“Some of the most special people in my life are in this community and it breaks my heart to see their identities try to be erased,” said Camila Cabello in her caption on Instagram. In response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the 25-year-old singer launched the “Protect Our Kids” fund to support queer youth. The fund will offer resources to families, students, and teachers.
Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis signed the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill last March, officially called “Parental Rights in Education Bill”. The bill aims to restrict classroom discussions on gender identity or sexual orientation, particularly for lower grades, that is allegedly not age-appropriate for students. At the staged ceremony, DeSantis has said that “students learning they can be whatever they want to be was inappropriate and an issue the legislation would resolve.” The law is set to go into effect in July.
Since it passed, LGBTQ+ activists are afraid that it could completely limit identity discussions, history, and the oppression the community has faced. Activists have denounced DeSantis, companies that support the bill, and its political sponsors. Public figures and LGBTQ+ organizations have taken additional steps to challenge the cruel law.
In partnership with Equality Florida and Lambda Legal, Cabello launched the “Protect Our Kids” fund during a benefit concert on May 8. The event included special performances by RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Valentina, transgender singer Shea Diamond, and a local youth choir. The new initiative will provide resources to Florida’s LGBTQ+ youth, teachers, and parents who have been impacted by the bill. A special hotline will also be available for anyone who has been harmed under the law.
Cabello shared the significance of the fund in a statement: “As someone who grew up and still lives in Florida, I am appalled that my home state is putting the health and lives of young Floridians at risk by passing this law and inviting discrimination into our school,” she said.
“We must protect every student and respect every family. I am so grateful to all our founding partners who are standing in solidarity with LGBTQ youth and families and raising money for the Protect All Kids Fund to help Lambda Legal and Equality Florida stop this hateful law.”
For more information on ‘Protect Our Kids’ fund, click here.