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Fighting erasure together

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dallasvoice.com

Victoria Kirby York Marginalized communities share similar histories and can make greater progress together JAMES RUSSELL | Contributing Writerjames.journo@gmail.com Victoria Kirby York remembers when Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners in Florida banned public recognition of LGBTQ Pride.

The director of public policy and programs for the National Black Justice Coalition, a Washington, D.C.-based organization working on Black LGBTQ issues, also remembers when the county later repealed the ban.

York, who uses she and they pronouns, thought change was afoot. Abel Gomez Now, a decade later, Gov. Ron DeSantis, a hardline Republican who announced a presidential run, is doing his best to reverse that change.

He’s signed numerous culture war bills mimicked in other states. Among them is the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, restricting conversations about gender and sexuality in public schools. “They’re now trying to erase LGBTQ history and even talking about families,” said York, who is married to a woman and has a five-year old. “Could my five-year-old still have conversations about her parents or relate to other teachers?” Having these conversations at school can be affirming, York said, but “the erasure of our families suppresses these conversations.” In 2022, DeSantis signed the Individual Freedom Act, commonly known as the Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act — or the Stop WOKE Act — restricting discussions in public schools and workplaces about anti-discrimination efforts.

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