Sarasota County student suing over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ uses curly hair as commencement speech code

(The Hill) – An openly gay Florida high school student among those suing the state’s “Do Not Say Gay” law used her graduation speech to talk about her experience – in when using the wink code to avoid mentioning your orientation directly.

“I have to discuss a very public part of my identity. This trait has probably become the first thing that comes to mind when you think of me as a human being,” Zander Moricz said Sunday. “As you know, I have curly hair.”

Moricz, the senior class president at Pine View School in Sarasota County, has repeatedly mentioned his special locks after previously saying his speech would be censored if he spoke publicly about Church law. Parental Rights Education.

“A few days ago, my principal called me into his office and informed me that if my graduation speech mentioned my active work or plaintiff role in the lawsuit, , the school administration signaled to cut off my microphone, end my speech, and stop. ceremony, ” Moricz previously wrote on Twitter. “I’m the first openly gay class president in my school’s history – this censorship seems to indicate they want me to be the last.”

During Pine View’s graduation ceremony, Moricz shared how the law could impact kids with “curly hair” like him.

“There will be a lot of kids with curly hair who need a community like Pine View and they won’t,” Moricz said in his statement. “Instead, they will try to repair themselves so they can survive in Florida’s humid climate.”

Moricz said he had been planning his graduation speech since freshman year of high school but didn’t anticipate having to mention his activism during that time.

“Do you think I wish it was about this?” he asked the audience. “It needs to be said for this to the thousands of curly-haired kids who will be forced to say this throughout their lives as students.”

Moricz urged his classmates to “claim their power” and “give it to our defenders.”

“The people we empower are the reason I have to stand here and talk about my hair in my graduation speech,” he added during a study at Florida lawmakers.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) at the end of March signed into law the controversial Do Not Say Gay law, restricting discussion of gender and sexual orientation in the classroom.

Several other states, including New Jersey and Louisiana, have introduced similar laws.

“Any student whose parent or guardian does not provide prior written consent shall be excused from that portion of the course upon such instruction and without penalty for credit or good industry will lead to it,” reads part of the bill introduced by a New Jersey Senator.

Critics, including the Biden administration, say the bills will harm the mental health of young LGBTQ Americans.

“I used to hate my curls,” Moricz said in his speech. “I’ve spent mornings and nights shaming them, trying my best to be blunt about who I am, but the daily damage of trying to fix myself has become too much to bear.” Sarasota County student suing over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ uses curly hair as commencement speech code

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