“The Florida Senate has passed the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, despite staunch criticism from Democratic lawmakers and LGBTQ+ advocates.” –CBS News, 3/8/22
Many have criticized our state’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, otherwise scorned by critics and fondly referred to by Republican lawmakers as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” But we need to clear the air about the true intent and purpose of this bill, which up until now has been grossly misunderstood and like most things in Florida, taken wildly out of context, somehow managing to appear far better than what the truth really is.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, frankly, has nothing to do with already vulnerable LGBTQ+ kids in Florida’s public school system. They have Disney. They’re doing just fine. The “Don’t Say Gay” bill actually protects our state’s most vulnerable population: people who are still homophobic in 2022.
Think about it, there is no one more at risk than homophobes in 2022. They expend huge amounts of energy and waste large swaths of everyone’s time somehow refusing to just give the fuck up and admit defeat. And in Florida, those are all qualities we deeply admire.
Studies also show that rates of homophobic people in 2022 are quickly shrinking. In fact, the largest concentration of 2022 homophobic people are Republican lawmakers over 57 and Donald Duck. We must act quickly in order to protect our state’s most precious natural resource from disappearing completely.
So how does this bill protect Florida’s vulnerable homophobic population? First, it completely ignores the existence of LGBTQ+ people in our schools. Supporters of the bill say this is to give parents increased involvement and rights in their children’s education, but it’s actually so parents don’t have to have any awkward conversations where they accidentally out themselves as homophobic in 2022.
Can you imagine just how uncomfortable and unsafe an adult would feel if they were outed as homophobic in front of their family without their consent? It’s unconscionable. Further, it puts our already shrinking homophobic population at a greater risk of disappearing even more when they’re inevitably out-debated by their 3-year-old.
Regardless of how you feel about this bill, you have to admit that it does protect a vulnerable group of people. Just like alligators, homophobic people in 2022 are Florida’s largest export to New York through the sewer system. And also like alligators, they only bite if provoked. And unprovoked. And anytime they hear any word that starts with the letters “GA.”
So there you have it, a comprehensive explanation of how this bill works and who it protects. Truth be told, we heard Texas was criminalizing trans kids and we felt left out.
Bobbie Armstrong is a former child, current writer and student. Her work has appeared on McSweeney’s, Slackjaw, Belladonna Comedy, Little Old Lady, and her parents’ fridge. Follow her existential crisis @bobbien_