Florida: Students for a Democratic Society defend trans rights on FSU campus
Tallahassee, FL – On Wednesday, October 4, 25 students gathered at the steps of the Florida State University (FSU) Student Union to kick off FSU’s Pride Month and demand FSU defend the rights of transgender students. Students chanted “No hatred! No discrimination! What do we need? Trans liberation!” and “Racist, sexist, anti-gay! Ron DeSantis, go away!”
Between FSU’s cuts to diversity programs and Governor DeSantis’ transphobic rhetoric, students had ample reason to stand up and speak out for the LGBTQ community. FSU, despite claiming to be inclusive and diverse, has been silently compliant with DeSantis’ attacks on higher education. For example, FSU immediately turned over the private medical information of students seeking gender-affirming care to the governor in February and has closed several gender-neutral bathrooms across campus.
Speakers at the event talked about the importance of LGBTQ rights, particularly trans rights, and how they overlap with the struggles of oppressed nationalities and the working class. Jason Charles, vice president of the FSU Student Farmworker Alliance and Outreach Coordinator for the FSU SDS, stated in his speech, “Queer liberation doesn’t happen on its own. Every struggle is interconnected.” After his speech, Carles mentioned how “The coalition of Immokalee workers strives to protect the rights of all farmworkers in the state of Florida in the same way that the SDS fights for the rights of all students in the country.”
Delilah Pierre, president of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, also gave a speech where she said, “We don’t just want a ‘happy Pride Month’, we want substance!” TCAC has been fighting for Tallahassee to become an LGBTQ+ Sanctuary City, which would mandate local police entities have “LGBTQ+ related crimes” as their lowest priority.
The event was hosted by FSU Students for a Democratic Society (FSUSDS). Members of the FSU Graduate Assistants United, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and VEG FSU also attended the event in support.
Joelle Nuñez, President of FSUSDS, closed out with a powerful call to action, “FSU President McCullough has the power to make trans students feel safe on our campus; our city commissioners have the power to make trans residents of Tallahassee feel safe. The reason the people in power do nothing to help us is simply because they do not want to. But we’re gonna make them listen!”