Also.Also.Also: Why Florida High School Students Walking Out Over Trans Sport Bans Matters

feature image by Miami Herald / Contributor via Getty Images

Whewwww, last night was a wild night on Twitter given the death of a certain notorious war criminal. My group chats were ALIVE.

Queer as in F*ck You

Hundreds of Florida Students Staged a Walkout to Support the Rights of Trans Athletes. Making good on my own rule that if you’re going to cover the bad shit happening in places like Florida that you should also cover the resistance to that bad shit, I want to highlight the bravery of the hundreds of high school kids who walked out during the school day at Monarch High School in Broward County, FL to protest the recent reassignment and removal of school staff members who had allowed a trans girl to compete on the girls volleyball team, including the principal James Cecil. Assistant principal Kenneth May, athletic director Dione Hester, information management technician Jessica Norton, and temporary athletic coach Alex Burgess were among the reassigned staff being “investigated” for going against the state’s trans sports ban, signed into law by Governor DeSantis in 2021.

I know a high school walk out sounds like a small thing, but this is huge. It shows a two-fold approach to resistance happening in the state: First, the administrators and staff members who flouted the ban in the first place showed it’s totally an option to just…not enforce transphobic regulations. If more Florida school staff were willing to do this, it would make the ban difficult and maybe even impossible to reinforce. Second, the students showed their solidarity and support not just for this one trans athlete but all trans athletes, holding signs and chanting affirmations of support for trans lives everywhere and questioning the ban. It’s further evidence that the Florida legislation does not adequately represent the Florida people. These students are boldly taking a stance against decisions that directly impact them and yet that most of them don’t get a say in since they’re too young to vote. Anyway, I dove a little deeper on Florida’s anti-LGBTQ policies and historical resistance to them earlier this week.

Related: The Christian Right Wants to Force Teachers to Out Trans Kids. Dissent from educators is increasingly urgent, and for us non-educators, we have to find ways to support that dissent from the sidelines.

For Families in the South Struggling To Find Gender-Affirming Care, Small Grants Make a Huge Difference.

Our Queer and Jewish Grief Must Fuel Our Fight to Let Gaza Live. Rabbi Elliot Kukla calls for a permanent ceasefire.

Ted Cruz Introduces Bill Limiting Pronouns and Names Despite Going by His Own Chosen Name. Okay, while it’s always a pretty easy target to point out hypocrisy from politicians, this headline GOT ME GOOD.

Mexican LGBTQ+ Advocates Question Officials’ Account of Nonbinary Magistrate’s Death.

I love a specific queer history moment: Inside the Historic Lesbian Cafes That Fed the Feminist Movement.

Saw This, Thought of You

Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies. DING DONG, America’s favorite war criminal is dead. And Spencer Ackerman at Rolling Stone went all the way off with this headline but also this dek: “The infamy of Nixon’s foreign-policy architect sits, eternally, beside that of history’s worst mass murderers. A deeper shame attaches to the country that celebrates him.”

Speaking of war crimes, mass murders, and the military industrial complex: Israel Arms the World’s Autocrats—With Weapons Tested on Palestinians.

In media news, Jezebel Is Coming Back.

Political Snacks

Election 2024 and What the Fight for LGBTQ+ Rights Looks Like Now.

One More Thing

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 870 articles for us.

1 Comment

  1. One of the local NPR stations, LAist, has a podcast called Imperfect Paradise. The 1st of 4 episodes of the new season came out this week & it’s about the true story of the Magic Castle in Hollywood having reckoned with their cishet white past. It’s primarily about Carly Usdin & how they wanted to become a magician there.

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