Jack Petocz Washington state Florida county Miami city Orlando city Tampa Rights lgbtq stage Trans Transgender Department Action Jack Petocz Washington state Florida county Miami city Orlando city Tampa

Teens stage ‘die-in’ protests against Florida’s anti-trans driver’s license policy

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On Friday, just days after the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issued a policy prohibiting transgender residents from updating the gender markers on their driver’s licenses, a group of teens coordinated “die-in” protests at DMVs across the state.

Speaking with the Washington Blade on Friday afternoon, Cameron Driggers and Jack Petocz relayed how they led demonstrations in Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Gainesville that featured more than 200 participants including representatives from more than eight LGBTQ groups.

The 18 and 19-year-old college students serve as, respectively, executive director and deputy director of Youth Action Fund, “a collective of Gen-Z activists fighting against the far-right culture war raging throughout Florida.” This latest front on the war against trans people in the state, Driggers said, represents “one of the scariest, most authoritarian developments in Florida in a long time.” The state agency’s policy preempts legislation in the Florida House of Representatives that would implement the same restrictions, permitting Floridians to list only their sex assigned at birth on state-issued IDs.

In response, Driggers recognized that “we need to have an Act Up-style direct action where we put our bodies on the line,” a reference to the AIDS activist organization’s practice of staging “die-ins” to demand that the federal government and Reagan White House stop ignoring an epidemic that was ravaging gay communities in the 1980s.

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