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Video: Transgender activists stage die-in at Florida driver's license offices across the state

DMV waiting

It comes as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration criminalizes changing one's gender on an I.D.

Transgender activists in Florida held die-in protests at driver’s licenses around the state. Dozens showed up draped in transgender flags or orange road-safe vests and laid down in lobbies and offices, drawing attention to the state’s latest erasure of trans identity.

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The events took place following a controversial decision by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration to criminalize changing gender on a license to reflect a transition in gender identity. Prism, Youth Action Fund, Equality Florida, Hope CommUnity Center, GLSEN Central Florida, and SPEKTRUM Health organized the protests.

“Participants will stage die-ins to underscore the devastating consequences of efforts to erase the transgender community’s legal recognition,” reads a press release put out by Prism.

At one DMV, activists could be spotted lining up against the wall holding cardboard headstones with phrases in Spanish and English. One read “Killed by Ron DeSantis. Another said, “Killed by the DMV.”

The die-ins coincide with an email campaign demanding President Joe Biden’s administration intervene, based on federal authority under the Real ID Act. Through Wednesday this week, more than 650 emails had been sent to the U.S. Justice Department and the White House.

Demonstrations unfolded Friday morning in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and Gainesville.

The Florida Legislature this year is also considering legislation called the “What Is A Woman Act” that would prohibit licenses from reflecting anything other than an individual’s gender as assigned at birth.

But the DeSantis administration, as it has done with anti-LGBTQ+ policy before, decided not to wait for a bill to become law before enforcing it as such.

“The term ‘gender’… does not refer to a person's internal sense of his or her gender role or identification, but has historically and commonly been understood as a synonym for ‘sex,’ which is determined by innate and immutable biological and genetic characteristics,” wrote Robert Kynoch, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Deputy Executive Director, in a memo to tax collector’s office around the state.

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