your truth.

Each one of you counts, despite what DeSantis and his cohorts want you to believe as they come for transgender rights.

(image: Cliff Hawkins/Getty)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.