We believe everyone should be treated with respect and dignity, in society and in lawmaking. However, repeated legislative attacks on trans people in Florida has made trans communities feel disrespected, neglected and restricted as Florida citizens. The most recent attack, the passing of the Anti-Trans Sports Bill, is not the first time state legislators have tried to take away the freedoms of LGBTQ+ communities, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. According to ACLU, over 100 bills attacking transgender people have been introduced in state legislatures since 2020. Nonetheless, the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates stands in solidarity and unity with trans people as we continue the fight for equal rights for all.
Activist working with Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, lead by the Florida Coalition for Trans Liberation and Equality Florida
What You Need to Know About the Anti-Trans Sports Bill (SB 1028)
According to HRC.org, the legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-transgender legislation have been fast and furious, led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. During the 2021 Florida Legislative Session, SB 1028 passed and was sent to the governor’s desk. It was added as an amendment to an unrelated education bill after the original bill was killed in committee. This bill bans transgender youth in Florida from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity and exists as an additional barrier to the comfort and acceptance of trans youth in American school systems.
According to Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel, “This bill is based in fear, not fact, and was pushed by legislators who have been fed misinformation by anti-LGBTQ extremists who don’t care about women’s sports or Floridians - they care about dismantling equality and have no compunction about transgender youth being harmed in the process.” SB 1028 was passed despite widespread opposition to the bill from professional and collegiate sports organizations, medical professionals, professional athletes, and over 90 U.S. corporations.
Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood volunteer speaking out against the anti-trans sports ban in the House
Republican governor Ron DeSantis signed this restrictive measure into law on June 1, 2021, ensuring that transgender women and girls in Florida public schools and colleges cannot play on women’s sports teams. The terms “biological sex” and “the sex printed on the person’s original birth certificate” are included as qualifications for determining trans women’s eligibility to join sports teams. Read more about this bill and other bills like it and how this impacts trans youth on ACLU’s website.
What This Means for the Future of Trans Floridians
The use of out-of-date terminology such as “biological sex” to determine a person’s involvement in gender-segregated activities is ridiculous and proves legislators’ lack of knowledge and disrespect for trans lives. While DeSantis continued to center the conversation about this bill around “protecting the integrity of women’s sports,” activists agree that the true nature of this bill lies in legislators attempting to discredit trans women as real women and restrict trans people from showcasing their talents and power in the sports realm.
State legislators continue to restrict and oppress trans communities based on their bigoted ideals about trans lives and their misuse of power in attempting to dictate another person’s gender expression and identity. In Arkansas, legislators signed a bill into law in April 2021 that prohibits transgender youth from receiving gender affirming healthcare. Five states, including Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, and West Virginia had bills signed by their governors in 2021 excluding transgender youth from athletics. We don’t want to see these same types of attacks here in Florida.
Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates hosting an event (post vaccination!) with Capital Tea, Tallahassee’s trans support group
We will stop at nothing to fight for trans rights as trans people have existed for centuries as individuals with stories to tell and power to share with the world. Advocates will continue to fight SB 1028 and any other anti-trans initiatives to come. In fact, the Human Rights Campaign filed a lawsuit against SB 1028 in Florida and announced future legal pursuits against anti-trans bills in three other states. The future for trans people is as bright as we make it, whether that is fighting for access to sports or healthcare or queer sex education. Florida needs to wake up. America needs to wake up. Because trans lives matter and we won’t stop until legislators know it.
Interested in joining the fight for trans lives?