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Tallahassee: SDS protests transphobic Board of Medicine decision

By Edmund Anglero

SDS protests ban on gender-affirming care for those under 18.

Tallahassee, FL – On November 9, Florida State University Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) held a protest against the recent decision by the Florida Board of Medicine to ban, in a 6-3 vote, gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. This decision prohibits all types of gender-affirming care for those under 18, including puberty blockers, hormones, cross-hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery. Around 30 people attended the protest in front of the new student union.

This is not the first time that lawmakers have attacked gender-affirming care in recent months. In August of this year, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration ruled that Medicaid would no longer cover gender-affirming care.

The protest was part of a National Week of Action against the so-called “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act,” a bill recently introduced to Congress in the same spirit as Florida’s HB1557, the infamous “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” This bill, introduced by Republicans, would prohibit schools from providing sex education and access to library books with LGBTQ+ topics.

These recent homophobic, transphobic and anti-LGBTQ+ attacks all come under the guise of “protecting children,” despite the fact that restricting access to gender-affirming care does the exact opposite of protecting trans youth.

“The Board of Medicine is even going against advice from pediatricians from all over the country. I was on puberty blockers when I was a kid and I’m just fine,” said Ale Mejia, a member of FSUSDS.

Florida, a hotbed of reaction, is often the proving grounds for these types of legislation. Before the overturning of Roe v. Wade nationwide, the Florida legislature passed a massively unpopular 15-week abortion ban. The uptick in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation goes hand in hand with the assault on women’s and reproductive rights.

Despite the legislative onslaught on LGBTQ+ rights, students recognize the limits of voting as a path towards true liberation. “How can you claim to support trans liberation when you uphold the system that trans people are trying to be liberated from?” questioned FSUSDS member Joel Nuñez.

FSUSDS was joined by several other student and community organizations, including FSU Generation Action, VegFSU, Student Farmworker Alliance (SFA), Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC), FAMU Students for a Democratic Society (FAMUSDS), and the Tallahassee Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO).

#TallahasseeFL #StudentsForADemocraticSocietySDS #TransLivesMatter