Ron DeSantis has blood on his hands after doggedly attacking Florida’s trans community

Ron DeSantis in front of a tranas flag

As Ron DeSantis reportedly prepares to announce his presidential run on Twitter, Serena Sonoma explains why he’s not fit to be governor, let alone president.

Florida governor DeSantis has blood on his hands, and he has had for a while now. His ruthless pursuit of power has resulted in discriminatory policies and emboldened moralities that harm the LGBTQ+ community.

In January 2022, a 12-year-old trans child in Clay County, Florida, attempted to take their own life due to the pain and anguish they felt as a trans youngster living in a world that refused to accept them.

The child was reportedly supported by their school, having been afraid to speak to their Christian parents about their gender. The parents sued.

At the time, the Florida legislature was considering the Don’t Say Gay Bill, which would prohibit schools teaching children about LGBTQ+ lives. It was signed into law by hard-line Republican DeSantis in March of that year.

More recently, the governor signed laws banning school employees from asking students for their pronouns, preventing trans people accessing the correct public toilets and changing rooms – including in schools – and outlawing gender-affirming medical care for trans minors.

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SARASOTA, FL - MAY 15: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks after signing three education bills on the campus of New College of Florida in Sarasota, Fla. on Monday, May 15, 2023. (Photo by Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ron DeSantis has waged constant attacks on the LGBTQ community. (Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The heartbreaking story from Clay County highlights the urgent need for policies that protect and support LGBTQ+ youth who are vulnerable to discrimination and harm.

According to a national survey conducted by The Trevor Project, 42 per cent of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in 2022. The survey also found that 70 per cent of transgender and non-binary youth reported symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder in the past two weeks, while 68 per cent of LGBTQ+ youngsters reported symptoms of major depressive disorder in the same time frame. 

And yet, DeSantis is determined to limit the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly trans people.

Ron DeSantis’ attacks on LGBTQ+ people and trans rights

Expected to announce his run for president soon, DeSantis has a well-documented history of opposing LGBTQ+ rights and supporting discriminatory policies in the Sunshine state.

In May, he signed a bill that made it illegal for doctors to provide gender-affirming care to trans youth, denying access to life-saving medical care that has been proven to reduce suicide rates and improve mental-health outcomes. This ban is one of the most extreme in the country and has been widely criticised by medical professionals, LGBTQ+ advocates and human rights organisations.

He’s also expanded the Don’t Say Gay law to cover a wider age range, and has previously signed a ban on trans girls and women competing in school and college sports.

DeSantis is expected to announce his candidacy for the presidency. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

DeSantis continues serving his own political ambitions rather than the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. His stance has earned rights organisations, such as GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign.

His discriminatory policies are unacceptable and call into question his ability to serve as governor. The prioritisation of his own political ambitions over the wellbeing of LGBTQ+ Floridians is a clear indication of his lack of concern for marginalised communities.

By limiting access to trans healthcare, promoting bathroom bills and implementing a ban on trans athletes from participating in women’s sports, he is perpetuating a hostile and unsafe environment for LGBTQ+ people.

As allies of the LGBTQ+ community, we must hold DeSantis accountable for his harmful policies and demand that he steps down as governor. We need a leader who will prioritise the wellbeing and rights of all Floridians, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

It is our responsibility to recognise the harm caused by discriminatory policies and work towards creating a more equitable society. By donating to LGBTQ+ organisations, volunteering our time and supporting LGBTQ+ individuals in our lives, we can be part of the solution and help create a world where discrimination and hate have no place.

The fight for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Young people across the country are struggling to navigate a world that often sees their civil rights as a privilege rather than a birthright. But we can’t afford to let them down.

It’s time for all of us to step up and fight for equality and justice for everyone. Together, we can create a world where every individual is valued and respected, and where leaders such as DeSantis are held accountable for their actions.