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Florida LGBTQ+ Rights Groups Launch Parenting With Pride Program

Florida LGBTQ+ Rights Groups Launch Parenting With Pride Program

Brandon Wolf of Equality Florida

The hope is to build a network of informed advocates within the community who will fight back against right-wing measures that target LGBTQ+ Floridians.

A coalition of organizations serving families and parents in Florida has come together to launch Equality Florida’s new statewide program, Parenting With Pride. The goal is to create a hub of resources for queer families to know their rights, to have access to support and resources, and to combat harmful laws that affect them in the state.

“As a mom of four, including two LGBTQ children, the last few years have taken a toll on families like mine, and the time has come for us to speak out,” said Equality Florida Parents & Families support manager Jennifer Solomon said in a statement.

“Parents are fed up with politicians waging war on families by banning books, censoring curriculum, whitewashing history, replacing education with propaganda – all at the expense of our kids and their futures,” she added. “We developed Parenting with Pride as an answer for families across the state, furious at how they are being used as political pawns and demanding an end to government censorship and intrusion into their lives — to ensure all of our families receive support, become educated, hone their advocacy skills, and get access to the resources they need”

Launched at the beginning of the school year, the program is poised to significantly impact Florida’s classrooms as new laws and policies are implemented. Laws and policies, such as the expansion of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s controversial “don’t say gay” law, attacks on Advanced Placement classes and Black history classes, limiting access to restrooms and lockers for transgender and nonbinary students, escalating bans on books, and limiting families’ rights to ensure their children’s pronouns and titles are honored, have led to a state of uncertainty due to the broad interpretations of the law.

Because of the relentless policy barrage, families are seeking more information and resources than ever before, Equality Florida reported.

In addition to essential tools to support their children as they understand their identity, parents may also seek support as they navigate the impact of new laws and advocate for their children’s rights at school. From those ready to speak at school board meetings to those prepared to advocate for their children’s rights at the state legislature, families at all stages are looking for the tools to defend their parental rights against government attacks.

The Parenting with Pride program will help these families receive support, gain knowledge and skills, and increase their advocacy skills, Equality Florida expects.

On Tuesday, dozens of parents and community leaders announced the program launch. In addition to showing the wide range of communities impacted by recent legislation, the speakers and attendees embodied the growing coalition of Floridians joining Parenting With Pride.

According to Equality Florida, over 1,000 families across the state have already been involved in the program, with families from Pensacola to Key West all represented.

Parenting With Pride will provide critical information and support and provide families with opportunities to speak at school board meetings and state agency hearings, receive media training to share their stories with the media, and connect with other families ready to fight back, the organization says.

The program’s partners include the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, Family Equality, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and more.

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