In the haste to pass the “don’t say gay” law in Florida, it seems that lawmakers forgot that heterosexual is also a sexual orientation. In its recent legislative session, Florida voted to only allow non-gendered education in schools, and it looks like that’s exactly what they’re going to get. 

After watching the “don’t say gay” law canvas its way through the media and public, an educator in Detroit, Michigan had an epiphany. If Florida’s law was, as Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed, non-discriminatory and not targeting the LGBTQ community, then take him at his word—and be sure to apply the “don’t say gay” law across all sexual orientations and gender identities—including the heterosexual and cisgendered ones. 

Drafting a letter (originally written as satire), this Detroit school teacher pointed out that thanks to Florida’s new law, teachers would “no longer be referring to students with gendered pronouns. All students will be referred to as “they’ or “them.” 

The letter also informed parents that teachers “will no longer use a gendered title such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or make any references to [their] husband/wife in the classroom. From now on, [they] will be using the non-gendered title “Mx.””

Boom. 

The letter, originally written as satire resonated with Florida educators who realized that satire or not—the point made is more correct than originally anticipated and thanks to the social media outrage of the right-wing group “Moms for Liberty” the letter went viral. 

Florida educators began distributing the letter via social media and within hours it was trending on Twitter and began showing up in dozens of articles on the national news.

Read the letter for yourself: 

“Dear Florida parent/caregiver: 

The Florida House of Representatives has recently ruled that “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that’s not appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

To be in accordance with this policy, I will no longer be referring to your student with gendered pronouns. All students will be referred to as “they’ or “them.” I will no longer use a gendered title such as “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or make any references to my husband/wife in the classroom. From now on, I will be using the non-gendered title “Mx.”

Furthermore, I will be removing all books or instruction which refer to a person being “mother,” “father,” “husband” or “wife” as these are gender identities that allude to sexual orientation. Needless to say, all books that refer to a character as “he” or “she” will also be removed from the classroom. If you have any concerns about this policy, please feel free to contact your local congressperson.

Thank you, Mx. XXXXXXXXX”

The Moms for Liberty organization was calling for people to “take a stand” against the letter’s perspective, but many responders pointed out that since Governor DeSantis signed the bill, ignoring all gender identities and sexual orientation in the classroom is now the state law. So even heterosexual, orthodox, straight families were now directly impacted—and that didn’t sit well with these heterosexual women. 

The memo has even sparked conversations around whether the state’s now-illicit topic of gender and sexuality means all school bathrooms in Florida must remove signs for ‘boys’ and ‘girls.’

Meanwhile, many teachers say they can no longer teach in Florida, fearing the possible fallout from discussing government-banned topics, including families with same-sex parents—or as this letter points out: parents at all. 

LGBTQ supporters say the Florida bill is blatant homophobia that bars educators from discussing their own families, by threat of persecution and prevents students from seeing and sharing a diversity of family dynamics.

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