Transgender man Rory Richards is bringing attention to “terrifying” anti-LGBTQ laws in Florida, which have prevented him from accessing gender-affirming care. Keep reading for the full story.
A Human Rights Crisis?
“Florida is in a human rights crisis,” says Rory Richards, a 28-year-old transgender man who is leaving his home state of Florida over state laws he deems “terrifying” for the future of LGBTQ people.
New Bill Passed
Earlier this year Senate Bill 254 was passed and signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.
The bill has halted transgender treatments for people under the age of 18 and requires written consent with the presence of a physician for adults 18 years and older.
Running from Home
Rory, who hails from Alachua County, has spoken out about the new state laws that have driven him from his home, saying “Florida is in a human rights crisis and the future is terrifying. I can’t stay here any longer…”
It is believed that this recent law will make it more difficult for even adult transgender people to get in-person appointments for medical care since most related care is prescribed by nurses, not physicians. For people like Rory, it’s a frightening prospect.
He Doesn’t See It
Though the law is currently being challenged, in September federal judge Robert Finkle ruled that it will still be applied during these periods, and he has yet to see proof that objectors “would be irreparably harmed until the case is resolved.”
Moving to Colorado
But Rory and his community disagree a sentiment he made clear on his GoFundMe page.
The page was set up to help him fundraise at least $5000 to help him leave the state and make the move to Colorado, a state he believes is “one of the most LGBT-friendly.”
Taken by Law
“[My] transgender journey started February 2022 when I received top surgery,” the GoFundMe description begins.
“In October 2022 I started taking hormones. I haven’t been on them for a year and it’s already being taken away from me by law.”
What Happens Next
“There are an estimated 100,000 trans people in Florida and none of whom know what rights they’re going to have tomorrow,” Rory continues, reflecting the fears of many LGBTQ people in Florida following Bill 524.
The Future Is Terrifying
He ends his GoFundMe post with a bleak outlook for Floridians, writing that “Florida is in a human rights crisis and the future is terrifying. I can’t stay here any longer…”
ACLU Speaks Out
Of course, Rory Richards isn’t the only one with serious concerns about the effects these new laws will have.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also spoken out publicly about Bill 524.
Criminalising and Onerous
The ACLU has described the bill as something that “criminalizes doctors for providing gender-affirming care,” and referred to the requirement for written consent from people seeking gender-affirming care as “onerous.”
But not everyone agrees with the opinions of the ACLU or people like Rory.
Governor DeSantis declared the bill part of a wider strategy to develop “a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy” in the state.
A Concerning Trend
Bill 524 is just one of a number of controversial laws that have been recently passed in Florida.
It represents the move against progressive issues like abortion rights and LGBTQ issues, which is an ongoing trend in wider US politics.
‘Don’t Say Gay’
Another recent law that exemplifies this political drift is the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law.
This law means that curriculums for third graders (aged eight to nine years old) cannot involve any teaching about LGBTQ issues such as gender identity or sexuality.
With young LGBTQ people like Rory Richards looking to flee to more ‘progressive’ states, it is clear that these new laws will have an ongoing effect for years to come.
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The post “A Human Rights Crisis” – Transgender Man Flees Florida Over Anti- LGBTQ Laws first appeared on Mama Say What?!
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.