Transgender rights in question in Florida (includes video story)

On Friday July 8, hundreds of people were in attendance for a public hearing with the agency for Healthcare Administration to discuss the possibility of a new controversial rule supported by Governor Ron DeSantis. 

The new law would deny Medicaid coverage for certain gender dysphoria treatments in Florida such as puberty blockers, hormones and any altering sexual assignment surgeries. 

Policy director for Equality Florida Jon Harris Maurer believes this would be a step in the wrong direction. 

“We’ve seen the medical consensus that supports this gender reforming care and unfortunately this is a continuation of attacks” said Maurer. “We’ve seen on the transgender community coming from the governor’s mansion, in the legislature and now multiple state agencies.”

Many in attendance were in agreement and believe the new rule will protect the youth.

“Children do not have the mental capacity to make these type of executive decisions,” said Anthony Verdugo, Christian Family Coalition Florida founder. “We heard from de-transitioners today, which is a tremendous phenomenon because these are young people who now regret the decision that they made are going back to the original sex that they were born with.”

Nathan Bruemmer, Florida’s LGBTQ consumer advocate, counters that stance, stating that statistics prove that gender dysphoria treatments are in fact helpful. 

“It is life saving, life affirming and is a part of the step to ensure that every Floridian can thrive,” he said.

Public comment for this hearing will remain open until Monday, July 11 until 5pm. 

Michelle Morris is a senior at Florida International University, pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Digital Media with a concentration in Television Production. Michelle Morris is Haitian American and has a passion for storytelling and video production that make diverse stories come to life. After graduation, Michelle aspires to be a television presenter as well as pursue other areas of television such as screenwriting.