The Culture War of Ron DeSantis

Today, Governor DeSantis decided to involve the Florida Department of Health in his personal culture war against transgender youth throughout the state of Florida, defying guidance from the US Department of Health and Human Services and countering professional, study-supported, medically-backed, gender affirming and lifesaving treatment for trans individuals. The Governor, who also refers to trans children as ‘victims of transgenderism’, made the decision to incorrectly, but purposely include gender reassignment surgeries as a routine option in minors, in a desperate attempt to associate these practices as an everyday part of gender-affirming care. Minors do not receive gender reassignment or any type of trans-related surgeries, and the Governor knows this. He is highlighting practices that trans adults have the option to receive, in order to sway public opinion and falsely portray them as a routine part of trans-affirming care for minors.

It is appalling, insulting, and reprehensible that Governor DeSantis would claim to use our states’ department of health in order to push these false narratives, with no intent other than to further dehumanize transgender people, demonize their families and encourage others to pin a degrading label on anyone that supports the trans community, as he and his entire administration has been doing since taking office.

The record doesn’t need to be set straight on what is included in gender-affirming care for trans youth; the US Department of Health and Human Services has done so. So has the American Medical Association, doctors, counselors, and countless other organizations across the United States and the world over.

What needs to be set straight is why this is happening, who it is happening to and where these attacks are coming from.

This is happening because Governor DeSantis wants to score political points with his base- period. NONE of these statements regarding trans youth or trans-affirming care are coming with any sound evidence, statistics or instances that are not directly at HIS behest.

The Governor continues to endanger trans youth by threatening to take away medically-proven, lifesaving care that has no adverse effects, is reversible in regards to puberty blockers, and has shown through multiple institutional studies- ACTUAL ones that have peer reviewed, not opinion pieces- to help youth who identify as trans.

Ron DeSantis does not know better than the leading doctors and scientists in their respective fields, and his hatred towards trans youth is negatively impacting them, their families and friends alike. He is putting a bullseye on their backs, contributing to the already well-documented, statistical evidence of increased suicidal ideation and devastatingly high rate of suicide for trans youth who are not supported.

These attacks MUST STOP.

We at Rainbow SemDems feel for the Florida Department of Health workers that he has dragged into this personal vendetta against our transgender community. They did not ask to be involved in it.

We feel for the workers who are trying to put children first and their mental health front and center, whom he is barking orders at and threatening to stay in line.

As adults, trusted with the task of protecting our children- we are better than this.

These attacks against trans children will be met.
We will not fail trans children. We will not support condemning them, just because they do not identify in the same way as Governor DeSantis does. And we WILL NOT allow trans youth to be discriminated against, simply for being who they are.

We WILL meet this moment, regardless of our Governor failing to do so.

The Rainbow SemDems Board of Directors