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Hope In Recovery in the Wake of “Don’t Say Gay”
Florida’s recent “Don’t Say Gay” bill is detrimental to the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights. Refusing to bring up LGBTQ+ terms within high schools might sound like “individual freedom” to some, but it is really a violation of the toleration principle and can be just one cog in the machine of negative effects on vulnerable students. Wording like “fundamental right of parents” certainly sounds non-bigoted, but this can hide the effect of LGBTQ+ people not being seen. It can be read as either carelessness or a dog whistle term.
If we are to not learn about LGBTQ+ history or that people are simply different from each other, history is doomed to repeat itself, even in the present. As a result, systemic issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community will still be normalized (or likely seen as “natural”), and those within the community could turn to negative coping mechanisms, such as drug or alcohol addiction.
But, even with this vulnerability and the seemingly lack of hope, there is hope. With systemic issues able to cause LGBTQ+ individuals to turn to turn to drugs or alcohol, you can seek help. Find out how to overcome your issues and pinpoint your triggers. As we continue to fight for necessary equal rights, it is still important to find the needed help in the meantime.
Talk to a trusted friend. Find counseling or rehabilitation. Find an online group of fellow LGBTQ+ people. There is a wealth of people out there who get it, who understand you, who want to help you, and who love you. We will all continue to fight against the othering of LGBTQ+ people who see such normalization as “unnatural” or “subjective.”
We are people. We are LGBTQ+. We are a rainbow, and can paint Florida all the colors.