LGBTQ parent concerns and parent–child communication about the Parental Rights in Education Bill (“Don't Say Gay”) in Florida
Objective: The current study sought to understand LGBTQ parents' concerns about how Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act (commonly referred to as the “Don't Say Gay” bill) would impact their children and family unit and whether and how they communicated with children about it. Background: Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, which was signed into law in 2022, has implications for educators, youth, and families, including LGBTQ parent families. Indeed, children in LGBTQ parent families already face marginalization and erasure in school settings, where curricula and policies often primarily center and reflect heterosexual parent families. Method: We surveyed LGBTQ parents (N = 90) in Florida in 2022. The sample was primarily cisgender women (62%) and cisgender men (26%), with most participants identifying as lesbian (52%) or gay (23%). Almost two thirds of participants (63%) were White, and almost one third (32%) were Latinx. Findings: More than three quarters of participants were worried about the bill. Primary concerns centered on how it would restrict their children's ability to speak freely about their families in the classroom and impact their sense of self by cultivating a climate where their families were marginalized. Parents also highlighted broader concerns about how the legislation would fuel further anti-LGBTQ sentiment. Parents with few concerns typically had very young or high-school–age children or had children in private school. Parents who talked about the bill with their children tended to be parents of older children, with parents of younger children often emphasizing family diversity to foster a sense of pride. Conclusion: The Parental Rights in Education Act and other anti-LGBTQ legislation have the potential to impact a range of vulnerable children and families, including LGBTQ parent families. Implications: Youth and family advocates and practitioners should work to educate others about the effects of this legislation and support LGBTQ parent families in collective action and resiliency efforts.
Goldberg, Abbie E. and Abreu, Roberto, "LGBTQ parent concerns and parent–child communication about the Parental Rights in Education Bill (“Don't Say Gay”) in Florida" (2023). Psychology. 283.