Zander Moricz was the first openly gay student body president at Pine View School in Osprey, Fla., and as he took the mic at his school’s graduation on Sunday, he was determined to speak truthfully about his experiences — one way or the other Way.
In early May, Mr. Moricz — the latest prosecutor in the lawsuit over Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gill” law — tweeted that his school’s principal had called him into his office to tell Mr. Moricz that his microphone would be muted upon graduation , when he referred to his activism in his speech.
“I’m the first openly gay class president in the history of my school – this censorship seems to show they want me to be last,” Mr Moricz tweeted. “This threat is not the first I have received from the administration over my queer rights.”
Mr Moricz wrote that he was similarly threatened when he helped organize a student strike to protest the passage of legislation banning teachers from teaching young elementary school students about gender and sexual orientation, and prohibiting any such teaching, if it is “not age appropriate”. appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”
But Pine View’s students went out anyway, and Mr Moricz found a way to talk about his sexual orientation during his graduation speech – he never said ‘gay’, instead referring to his ‘curly hair’ as a euphemism.
“There will be so many curly haired kids who need a community like Pine View, and they won’t have one,” Mr. Moricz said during his address. “Instead, they will try to repair themselves so they can survive in Florida’s humid climate.”
In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, Mr. Moricz said he would not have come out if the Don’t Say Gay law had been in place when he started high school.
“It effectively takes away the only guaranteed safe space for the majority of the overall LGBTQ population here,” Mr Moricz said.
The Pine View School reportedly pre-approved Mr Moricz’s euphamistic speech — while issuing a statement that “students are reminded that a degree should not be a platform for personal political expression… Should a student during graduation deviate from that expectation.” deviate, it may be necessary to take appropriate measures.”
The experience left Mr. Moricz frustrated.
“I knew the threat of cutting off the mic was very real, so I didn’t want to let that happen and I just had to be smart about it,” Mr. Moricz told Good Morning America. “But it didn’t have to be me because I don’t exist in some euphemism and deserve to be celebrated for what it is.”
Mr Moricz, who will attend Harvard University in the fall, said Florida law aims to make schools unsafe for LGBTQ+ people.
“School was an essential place for me,” said Mr. Moricz. “It’s helped me figure out who I am, it’s helped me speak confidently the way I speak and be who I am, and that should come naturally.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/florida-don-t-say-gay-speech-b2086391.html Florida high school grad uses “curly hair” as code for “gay” in her inaugural address