Advice for parent of trans kid traveling to Florida?
March 4, 2023 4:21 PM   Subscribe

My kid has been invited by a family friend to fly (from SF, CA) into Florida for a week at a theme park. He is trans and smart and proud. I’m becoming concerned due to the amount of anti-trans legislation and general trans hate that ’s apparently become the adopted pastime of the Sunshine State (or at least it’s right-leaning political class) . I’m looking for thoughts, suggestions, advice on how he and the folks he’ll be traveling with can safely navigate any gauntlets they may find themselves asked to run.

Replies containing anti-trans viewpoints and related busybody fascist propaganda will be unwelcome and unnecessary.

After reading about the Don’t Say Gay bill, or Florida Senate Bill 254 and other proposed legislation, I’m concerned that some loyal citizen with a hardon for Fuhrer Ron Desantis could attempt to take action against my kid if he were to be suspected of being trans or if he stated so himself. I don’t know how realistic that concern is, but then again when we’re talking about Florida we’re not talking about a place where, from the outside, reality appears to be the coin of the realm (I do apologize to the likely majority of Floridians who are not caught up in Ron’s obsession with people who will never do any harm other than make him feel uncomfortable over having to sit with difficult feelings around gender). Perhaps I imagine too freely about the flunky at the airport or theme park who’s angling to build his career by watching everyone disembarking a plane from the moral hellscape of San Francisco, hoping to lock on to some kid who doesn’t appear to be of a binary gender.
posted by jerome powell buys his sweatbands in bulk only to Human Relations (51 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it makes you feel better, the major theme parks are very welcoming to queer people.
posted by cakelite at 4:45 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]

Considering that there’s a bill before the Florida legislature to seize trans minors and put them in the custody of the state, if I had a trans child I wouldn’t let them set foot in Florida. The risks are life-altering and the benefits are minuscule.
posted by rhymedirective at 5:02 PM on March 4 [32 favorites]

How old is your son, and what does he think? I don’t mean if I’d he a minor. I mean, are we talking about a teenager?
posted by bluedaisy at 5:06 PM on March 4

Part of this is how old your trans kid is and how aware they are of politics. If they are old enough to ask and have insight into the answer, that's whose opinion you should be considering the most.

Also depending on thieir views, going or allowing them to go could send an inadvertant message to your child that your willing to take risks with their life, or that you don't care about the political landscape, or don't value them.

Either way in this political landscape it is worth having a conversation of risks and benefits and what you can or can't do if something were to happen.

Ultimately the world is dangerous place, and I'm not sure how much you can even guarentee safety in California even if it is politically a much more welcoming environment.

Personally, if the child is early teens or younger I'd decline mostly because I wouldn't trust the people with them to handle any trans issues that come up in a way that supports the trans person.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:22 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: To answer a question above, my son is about to turn 13, and speaks and presents as more mature than that.

Thanks to everyone who's answered thus far.
posted by jerome powell buys his sweatbands in bulk only at 5:39 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]

I live in Florida, and yes the political situation is awful and terrifying, but so far I haven't heard of employees at airports or theme parks hassling trans kids. The big challenge I would anticipate is bathrooms. Most places around here don't have bathrooms labeled "gender neutral" - but you can usually find ones labeled "family restroom" or "companion restroom" that are a single locking room rather than multiple stalls in one room.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:40 PM on March 4 [6 favorites]

Not to say that your son shouldn't use a men's restroom! Especially at a theme park it is very unlikely that he'll have trouble with that - everyone is just looking to get in and out as quickly as possible and not paying much attention to other people. But if it helps him feel more comfortable, the "family" or "companion" ones are the ones to look for.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:44 PM on March 4

I think the chances of your kid being targeted by anti-trans assholes are pretty small, even with the insanity of everything going on down here politically. Particularly if your kid is spending most/all of their time in touristy areas or on Disney/Universal Property, then the chances of anything happening would fall pretty much to what I would suspect you'd find anywhere, including the Bay Area (I live in SF, grew up in Orlando and have been back and forth between the two for months at a time over the last year so I feel like I have an understanding of the ambient anti-LGBT sentiment in both places, although I am not trans).

If your kid is spending time outside of the theme parks and touristy areas I would still venture to say that they'd be okay, but I would want to know more details such as if they're hanging out in the more Trumpy exurbs like Lake County or Osceola or would be someplace like Winter Park, downtown Orlando or Dr. Phillips where the social/political vibe (imo) is much closer to maybe, say like the mid-Peninsula or Walnut Creek or whatever. That said, just last week or two ago when I landed here again there were stories about Nazi or far-right white supremacists (from Petaluma, actually, right there in good ole blue SF Bay Area!) harassing Jewish people going to temple in the Dr. Phillips area, so yeah . . . I'd be more wary if your kid was going super local while he's here, but even then, we are talking about very small chances of anything going wrong and its not like those same kinds of people aren't lurking in the background in the Bay Area.
posted by flamk at 6:03 PM on March 4 [4 favorites]

My kid has been invited by a family friend to fly (from SF, CA) into Florida for a week at a theme park. He is trans and smart and proud.

Respectfully: don't throw those dice.
posted by mhoye at 7:04 PM on March 4 [14 favorites]

I would have a lot of questions I’d want the answers to before I felt OK with this, and maybe you already know the answers to these! But at a minimum:

How well does your child know this family friend? What about all the other folks making this trip (the family friend’s family?)?

Is the family friend living in Florida, or elsewhere? If they aren’t local to Florida, what will the accommodation situation be? Will your kid need to interact with a bunch of hotel staff and other guests or is this an Airbnb or the family friend’s house?

What is the family friend’s (family’s?) understanding of the process, time and money required to, if your child expresses a desire to do so, get your child home ASAP? Does it match yours and your child’s?

What kinds of ID does your child have? Does it match his gender presentation? What policies does the airline have regarding kids his age?

What is your child’s health insurance situation? If he falls and breaks his ankle, what happens if he shows up at the emergency room in Florida with someone who isn’t his parent?

What is his level of comfort with speaking up to advocate for himself when adults are not around? In particular, what is his understanding of his rights when he goes through airport security?

Which theme parks will this trip be including, and are the parks’ services for under-18s who need help sufficiently trans-inclusive?
posted by mdonley at 7:43 PM on March 4 [18 favorites]

What if your kid hears someone say something awful? If he speaks up, what are the consequences to him? If he doesn't speak up, what are the consequences to him? Is the family he'd be traveling with capable of supporting him in either scenario?
posted by lapis at 10:00 PM on March 4 [3 favorites]

I work with teens (literally, they are my employees) and there's no way I would let a kid under 16 go with someone who wasn't close family to a state that's trying to eliminate trans lives any way possible. Why do I cut it off at 16? Because usually kids that age have more life skills and can advocate for themselves in a way younger children cannot. So no, I wouldn't let a 13 year old do this unless a parent or guardian was going to accompany them.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:27 PM on March 4 [6 favorites]

Im non binary, and present masc. I wouldn't go to flordia right now.
posted by PinkMoose at 11:19 PM on March 4

Book the flight. Do not teach your children to be fearful people.
posted by kickingtheground at 11:23 PM on March 4 [2 favorites]

Hell no. I would not do this and would in fact thi k lesser of your friends for suggesting it.
posted by Tamanna at 12:32 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]

If your son isn't especially interested in the parks, neutral ground might be best in terms of both your anxiety and not spending money in a place you don't approve of (can these friends come to visit you?); if he has his heart absolutely set on these particular destinations, he'd best go now because he might not be able to go later.
posted by kingdead at 1:46 AM on March 5

What kinds of ID does your child have? Does it match his gender presentation?

This involves the US border but also by TSA on the return flight - I have a non-binary friend who flew two months ago who ticked the box for gender neutral and who then was patted down very invasively and had their arms checked, they believe for RFFF scars, on the return flight. This person is an adult and has been an advocate a long time. This was their first time flying to the States in a while and the experience was very disturbing for them on a number of levels.

Borders are obviously different than flying inside the US but that anecdote really has sat with me. Hopefully it was unusual.
posted by warriorqueen at 4:05 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]

Some of the answers you're getting here remind me a lot of how studies have shown that people who watch the news have an overly exaggerated view of how dangerous their neighborhoods are.

The most useful answers are going to be from trans people living in Florida. Googling, I found Equality Florida. Perhaps they'd be willing to give you a better sense of whether this is a good idea. There are other groups as well - that's just the first one that came up for me.
posted by FencingGal at 4:50 AM on March 5 [16 favorites]

There is no safe way of doing this without a parent present. It would probably be fine, but if he needs any kind of healthcare you’ll want a legal guardian to be there. And healthcare could be anything, even a minor thing, from a sprain to food poisoning. He’s old enough to have this risk explained to him, and for you to apologise if you agreed without knowing the full risks.
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 4:54 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]

Several families of trans teens of my acquaintance consider FL to currently be off limits for family travel, FWIW. But if you decide rhe benefits outweigh the risks, perhaps send both kid and family prepared with contact info for any local organizations you can find that are knowledgeable about and prepared to help a trans teen if needed.
posted by Stacey at 4:55 AM on March 5

the flunky at the airport or theme park who’s angling to build his career by watching everyone disembarking a plane from the moral hellscape of San Francisco, hoping to lock on to some kid who doesn’t appear to be of a binary gender.

This is really not a thing. I live here. I have trans friends who live here. My son, who is 20, has friends his age with non-typical gender presentation who live here. Nobody is rounding up trans tourists on their way to Disney World.

If you were asking, should he move here, or should he go to college here, I would be on Team Hell No. If he or you want to say "fuck that place, I'm not spending tourist dollars in a state with such awful politics" I'm with you all the way. But if he really wants to spend a week in the Orlando theme parks with family friends, the risks you're imagining are ... well, they're just not a thing.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:02 AM on March 5 [31 favorites]

Does your son take gender-affirming meds? The worst case scenario I’d envision is that he confronts or respond to someone being anti-trans, is arrested, denied medication until released. I think that’s quite unlikely. The likelihood of facing some harassment is higher in Florida, but the world is changing and the likelihood of support exists, too.

The discussion I’d have with your son, and possibly the generous hosts, is about their feelings supporting businesses and tax revenues in a state where hate is being incited. It’s really difficult to be trans and will be for the near future. It’s a shitty decision to have to think about at 13, but important to consider. Going anyway is a reasonable option.
posted by theora55 at 5:16 AM on March 5

This is a hard no, but I'm going to come at this a bit sideways.

I understand when parents believe their kids are mature for their age and can handle situations and I am certain your child is bright and clever and articulate, but as a person who has professionally worked with teens for decades, I can guarantee you that a post-pandemic 13 year old should NOT travel alone cross country.

This has nothing to do with trans phobia or Florida nastiness or Disney hospitality; it has to do with airlines being shit and customer service non-existent and people on airplanes having extraordinary moments where flights need to be diverted. Your kid on a diverted plane stuck in Kansas with no airline agents to talk and an uncharged cell phone (13 year olds, you know) is not at all unlikely and could be a very scary situation.

What I'm saying is that in this current climate, traveling alone as a 13 year old is not a good idea. With all due respect, having worked with teens, I know that many 13 year olds present as articulate and mature, but the reality is that developmentally, they are much younger and not at all equipped to handle flying solo cross country.

If you could fly with them, then sure. Go for it.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:02 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]

A 13-year-old would fly as an "unaccompanied minor." My kids did that at much younger ages (8 and 10), and it was fine. The flight attendants were responsible for them and took that very seriously.
posted by FencingGal at 6:14 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]

I hadn't thought about the prospect of the kid flying alone, I had assumed the adult friends and kid would be flying together. If a 13 year old is flying alone, look at the airline's policy on unaccompanied minors. We (pre-pandemic) let our son fly alone from Charlotte to Chicago to visit grandparents a few times from age 6 to age 14 and the airline had precise requirements about ID for us dropping him off and the grandparents picking him up, and a flight attendant to accompany him getting on and off the plane. With flights and airlines being what they are these days, I would not do any flight that required a plane change - too much chance of missed connections, getting lost in the shuffle. Nonstop flight only.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:19 AM on March 5

A 13-year-old would fly as an "unaccompanied minor." My kids did that at much younger ages (8 and 10), and it was fine. The flight attendants were responsible for them and took that very seriously.

Historically, yes, but this is not always the case anymore. I can tell you that I recently took two flights where I saw young teens being brought to a gate and left alone for several hours. When the plane boarded, nobody helped them. The flight attendants did not offer them any special help. If the planes had been cancelled they would have been left alone.

Airlines are stretched thin, customer service has changed a bit, flights are being cancelled frequently, and as a parent those are not dice I'd want to roll.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:25 AM on March 5 [2 favorites]

Hiiiii I’m a trans woman and All My Family lives in Florida and I still sure as shit would not go there for any god damn reason, least of all Disney World
posted by Gymnopedist at 6:31 AM on March 5 [11 favorites]

kicking the ground: Book the flight. Do not teach your children to be fearful people.

hiiiiii btw sooo a very sober assessment of risk (life threatening anti trans violence) vs. rewards (a dumb theme park) is not the same as fearfulness and living a trans identity in this world especially as a minor child is intrinsically fearless just fyi ^.^~*~*
posted by Gymnopedist at 6:41 AM on March 5 [30 favorites]

I won't be spending any money in Florida for the foreseeable future because of this bullshit. I'm with the people who think this is probably safe, but not worth it unless he REALLY wants to go.
posted by chaiminda at 8:11 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]

I am also planning on boycotting Florida. It's a shame, I liked the activities the one time I went, but I don't think it's going to be safe for a lot of people to visit. Disneyland still exists, anyway.

I'll put it this way: your kid could theoretically be fine, nothing happens, nobody at Disney World persecutes him. But if something goes wrong at the airport or the cops pull the family over for a taillight or god knows what else, I'd be concerned.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:49 AM on March 5

Some of the answers you're getting here remind me a lot of how studies have shown that people who watch the news have an overly exaggerated view of how dangerous their neighborhoods are

Right. Here’s a question: Where are there more Trump voters, Central Florida or the Bay Area? 1,114,385 people in the 14-county SF/Oakland/San Jose combined statistical area voted for Trump in 2020. Only 1,050,311 people in the Orlando CSA did. Obviously there are a lot more Biden voters in the Bay Area, but in terms of overall numbers, there are plenty of Trumpers who could get jobs at SFO, and you don’t seem terribly worried about them.

There are also 1,014,427 Biden voters in central Florida, 49% of the electorate. In Orlando itself, Orange County, the split is 61-38 Democratic. That’s higher than San Diego, and comparable to New York State. Would you be nervous to let your kid fly to San Diego?

Florida Republicans are also different than Republicans elsewhere, because of the Cuban immigrant population. Cubans vote pretty heavily Republican for historical, anti-Communist reasons, so statewide support for Republicans doesn’t necessarily mean support for anti-trans policies like it does in other states. If anything, Cubans are particularly sensitive about children being taken from their families by the government at gunpoint, since that’s a thing that happened in recent memory under a Democratic administration (Elian Gonzalez).

There are plenty of good reasons not to support Florida’s economy, but I don’t think your kid is in any particular danger going there. There are dangers involved in traveling alone as a child, and there are dangers associated with being a trans kid, and obviously combining the two elevates the risk. But that’s true of travel anywhere, not just Florida. Personally, I probably wouldn’t let my kid do it if I were you, but I also tend towards overprotectiveness as a parent. Looking at it rationally, it seems unlikely that anything bad would happen. The question is how heavily you weigh small probabilities, but that’s a question that comes up everywhere.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:50 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]

I will also say, anecdotally, that I’ve flown through MCO a few times, and workers there have gone out of their way to be friendly and accommodating. It’s an airport I like very much. That’s of course not to say that nothing would happen, but it is noticeable how much nicer people are at MCO than at, say, BOS (which is in a good liberal area but the people are just rude).
posted by kevinbelt at 9:53 AM on March 5

As the parent of a trans teen I would under no circumstances allow our son to go to Florida without a legal guardian. Yes, the chances that something happens is probably low (but definitely more than zero) think about how far away you will be, and what Florida is likely to do with a trans teen until you get there.

I mean, we don’t even go to Texas anymore and we have family there, so Florida us a hard No regardless, but Florida is not a cartoon and American conservatives have literally said out loud that their agenda is to remove trans people from this world.

This is not a joke.

Take the money you’d spend on this trip and send it to aid orgs helping trans folks in Florida relocate.
posted by Ookseer at 9:55 AM on March 5 [4 favorites]

Florida resident here. I teach many high-school age trans and non-binary young people, who are going about their lives quite happily. I think your fears of your child being publicly accosted are far overblown and as Daily Alice has pointed out, just...not a thing.

That said, I would have concern about *any* 13 yo flying across the country without a guardian. And I would also assume your child knows how to navigate public restrooms without causing a fuss or attracting undue attention.

I really wish non-Floridians would take a big step back from this conversation. Yes, the political situation here is absolutely horrifying and soul-crushing and I consistently mourn for the future here - but Florida is half-full of kind and accepting people, just like the rest of the US. Day-to-day life is completely normal, especially in metro areas like Orlando and especially in theme parks like Disney/Universal. Your kid will be fine.
posted by gnutron at 10:41 AM on March 5 [14 favorites]

I think your fears of your child being publicly accosted are far overblown and as Daily Alice has pointed out, just...not a thing.

Hi! Trans person from Florida here again. The possibility of being clocked and publicly accosted is indeed A Thing™ trans people grapple with in all places, including Florida. ^.^~****~
posted by Gymnopedist at 11:21 AM on March 5 [8 favorites]

Not to be all alarm bells--I am a strong proponent of trans fearlessness--but a lot of people in this thread are saying things that sound a lot like "None of the women I know have (told me they have) been catcalled!" Think about it!

Ok thanks byyyyyeeeeeeeeeee I'm leaving this thread forever now I promise <3 ^_____^
posted by Gymnopedist at 11:26 AM on March 5 [5 favorites]

I would note that the question is not "should I let my son do this" but "how can I support my son in doing this." Which isn't to say that it's bad to question the premises, but that isn't actually what's being asked.

OP, you never mentioned what your son's feelings are about this. Does he really want to go? Is he worried, or nonchalant, or nervous simply because that's a pretty big adventure for a 13-year-old to do solo...?

I think the best thing is to start with him. You can and should share your feelings and concerns, but try to here what his thoughts are about all of this. The family friend(s) he'll be staying with should also be part of a conversation about whether it's a wise idea, you will want to make sure everyone is on the same page about how to handle a situation if it arises.

As a cis-male I defer to people who are trans and/or who live in Florida about the risk assessment for trans people given the current situation, though I am a gay POC who lives in the South (New Orleans proper, but there are still plenty of fascists about). I had the general idea, growing up in the Midwest, that it was just super dangerous to move here and... you know what, there's good and bad people everywhere, including in self-described progressive areas.

So my main concern is not really that it's a red flag on its own to be queer and existing in the South, but that a thirteen-year-old travelling alone to visit non-family and possibly having to deal with anti-trans persons harassing him is... just a number of yellow flags that might add up to "eh, let's not do this right now."

But to reiterate: talk to your son. Share your thoughts, let him share his, and I think together you will have a good sense coming out of that conversation about whether it's wise to go and, if so, what some of the realistic possibilities are and how to handle them.
posted by tivalasvegas at 11:52 AM on March 5 [6 favorites]

The possibility of being clocked and publicly accosted is indeed A Thing™ trans people grapple with in all places, including Florida

Which is why I'm saying it's not a special risk to go to Florida, as opposed to going to Seattle or going to Chicago or staying at home.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:03 PM on March 5 [6 favorites]

Hi, I have a trans daughter. Flying in general is fraught since her transition...she got pretty upset that she needed a separate patdown. Her passport was still under her dead name and she presents female and apparently that triggered TSA pulling her out of line. She did ok but was 16.. at 13 she would have not been as calm.

So that would be my first concern for your son regardless of destination.

Secondly, yeah a lot depends on where exactly your son will be. It may be safe enough. But honestly, I wouldn't want any of my vacation dollars going to Florida, via Disney or otherwise. I would say no for that reason. There are plenty of theme parks in CA. I wouldn't send my daughter to FL without some kind of super compelling reason.
posted by emjaybee at 12:58 PM on March 5 [1 favorite]

trans dude here, the vast majority of responses (which I just skimmed) seem to be from cis people, who are not going to be a good source of info since they lack life experiences. "Theme parks are queer friendly" is not relevant unless he will be transported there like Star Trek and never leave. Airports and restaurants would be my points of concern.

- How badly does your son want to go? Is this something you'll likely never be able to afford again? Is the family friend dying of cancer and this is their last wish?
- Does anyone misgender him now? I would turn the masculine dial up if I were him. No jewelry, no unnatural haircolors, nothing feminine coded. Wear hoodies, loose pants, baseball caps. Facial hair not an issue due to age. There are a zillion guides on "how to pass" online. Hoodies were most effective for me in the beginning. That might not be an option in Florida due to sweating.
- If he is regularly perceived as female, then there's a hard choice to make. I would absolutely not put him through pretending to be female just to reduce risk of anti-trans harassment. Do not suggest this. Cancel the trip.
- Is he willing to refrain from wearing anything that discloses his LGBTQ status, including rainbow themed anything? Is he willing to refrain from discussing it? If he's used to being able to be loud and proud, this could be very hard. I would explain the risks and let him make his own decision. If he's hellbent on yelling TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS everywhere he goes, cancel the trip.
- Does he use men's rooms now? If no, I would start now in relatively safe San Francisco and prepare him to use them there depending on how he's perceived (covered above). I would not make him use the women's room unless he freely suggests it. Otherwise, cancel the trip.

I honestly do not think there is a *legal* danger. The danger is bystander harassment, which is frankly a concern everywhere, it's just heightened in Florida, Texas, and other fascist enclaves. The danger is having his trip marred either by having to hide who he is, or by being harassed, or both.

I started out kind of "eh, people are exaggerating" but the more I write this out, the more i'm inclined to tell you to just cancel. He's young and this could really hurt someone who isn't mature enough to handle it (no teenager is mature enough and trans kids are especially fragile right now). He's young and will have plenty of opportunities to travel.
posted by nezlamnyy at 4:08 PM on March 5 [10 favorites]

Am trans. Would not be keen on this trip. I honestly don't think there is reason to be concerned about safety; this is Orlando we're talking about. I'm also not sure flying long-distance as an unaccompanied minor really matters. Most airlines will not even let unaccompanied minors on anything but direct flights, and they will also typically not let you book the last flight of the day. We are getting into the time of year where weather disruptions are less likely. I really don't think your kid is going to wind up stranded in randomville.

But on principle, I would not be putting tourist dollars into Florida right now for pretty much any reason. Disneyworld (I assume) is not that much more magical than Disneyland.

Let your son have the final say, though. He's old enough to make this call for himself.
posted by desert outpost at 4:45 PM on March 5 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: So many of the responses here have been incredibly useful, and I am thankful for the generosity.


FWIW. Somewhere along the line it seems some came to believe that my kid would be traveling alone to FL . That is not the case. If they were to go, they'd be traveling with a family friend and her three children.

Apologies for any confusion caused by my original post.
posted by jerome powell buys his sweatbands in bulk only at 5:12 PM on March 5 [3 favorites]

advice on how he and the folks he’ll be traveling with can safely navigate

Statistically, he'll probably be fine. But the line between that and "extremely not fine" is nearly vertical, and all it takes is crossing paths with police or medical personnel, and even if you get a lawyer to draw up vigorous paperwork to empower his chaperones to act basically as his parents - and you should do this if you agree to this, because he IS effectively traveling alone if he's not with a legal guardian - there's zero guarantee you get your kid back anything like he was when he left if something happens. Like, you're one traffic stop from finding out how bad things can get, how bad things are encouraged to be, in Florida at this time.

If something goes wrong, you can expect your child (on update: and the other three kids) to be put into the care of the state while his chaperones spend a few days in jail for child trafficking or taking a minor across state lines for nefarious purposes or whatever. Will everyone get let go eventually? I mean probably, a few days or a week maybe. Until you can get there and see a judge, and then however long they decide to push making you wait for them to find him in the "foster" system. Way easier to do this to an out-of-state/blue state kid with parents on the other side of the country and nobody involved being a voting Florida taxpayer.

It just takes one cop, one emergency room nurse, one "concerned" neighbor, one flight attendant "trained" by a church to "detect" child trafficking - who may not even clock him as trans, but not like the look of your friend for one of a million made-up reasons.

I don't know how I'd feel about this family friend if they didn't front-load this invitation with an explanation of how they're going to keep your kid safe. You better be absolutely sure they "agree" with your child being trans, because there's just no consequences in Florida right now; they can do what they want.

I think this is a crap idea because there are better places to spend your money and legitimize with your patronage, but to do it IN FLORIDA SPECIFICALLY without a parent present seems incomprehensible to me as a west-coaster with many frightened friends with queer kids.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:33 PM on March 5 [8 favorites]

Be sure to give the family friend a medical power of attorney for the trip.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:22 PM on March 5 [3 favorites]

Hi, this was just posted and is about a proposed FL bill allowing seizure of trans kids from their families. Obviously it isn't yet law but I would ask as the fellow mom of a trans kid that you not send your kid there.
posted by emjaybee at 10:31 PM on March 5 [3 favorites]

Equality Florida is issuing a travel advisory for the state.
Today, Equality Florida took the unprecedented step of issuing a travel advisory to individuals, families, entrepreneurs, and students warning that Florida may not be a safe place to visit or take up residence. The advisory comes after passage of laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ+ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety laws and allow untrained, unpermitted carry, and foment racial prejudice. The Governor has also weaponized state agencies to impose sanctions against businesses large and small that disagree with his attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion.


[A long summary of all the various hostile legislation]


Taken in their totality, Florida’s slate of laws and policies targeting basic freedoms and rights pose a serious risk to the health and safety of those traveling to the state. We regret that these attacks have already led many to flee the state and are driving others to consider relocation. And, in a state whose economy is fueled by visitors from around the world, it is with great sadness that Equality Florida has had to take the extraordinary step of responding to inquiries by issuing an official advisory warning about the risks of travel to the state.

Equality Florida will continue providing information and resources to those impacted by these laws and policies. Visit our Open Doors Florida directory to find businesses with nondiscrimination policies and procedures. And if you experience discrimination, report it to our team here or call our Main Office at 813-870-3735.

It is our hope that those Floridians who can, will stay and engage more deeply in the fight against the state’s all-out assaults on democracy and freedom. This moment calls for a grassroots movement in defense of justice and equality for all -- so that we can turn back the tide of right wing authoritarianism, recommit to building a state that is safe and open to all, and once again celebrate Florida as a free state.
posted by i used to be someone else at 12:31 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]

Florida passes HB1521, which is a bathroom bill.

Do not send your trans kids to Florida.

posted by i used to be someone else at 4:16 PM on May 3

They are in fact about to pass the bill about kidnapping your kids. I hope your kiddo is safe and not there, OP. Please feel free to update us, we're thinking about them.
posted by emjaybee at 12:27 PM on May 5

Oh, what a change from March, when non-trans people were saying it'd be fine, that people following the news are reading way too much into things, that avoiding Florida was merely about fear.

I note not a single one has reconsidered their advice as the bills have been getting passed and signed into law.

If your child has not gone, jerome powell, at this point I would strongly recommend you don't send them.
  • The bathroom bill is now law. Applies to all publicly-funded facilities, including airports
  • The gender affirming care ban is now law, and the way it's written the state can now remove from custody any child receiving this care
  • The medical provider conscience bill is now law, which means, heaven forbid your child needs care in Florida, any medical provider is allowed to deny your child any healthcare

posted by i used to be someone else at 8:02 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

please reconsider sending your child.

this is from an adult trans woman who just went to florida. some lowlights:
I counted three signs on women's restrooms in restaurants and a private business that read something like "women ONLY please." Reading between the lines, 'cis' could be tacked onto that statement.

The anti trans climate was palpable. I got way more stares out in public than I have in any other area, living as an out trans woman for the better part of a decade. Some folks started staring at me and didn't stop until I left the area.

I was followed around the grocery store. I saw a lot of confederate flags and even KKK stickers stuck on walls and signage. The political climate is obvious and very pronounced.

Family or unisex restrooms are hard to come by. It's important to keep in mind that trans folks can be criminalized for using ANY sex segregated space regardless of AGAB. That particular law goes into effect July 1st. Less than 30 days away.
posted by i used to be someone else at 9:47 AM on June 6

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