Transgender Floridians march to Capitol in protest of Trans Erasure Bill

'It’s not for us,' Charlotte Caballero says. 'It’s for our kids'
Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 20:33:40-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Transgender Floridians and advocates marched to the state Capitol on Wednesday, fighting what they call the "Trans Erasure Bill."

The group of more than 100 said House Bill 1639 is the Florida legislature’s latest attack on the "existence of transgender people." It's ready for a floor vote in the House on Thursday.

If law, the legislation requires state-issued IDs, like driver’s licenses, to use biological sex at birth. It requires insurers that cover transition procedures to also cover de-transition. Plus, it puts restrictions on gender-affirming therapy.

Charlotte Caballero, in Tallahassee from Tampa, is worried, not just about friends but the future

"It’s not for us," she said. "It’s for our kids, coming behind us. We have the right to live free and feel happy with our own skin."

The bill’s sponsors in committee have said they’re trying to ensure everyone has access to the care they want.

"That doesn’t mean we’re standing here and saying the people in this room don't have the right to seek their wholeness,” Rep. Douglas Bankson, R-Apopka, said. "This bill is not about that. This bill is about making sure everyone has the right to seek that wholeness."

Rep. Dean Black, R-Jacksonville, a House co-sponsor, also weighed in on the ID requirements.

"This is a forward-looking bill and it also looks back," Black. said. "It remembers that there is such a thing as a man and woman."

While Republicans in the House have advanced the bill to the full chamber, the Senate is a different story. No legislation at all, meaning the policy is likely dead on arrival.

"As far as I recall that bill is still stuck in committee. Pursuant to our rules, we don’t do the cards or take bills out of committee," Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said.

It's a win for these protesters, though nothing is ever certain until the final gavel drops in March. And the group in Tallahassee on Wednesday said it won’t be letting its guard down.

"This is just the beginning of more problems that they can cause," Caballero said. "But we’re here to make sure that doesn't happen."