LGBTQ+ students see Trump and DeSantis as “greatest threat” to liberty—harsh attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans—”just the beginning”

If re-elected, Trump would, “police and ultimately stop gender-affirming care and prohibit any federal agency from working to promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age.”

Nicole White, Reporter

The now criminally indicted Donald Trump is certainly not popular among most college students asked in a random poll, but both Trump and DeSantis are seen by many in the LGBTQ+ community and according to Arizona State University student, Devon Noels, “the greatest threat to our liberty, and the LGBTQ+ community, and we are just the beginning.”

In late January former President Donald Trump said in a video aired on his social media platform “Truth Social” that if he is re-elected, “he will punish doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors and push schools to “promote positive education about the nuclear family” and “the roles of mothers and fathers”—this as part of a wide-ranging set of policies to use federal power to target transgender people.

Trump’s proposals have been met with strong opposition from LGBTQ rights and civil rights advocates pushing back against similar measures being introduced across the nation.

Gender affirming care, according to the Department of Health and Human Services “consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health and non-medical services for transgender and non-binary people.”

Trump’s harsh stance against trans-education and services is a huge departure from his former claim of being a “friend” of the LGBTQ+ communities during his 2016 campaign for president.

Today Trump threatens harsh punishments for educators and even physicians who advocate on behalf of trans students and others of any age.

Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis is also backing, promoting and implementing staunch legislation against LGBTQ+ education at the state level.

“He is in the process of dictating all educational curriculum in the state of Florida where my two siblings live,” Noels said.

Noels is involved in LGBTQ student activism at ASU and told Northeast Valley News, “I cannot believe that the people in this country would elect a dictator for president either Trump or DeSantis.”

Noels also cites DeSantis’ book banning and his “erasing” of historical curriculum and asks, “Why does he want to censor truth, our history, personal educational freedom and oppress LGBTQ+ Americans?”

Noels, concerned about his siblings living in Miami, says the governor is implementing even broader legislation than his ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation that has aggressively targeted the LGBTQ+ communities.

“We will continue to spread the hashtag #DictatorDeSantis until all American students know “who” he really is,” Noels said. “It’s growing as we speak,” Noels said referring to recent Tik Tok posts.

He is spearheading a personal campaign with information and ways to push back on legislation supported by DeSantis such as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida that targets instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms. The law is already facing intense backlash in Florida and across the U.S. over targeting the LGBTQ community.

DeSantis supports anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-gender bills, one such bill was proposed last week in Florida that would expand the controversial 2022 ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law to barring educational instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity and restrict the way both students and advisers can use “preferred” pronouns in schools.

Reportedly, Rin Alajaji, a public policy associate with the LGBTQ-advocacy organization Equality Florida and an opponent of the bills, pointed to the effects on LGBTQ students. “When we talk about sexual orientation and gender identity, that is about who we love and who we are. We have LGBTQ students in our schools right now. They deserve to be acknowledged and respected just like everyone else,” Alajaji said..

Javier Gomez with Equality Florida echoed other opponents by asserting that lawmakers are misguided in focusing on use of pronouns. “There are other pressing issues than pronouns. Come on, like, be serious. There is a housing crisis, climate change, mass shootings, and you’re seriously worried about protecting youth from queerness? I have to laugh as a constituent,” Gomez said.

According to a recent Newsweek report, “DeSantis will destroy our democracy,” says a fascism expert.

The Florida governor’s policies are unprecedented on anti- LGBTQ rights and more pursuits of voter fraud by setting up state task forces—these moves have led people on both sides of the political aisle to label DeSantis a “Trumpist” candidate without being Trump.

DeSantis also recently used language that is seen by many as supportive of Putin when he referred to the war in the Ukraine as a  “territorial dispute” and not in (our) country’s national security interests. Members of his own party called him out for the statement and the days following DeSantis backed away from his statement..

These remarks and his support for growing “anti” bills draws virtually no opposition in the his own Florida state house and senate.

“Both Trump and DeSantis are forcing harsh ideologies on all of us and using intimidation and fear of criminalizing personal lifestyle choice—what will they ban next—living together and not being married, mixed race unions—these dictators should concern all of us,” Noels said.