Is ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill A Threat To The LGBTQ Youth’s Mental Health?

Last Update on December 27, 2023 : Published on March 19, 2022
Don't Say Gay bill

The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill is heavily talked about in the media, LGBTQ+ community and in the education section. The bill is affecting the parents and children the most. What do parents want for their children? How and when their children should learn about gender identities and sexual orientation?

There are so many question popping about the implementation of The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill. According to the state, sexual orientation and gender identity is a topic that can be discuss above 4th grade. They believe it is not age and developmentally appropriate for children below the 4th grade to learn about.

On the contrary, the LGBTQ+ community has a completely different take on it. According to them The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill will only render confusion and emotional distress to children/youth belonging to the LGBTQ+. That’s because if children learn about ‘He’ and ‘She’ at that age, what’s wrong in teaching them about ‘They’?

Also read: What Is LGBTQ Discrimination? | Ways To Fight Against Discrimination

All About The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

On the 8th of March, senators from Florida passed the ‘Parental Rights In Education’ bill, also k Called ‘Don’t say gay’ bill by the critics. According to the bill any discussion or instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation will be restricted for students in classes below the 3rd grade.

In fact the bill proposes an idea that topics like gender identity and sexual orientation should be discussed at hole with parents and not in the school with teachers. Those who supported this bill believe that it will help parents get a hold on their child’s education.

What people think of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?

“We’re going to make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum,” this is what DeSantis, the senator, said in a press conference.

The ‘Don’t say gay’ bill is being highly opposed by many people all including President Biden. Biden calls the ‘Don’t say gay’ bill “Hateful”. In fact even the CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, says, “Disney now opposes the bill”

All Critics have to say about ‘Don’t say gay’ bill and similar bills is that it will take us all several step back rather than taking one step forward towards accepting the LGBTQ+ community. They are also saying they this bill can confuse children and they might find it difficult to understand gender fluidity and sexual orientation.

How Will The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill Imapct The LGBTQ+ Community?

If a child does not identify with the gender they have been assigned at birth, it’ll be very tormenting for them not to talk about it in school and with their peers. Children are inquisitive and when at a young age issues like gender identity and sexual orientation are not addressed rather hashed will unfortunately promote resistance and non-acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.

Professor Abbie Goldberg specializes in gender identity and sexual orientation shares that talking about sexual orientation and gender identity at a young age can help in removing the stigma attached to it. It will also promote acceptance of the sexual and gender diversity.

The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill attach the self-worth of the LGBTQ+ kids and youth, they well feel unseen and not validated. It’s will make them feel like something is wrong in them which can result in various mental health related issues like;

  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Engage in risky behavior
  • Suicidal ideation/ self-harm behavior

What Can Be Do To Promote LGBTQ+ Acceptance?

According to some research and studies, experts say that affirming LGBTQ+ identities can have a positive effect on their mental health. In Fact a recent study stated that acceptance of gender identities can improve mental health among transgender and nonbinary children/youth.

Similar research states that having LGBTQ+ affirming schools can reduce depression and suicidal tendencies in children.

Even though the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill discourages the acceptance of LGBTQ+ in schools but the Bill doesn’t govern your home. Here’s what you can do at home as parents;

  • Make your home a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ youth so that they can discuss their issues freely with you.
  • Buy books and literature that promotes acceptance of the LGBTQ+ Community.
  • Actions speak louder than words, make sure you take a stand for the LGBTQ+ so that children can learn.
  • Teach children acceptance and compassion for the human kind the way they are.

Also read: 15 Mental Health Resources For LGBTQ+ Community

That’ll be all on the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill and how it can impact the LGBTQ+ youth and their mental health.

I hope this piece of information helps you understand what the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill states, what critics and others have to say about the bill and how is it affecting the mental health of the LGBTQ+ youth.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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