FLU students rally at state capitol for 'queer and trans freedom'

The leftist Student Unity Coalition held a statewide protest for 'queer and trans freedom' on Mar. 31. that began on Florida State University's campus and ended at the Florida State Capitol.

Protesters marched carrying pride flags, trans flags, and banners reading 'March for Queer and Trans Youth' and 'Say Gay,' referencing legislation signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Student Unity Coalition, a leftist organization, held a statewide protest for “queer and trans freedom” on Mar. 31. 

The Florida International University (FIU) Pride Student Union (PSU) announced the protest on its Instagram page with a graphic of the Florida State Capitol under a pride flag.

“Join the Student Unity Coalition … in our march for queer and trans freedom,” the announcement states. PSU also notes that students can sign up to get bussed to the Capitol. 

Campus Reform obtained video and audio footage of the event.

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The protesters met at the Westcott Building on the Florida State University (FSU) campus in Tallahassee, according to PSU’s announcement. From there, they marched towards the Florida State Capitol carrying pride flags, trans flags, and banners reading “March for Queer and Trans Youth” and “Say Gay.”

Protesters’ chants and signs reference legislation signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

On the way to the Capitol, protesters shouted, “Show me what democracy looks like!” and “This is what democracy looks like!” 

They continued with “Hey hey, ho ho, Ron DeSantis has got to go!”

Footage obtained by Campus Reform shows protesting students draped in pride flags and chanting, “Whose schools? Our schools!” on their way to the Capitol. 

After reaching the Capitol, the protesters adopted a new chant: “Erasers are for blackboards, not for people!” Speakers then took to the center of a circle that formed in the Capitol rotunda to deliver speeches on queer identity. 

“Queerness is not who you love. It is our innate identity,” one speaker says. “Gender identity and sexual diversity are as essential to life as breath.”

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Another speaker declares, “We’re not even allowed to refer to ourselves as we are anymore.” 

“We are being forced to be prevented from being able to learn the information that we need to actualize our existences,” he continues. “We’re no longer allowed access to free education. We’re now living in a place where books are being banned and restricted at will.”

A final speaker in the video obtained by Campus Reform says that “old white men, among other cisgender heterosexuals, … don’t understand why” the protesters are “queer,” “trans,” “gay,” and “whatever.” 

“They don’t understand the extent to which they are ruining this country,” the speaker continues. “They’re ruining who we are as people, and they’re trying to destroy our communities.” 

The Tallahassee Democrat reported that “between 100 and 200 LGBTQ activists” participated in the protest. 

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly. The best efforts were made to contact the Student Unity Coalition. 

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