Ron DeSantis signed the “don’t say gay” bill into law in March (although a federal lawsuit has been filed challenging its constitutionality), barring discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 and requiring “age-appropriate” discussion after that while not defining what that actually constitutes.Many see the law — formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law — as dangerous and harmful, especially for LGBTQ+ kids, as Will Larkins, a gay nonbinary high school junior and activist in Winter Park, Fla., explained in their guest op-ed for the New York Times titled “Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Will Hurt Teens Like Me.”Larkins is also doing some education of their own.
In a video posted to Twitter on April 3, Larkins shared that they had given a presentation to their U.S. history class about queer history. “LGBTQ American history is not taught in Florida’s public schools, so I took it upon myself to explain the events of the Stonewall Uprising to my 4th period US history class,” wrote Larkins.Their video has been seen more than 400,000 times as of Tuesday morning.
The post drew both praise and criticism, leading Larkins to give further context to the clip. “We were in the late 60s early 70s unit and when I found out we were gonna learn about stonewall (1969) I made a presentation and my teacher let me show the class,” they explained, while also trying to push back on negative comments they received. “I’m a 17-year-old high school junior teaching a historical event to my classmates.
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