Violet Stands Against “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” HB 1557/SB 1834 and “Stop WOKE Act” HB 7/SB 148, Two Discriminatory Bills Passed By The Florida House.
February 25, 2022
New York, NY — Yesterday, the Florida House of Representatives passed the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill (HB 1557/SB 1834). If signed into law, the bill would block teachers from talking about LGBTQ+ issues or people and undermine existing protections for LGBTQ+ students.
“This is a huge step backwards for LGBTQ+ rights and can potentially have a great trickle down effect on the health care system,” says Gaurang Choksi, CEO and Founder of Violet. “Violet stands firmly against these dangerous and harmful policies.”
It’s already difficult enough for the LGBTQ+ community to navigate health care:
- LGBTQ individuals are more likely to delay or avoid necessary medical care compared to heterosexual individuals. 1
- Implicit physician biases may result in LGBTQ+ patients receiving a lower standard of care as compared to the general population. A large study of heterosexual, first-year medical students demonstrated that about half of students reported having negative attitudes towards lesbian and gay people (i.e., explicit bias) and over 80% exhibited more negative evaluations of lesbian and gay people compared to heterosexual people that were outside of their conscious awareness (i.e., implicit bias). 2
- The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, found that 46 percent of transgender individuals reported verbal harassment due to their gender identity in the past year, while nearly 1 in 10 reported being physically attacked in the past year. Both numbers increase significantly for Black, Middle Eastern, and American Indian transgender populations. 3
- Both LGBTQ youth and Black youth report higher rates of poor mental health due to chronic stress stemming from the marginalized social status they have in US society. 4
This suppressive bill could further disengage the LGBTQ+ community from the health care system which will most certainly lead to higher rates of disease, poor mental health, and death.
Violet also opposes the “Stop WOKE Act” (HB 7 / SB 148), another dangerous bill that passed the Florida House of Representatives yesterday. The bill proposes to censor dialogue about systemic racism, gender, and race discrimination in classrooms or workplaces with over fifteen employees. It would also allow employees to file discrimination claims against an employer engaging in trainings or discussions about Black history, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concepts of injustice and discrimination.
What we need is more cultural humility.
We’re increasingly seeing a backlash to celebrating our individual identities, experiences, and cultures therefore it’s even more urgent to open ourselves up to more education, more stories, and ultimately — more empathy. Violet strongly believes that our lives depend on it.
Violet is building the first-ever infrastructure for inclusive health care, through benchmarking, upskilling, and recognizing cultural competence in health care providers. We envision a world where every human receives equitable health care, no matter their race, sexual orientation, gender, ability, language, citizenship, or more.
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