Black, Latino queer students say they are on edge in the wake of ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

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03/15/2022

Miami eighth grader Zen Nelson, who is Afro Latinx and uses gender-neutral pronouns, said they have been subjected to homophobic slurs from their classmates for at least the past four years. Zen said they didn’t bring this up to school administrators because they feared their complaints would not be taken as seriously as those of their white and wealthier peers who were harassing them. Now, as the Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, prepares to sign the the Parental Rights in Education bill — dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics — Zen worries that school will become an even more hostile environment. “Every day, every class, I make a choice on, ‘Am I going to speak out about this?’ Zen, 13, told NBC News. “Every time, when I make that choice, it is terrifying … the passage of this bill will exacerbate everything that makes me scared to go to school.”

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