If I had more time, I’d probably start a separate blog called Florida Fascism Watch because there’s just so damn much fascism to watch! I wouldn’t blame readers from other states if they get tired of hearing about the fuckery going on in America’s Wang. But I offer these tidbits in the spirit of helping those living elsewhere to avoid our fate — at the state and national level.
First up, the Tampa Bay Times says some doctors are no longer offering gender-affirming care because they fear reprisals from the state. A 16-year-old trans boy who was scheduled for a double mastectomy at Tampa General Hospital this summer had his surgery canceled and went to Chicago for the operation instead. Other hospitals have quietly deleted web content about gender-affirming care after anti-trans activists like the “Libs of TikTok” asshole directed angry mobs at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Under the leadership of the kook DeSantis appointed as state surgeon general, the Florida Department of Health is now going after gender-affirming care with the gusto it once reserved for public health officials who recommended masks and vaccinations to contain COVID. From the TBT article linked above:
In April, the Florida Department of Health released new guidance against the use of treatments like puberty blockers and hormone therapy for children it described as “experimental and investigational.” It said social transition — the use of a different name, pronouns or style of dress — should not be a treatment option.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo also requested the state’s medical board create rules that could restrict access to certain gender dysphoria treatments. Last week, a rule denying Medicaid coverage for treatments like puberty blockers and hormone therapies for all residents, regardless of age, went into effect.
This may get me crossed off a few Christmas card lists, but I think reasonable people can disagree on the concept of providing prescription medication and surgery as gender-affirming care for minors. But my attitude on this is similar to how I feel about abortion: If you think abortion is wrong, don’t have one, but you don’t get to tell me and mine what to do.
The mother of the kid in the article supports him, as do his doctors, who are following the guidance of the relevant medical academies, so it’s really none of anyone else’s damn business. It’s especially not the business of an authoritarian wannabe like DeSantis and his bureaucrats, who are interposing themselves between patients, families and doctors for political gain.
“This is another example of politics interfering with the inviolability of the doctor-patient relationship,” [Michael Haller, chief of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Florida] told the Tampa Bay Times in an email. “I expect to see additional situations in which patients are forced to seek care outside of our state.”
Yep. We can add abortion to the list if DeSantis is reelected. He’s ducking questions about abortion rights now because he knows he’s crosswise with Florida voters on the issue, and it’s less politically risky now to gin up outrage at the expense of a small and vulnerable group like trans kids than to further whittle away the rights of half the voting population. But if the sumbitch gets another term, he’ll further restrict women’s reproductive healthcare too.
Next up, in Sarasota, new school book fairs are off until at least spring 2023, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The new law DeSantis signed is basically designed to give “Moms for Liberty” political operatives/grifters a chance to ransack offered titles to make sure there’s no mention of people who aren’t straight and that books that accurately reflect our history don’t make white and/or male snowflakes feel uncomfortable. From the article:
The district said the freeze was implemented to allow the Florida Department of Education to give additional guidance and allow the district’s curriculum team to interpret the new law. The freeze also allows time for the district to hire three media specialists to comply with state standards.
Book fairs that are already scheduled are still on, said Kelsey Whealy, a district spokesperson. Schools that haven’t scheduled a book fair yet must wait to schedule them until the spring.
Scholastic Book Orders are still allowed as long as the form is reviewed by parents, books are taken home by students and not used in the classroom library or media center, Whealy said.
One of the things I most looked forward to as a Florida schoolchild (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) was school book fairs. It’s just mind-boggling to me that this is happening. But here we are.
When do folks just start leaving? I mean, really, I can’t imagine having school-age kids in Florida–LGBTQ or not–and envisioning a bright educational future there.
ETA I do have a queer kid–who has faced bullying even in super-blue CA–and in part that is why all of this is just so unbelievable to me. What kind of person would stay when the power of the state was being brought down upon their own child?
America’s Wang. Lol. Keep us informed. Sunlight is best for the Sunshine State.
Scholastic Book orders as contraband? Excuse me?
Moms for Fascism. Moms for Ignorance.
Obviously a psychopath like DeSantis doesn’t care about the state that he governs (or about anyone else other than himself for that matter) but I have to think that this type of fascist nonsense will hurt the state of Florida. We no longer live in the nineteenth century; the economy of any state depends upon the availability of well-educated workers. Even if half of Florida were not on the way to being underwater (spoiler alert: it is) what educated worker (female or male) would want to move to a state whose cosplay Hitler is undermining education and medicine in this way? The same is true of Texas and many other states.
Is that like Blacks for Trump?
With genuine respect for all the sane and decent residents of FL: they’d have to offer me grotesque sums of money to live there, and even then it probably wouldn’t be enough.
DeSantis makes a funny appearance in this JL Cauvin video — TFG unboxing his classified documents.
@C Stars: I have an adult queer kid who thankfully finished public education before all this shit came down. Otherwise, I guess I’d be packing up a U-Haul. At some point, I’ve got to believe there will be blowback from businesses, sporting events, accreditation organizations, etc. But so far, it’s mostly crickets. That’s the scariest thing, actually.
This is a point that needs to be made more often. These right wing hacks are contradicting the best informed doctors about what the standard of care should be. I’m not going to say that politics should never be involved in this kind of decision- politicians need to make financial decisions, and some care may be not covered because the state decides it isn’t cost effective- but going directly counter to the standard of care for transparently political reasons is not good.
FWIW, this is a stated goal of both Florida and Texas actions. Both states are close enough to Democrats winning in the EC, that making the state so onerous for Democrats to live in, driving them to leave, becomes a possibly effective electoral strategy.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
So when are the sanctimonious ‘Ooh noes! Cancel culture!’ people going to start bemoaning this?
@Betty Cracker: There are going to be big economic costs to all of this. Businesses – particularly public facing – are going to quietly bail out of these states without saying anything, avoiding blowback.
You can’t attract the kind of highly trained workforce that states want with these kinds of policies.
Republicans in Pennsylvania and Michigan are talking about turning their states into Florida. It boggles the mind that they think this is a good thing. Hey, everyone can be Florida Man!
Also, book fairs in elementary school were awesome.
@Baud: The name came from a Twitter account devoted to mocking and defaming said liberals.
I keep imagining a scenario — a dystopian scenario, to be sure — in which, say, cis-het boys declare to parents and schools and churches and governments, “But I’m a guy! I like chicks! I wanna grow up to be a man!” and all those institutions insist, “Nope! Doesn’t matter how you feel inside or what you want! We’re cutting off your dick and pumping you full of estrogen because we have determined you should be a girl!” Unlikely and unreasonable, of course, but how is it more unreasonable than telling people they’re not allowed to be what they know they are?
@Betty Cracker: The bigotry is awful and unthinkable and it is incredibly scary that folks just seem to be lying down and taking it. I’m glad your kiddo didn’t have to endure the desantis regime.
But also, what are people thinking about all the other very weird stuff? Untrained teachers? Four day school weeks? Incomplete history lessons? No challenging books in the library?
I’m on my knees almost every day thanking the good dude upstairs that our family and our teenaged trans son were able to settle in a decent blue state and that he’s receiving excellent gender-affirming care at a regional hospital. We were recently able to schedule an interview with the surgeon who will probably do his top surgery and they’ve been walking on cloud nine the past several weeks, which is so wonderful to see in a kid who’s had such a tough couple of years. If we were in one of these shithole states that tells kids like him to go fuck themselves and bans teachers from mentoring and supporting him, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be here now. This shit will get kids killed. But for these motherfucking, anti-life ghouls, that’s a feature, not a bug, I suppose.
@Martin: I know someone who just graduated from college and is looking for a job. I advised them to start with thinking about where they want to live – city, rural, small town. And also where they DON’T want to live based on climate and political climate. I’m guessing many other people are making similar decisions.
@Elizabelle: It’s better to just burn all books other than the Bible and “The Art of the Deal” (which was “written” by Donald Trump). Why take a chance of our children being indoctrinated by any other books?
You can’t even bring your own books into school. These people are so worried their children will see material they don’t approve of that they’re trying to protect their children from the intellectual pursuits of their own friends.
@jonas: It’s very distressing. De Santis is so evil.
@Martin: So they are devious enough to want to drive out Dems to win the EC, but not devious enough to understand that these policies will come with a devastating financial cost? How does that square?
Surprised that corporations in Florida haven’t spoken up more forcefully against the creeping fascism and the effect on their employees and families. I realize that CEOs are only allowed to speak against high taxes (everything else is “political”) but this is crazy.
Good Lord. It’s hard to believe shit like this is happening in the United States of America. Fuck DeSantis, fuck the GQP, and fuck all the Christianist enablers of all this shit.
My wife, who is something like a sixth-generation Floridian, started saying a couple years ago that there was no way she’d want to move back there anymore. I certainly wouldn’t want to retire there.
I know this is probably elementary. But how does it help demagogues to focus the state on restricting and oppressing small groups? Is there just a huge group of people who want this kind of thing? Does the group of supporters get bigger or more and more excited?
I just … don’t see how it’s self-sustaining. It’s bizarre.
@jonas: Right. It’s actually kind of surreal. Like my own kid has all of these supports that are both institutional and governmental, not to mention the expectation of basic respect and dignity and medical privacy, and to some extent we take it all for granted. But there are families out there in TX and FL where the parents are literally being prosecuted for just supporting their own trans kids. Blows my mind.
Lovely people, all of them.
Here, we’re not free of Nazis and their annual welcome back to school display, which in this case isn’t for everybody but a Certain Group of People, if you know what I mean and I know you do.
Riffing on the other thread cause I was bogged down with work work, on Republican riots. One of the most mind boggling things of the Trump era has be the SO’s brother in law from rural PA. He keeps threatening to drive to Philly and throw and fit over Trump and people getting pissed over Dobbs. I don’t think he’s thought this to it’s logical conclusion. You’re going to start a fight, in Philly, the land of FAFO.
@Kropacetic: God forbid you bring a book with new ideas to school. But guns? Yeah, sure, bring in as many of those as you want…
What if they just… don’t? What if it turns out you just… can?
A lot of stuff I used to assume about people has turned out to be wrong. I think it’s quite possible that the corporate world in these states will just turn on a dime and go full homophobic/transphobic, and it actually won’t hurt them much because most people actually don’t care enough or are awful.
Should also mention he lives in PA and spends all his time bitching about how Philly is a dangerous hell hole full of election stealing. Which you know, if it’s a dangerous hell hole why go there?
Disney tried, belatedly, under heavy pressure from their employees and fans, and the state of Florida came down on them like a ton of bricks, and there was all this second-order blowback about how “Disney should have stayed out of politics”. I’m sure it did not go unnoticed.
I’ve always thought of Maine as being America’s wang and Florida being its scrotum
It’s so, so much like Hungary. Orban worked for years to get the government, the courts, the media (especially the news media), education, and business under his thumb, all the while receiving scolding finger shakes (and billions of euros) from the EU.
He passes more and more outrageous laws, people march through Budapest and gather in front of Parliament to protest; rinse and repeat.
It is strange that Florida isn’t getting the blowback that Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, etc. have gotten for their various hate-driven moves; DeSantis seems a lot like Oban in that respect.
Florida’s economy depends on tourism. If the majority who don’t agree with this culture war bullshit boycotts the state, these fascist policies won’t be sustainable for long. But all this shit is happening right out in the open, and there is very little blowback that I’ve seen
@tomtofa: Bingo — that’s exactly the model DeSantis is following.
I would think this would be bad for tourism. For myself, I will spend my $$$ elsewhere.
Maybe they get so many visitors, and from Latin America too, that they do not care.
ETA: Aha. Betty C was addressing this very issue at the same time.
We need some bloggers/journalists to try to start analyzing tourism revenue, for what might be missing.
@jonas: I saw photos showing the chest of a young man who had top surgery at a couple of points post-surgery. I was very impressed because after healing and working out to develop his chest muscles it was nearly impossible to tell the surgery had been done. As someone who has had two mastectomies I was really envious how good it looked, but it made it pretty clear how different mastectomies are from top surgery (for one thing, getting to keep your nipples is a pretty big deal).
@Matt McIrvin: That worries me, too: that people will just shrug, keep their heads down, and go about their daily business.
It’s another result of the Gish Gallop: so many awful things happening at once, a person doesn’t know where to best insert themselves, and they are worried about people, or the State, coming after them in retaliation, so they just tune it all out.
@Matt McIrvin: Those corporations exist outside of Florida too. They have been putting mixed race families and same sex couples in ads for years because they can read the tea leaves. We are winning; that’s why the right is so insane right now.
Most people hear Floridumb and they think of Disney for fun, Miami the land of sex and hot people, and stupid idiots outside of there. It doesn’t register. Bet you money even with “don’t say gay” the white party (gay event not a white people event) still happens there next year because beaches and hot people.
The vast majority of Florida is >20 feet above sea level, and we’re not going to have that much sea level rise, even by the end of the century.
Now, most of the people in Florida probably live within 20 feet of sea level. And of course the rest of Florida may get too hot and humid (hello, wet bulb!) to be fit for human habitation. Nothing but good times ahead.
@Matt McIrvin: I don’t think so. You are a known pessimist.
If they’re a corporation that markets solely to MAGAts (!), maybe they can get away with it.
But look at modern advertising. Mixed families, same sex partners and parents.
Awful thought: is it possible that DeSantis and Abbott are trying this in states with large Latino populations because they’re counting on a lot of them being conservative values types? Or, at the very least, not likely to say anything about it?
Latinos are a multifaceted population, always. But maybe especially in Florida. We all know about the cray cray anticommunist types … there are likely many wealthy Latinos, residents or just living there, who are down with no income taxes and starving public services, because they don’t perceive they need them …
ETA: And Omnes got there first WRT advertising and culture wars, by about four minutes.
Out to swim. Catch you guys later.
so Texas is America’s taint? sounds about right
@Omnes Omnibus: They’re definitely freaking the eff out about changes to the traditional social order. I also think it’s way far beyond where they’d like it to go (1850).
@Elizabelle: There was (is?) a restaurant in Portland named Hung Far Lo. Franchises in America’s wang? Hmmmm…
Major Major Major Major
Yeah. Ugh. Surgery is a way trickier call than with abortion though IMO. You can usually make another baby but you can’t get back those body parts. But if eighteen is old enough… sixteen might be with parental consent… idk. Fortunately it’s rare.
“This may get me crossed off a few Christmas card lists, but I think reasonable people can disagree on the concept of providing prescription medication and surgery as gender-affirming care for minors. But my attitude on this is similar to how I feel about abortion: If you think abortion is wrong, don’t have one, but you don’t get to tell me and mine what to do.”
Yes, this is crucial. It’s why I keep my *private* opposition to surgery for minors *to myself*.
No one should have to listen to my opinion on these questions. And certainly no one should have the state barging in to force them to do this or that.
On the other hand, arguments from the “standard of care” are quite weak, since the standard of care is evolving year by year, and MDs are just as susceptible to political pressure as anyone else. So, “standard of care” is not a magic spell that settles all questions.
But it is still better for individuals and families, with their doctors, to make these decisions without any interference from the state.
(Or from random strangers like me.)
This is where I’m supposed to say, “But no difference between the parties, right?”
Perhaps it’s been mentioned already, but there’s a video clip making the rounds (wish I could remember where) that shows DeSantis emulating TFG with his speech and hand gestures during public appearances. It’s as glaringly obvious as it is pathetic. FL Dems and the Crist campaign need to put that meme on blast.
I don’t think being labeled a Fake Trump or a Phony Trump is going to endear that asshole to anyone. It makes him look like a poser and a weenie. But then again I’m not too familiar with Florida politics. Maybe the poser and weenie thing works down there.
It won’t take lots of msl raise to help a really big storm surge push much farther inland than it has before. Guessing they’re already busy redrawing the maps.
We go through a process where Army Corps, et al do levee improvements, the flood maps are redrawn, and some folks find they’re out of the 99-year flood zone and magically are no longer mandated to buy flood insurance. Always suggest they still buy it, especially since the premium will be lower. 100-year simply means you have a one in a hundred chance of flooding any given year.
I wonder if there’s a harder product to sell than flood insurance during a three-year drought?
EX was from an immigrant family and a Latina and 1.) extremely socially conservative, 2.) generation the second is less Catholoic and more Evengelical, 3.) they hate illegal immigrants because they “cheated” and make them look bad, 4.) they hate taxes as most of them set up a small business and then the second generation goes to college.
Also people miss that “immigrant TV” is a thing. The SO being filipina (and she will rip your head of if you toss an X on the end) watches a lot of it. It’s all extremely far right. It all comes on the internet and is a mix of right wing content that would make Alex Jones blush along with fashion and beauty stuff and that’s how they stay in touch because it’s all online crap.
She knows it’s crap but a ton of her family buys into it. If the R’s would lay off the immigrant bashing and just double down on patriarchy and gender roles they’d have a ton more votes and roll the vote.
Okay, I get the idea that governors of places like Texas and Florida might want to drive out Democrats so they can keep their EC power and elect Republicans. But their Electoral College power has to do with their population, so unless they’re SURE the numbers of decent people leaving (or refusing to go there) won’t affect their voting power, they could be making a stupid mistake.
Emma from Miami
I can’t wait until this batch of kids try to apply to college outside of Florida. “Of, Florida? Well, Mrs. Jones, little Alvin will need to pass this test. No, Mrs. Jones, Florida grades only apply to Florida Universities.”
@tomtofa: Hungary has been completely gutted of its intelligentisa and young professional class. Anyone who’s not an Orban crony, or whatever you call a Hungarian redneck, has bailed.
@Omnes Omnibus: Yes, I tend to agree with you. Traveling even in rural and remote parts over the summer, there were always other queer people around. Our family was never the only one in any given area. Unless you’re incredibly sheltered, it’s simply a normal part of life now.
Also, I have come across a lot of people involved in tech and so many of them–the majority, really–are queer. Like, not assistant marketing coordinator “involved in tech” but founder/CEO/CTO involved in tech. I can’t imagine these folks standing idly by while their companies engage with hate-mongering states.
I remember about six years back when the idea of being unapologetically transgender as a concept had just sort of come out in the open and there was a glut of trans celebrities, trans TV shows, and lots of love for trans people. I was talking to an attorney with the Transgender Law Center and said something along the lines of, “This is great! The culture is changing just in time for my child!” And she said, “NOPE. The pendulum always swings back the other way, and when it does, it’s going to be ugly. But when it comes our direction again, in ten years or so, things will be that much better. You just have to wait out the pendulum swings.”
It was sobering at the time and I didn’t want to believe her, but now I am just holding out for that swing back to kindness and respect.
@eversor: if he dies, he dies…
They are sure their legal theories will win in the courts, sure we will “non violence” when they go violent, and sure we will “no true scotsman (christian)” when they go theocratic. They aren’t wrong. I don’t want them to win, but if I had to wage a bet I’d wage on them.
@C Stars: I had the same thought, and also how will Florida compete for people with education to drive 21st century industries, let alone doctors,nurses,lawyers,teachers etc… in 5 years Florida will be populated solely by retirees, real estate agents, and Disney Cartoon characters…..
Y’all probably don’t want to hear this, but the anti-trans actions BC describes probably aren’t going to hit the radar of most normies, at least not yet anyway. So you not going to see a backlash anytime soon.
The book banning may be more visible to people.
Alison Rose 💙🌻💛
The thing is, surgery being performed on minors, even top surgery, is pretty rare, and would absolutely only be done if the parents completely consented and approved and the doctor was 100% it was the right thing to do. No doctor is just gonna run around chopping things off random teens on a whim. There is a LOT that goes into making that decision and no one does it blindly.
And it sure as fucking shit ain’t some retrogressive red-state creep-ass governor’s job to decide if and when it can happen.
@trollhattan: Well, funny you should ask…FEMA is trying to get our local communities to apply for the National Flood Insurance Program right now, as they are re-doing our flood plain mapping. Now, mark you, you need building codes in effect in order to be eligible, so that’s not a big ol’ Nope for us (except in the towns…the county isn’t going to touch that one, they’re all too scared of the gun-totin’ yahoos out there). Problem with drought in our area is that when we *do* get rain (a lot of it, this summer), we also get flash floods. Fun!
Two things. First, you are asking them to actually think, research process, contemplate, decide and that is about 12 steps too complicated for them. If they just follow all the bullshit that they pay to hear in “church” that takes out almost every concept of human process. Process, progress, life, positive moments, smiling happy children, pretty much gone. In it’s place is rigidity, nursery school level stories that mostly have happy but unbelievable beginnings, middles and ends that take everything and give nothing. Second in this atmosphere, one has to pay for everything, at a cost that keeps the vast majority locked down, weighed down, suffering, and unable to ever find a way out, let alone have the ability to even want change. We talk about all people want is money, and this is how the death santas of the world pay for that and get wealthy at the same time. It’s a story as old as dirt and far less healthy. It’s called the conservative way.
@Major Major Major Major: My impression with gender-affirming care for minors is that typically, all they get is puberty blockers, so they can effectively put off the big irreversible decisions until later.
Puberty blockers, as I understand it, are pretty safe and reversible. But puberty, that doesn’t match your personal gender, isn’t completely reversible, and that’s what the state is trying to force on these kids by banning the blockers.
When people start having to leave the state for medical care many of them will consider making the move permanent.
There are medical conditions for which the treatment is the same medication or procedure that is used for transitioning. Unless you look at the patient’s medical records, you won’t know why the treatment is being provided. Sometimes it is advisable to wait in order to begin treatment. Sometimes the earlier the better. And without looking at the medical records and why the treatment is being ordered, it is impossible to tell.
This is why doctors and patients need to decide what is best.
The cruelty is shocking. Opinions on surgery for minors aside, it sounds like FL schools are not supposed to permit, say, a boy who prefers to wear a dress, or nail polish to remain in class. Exactly who does that hurt?
And as the mother of an adult gay daughter who didn’t have such an easy time of it in public school, even here in CA, this really resonates.
@Alce _e_ardillo: within 10 years, a hurricane and global warming will make Miami unlivable so there’s that…
@Major Major Major Major:
As you’ve both touched on, the thing is about this is that unless you are a parent or medical provider, it is really just a philosophical exercise for you. It’s one thing to ponder this situation as a hypothetical and surmise that you don’t agree with it, and that is certainly your right.
What I observe is often lost in this process, though, is that this kind of moralizing or theorizing is not remotely as informative as having known a patient (or your own child) for 13-15 years, having heard them repeatedly discuss their ever-present sense of themself as transgender, their intense dysphoria and fear of XX body part or secondary sexual trait developing (often intense to the point of implied or acted on self-harm), and THEN, in THAT context, to work with them to make an informed decision about their best options for medical/therapeutic care. Just a different beast entirely.
@eversor: Also many “white” Latinos are racist AF.
Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony
These super contolling, religious parents think they are saving children from the evil forces of Satan by banning these books. Yet, how many of these kids have phones or computers with internet access where they can watch real pornography? Do they not understand they are building a sand wall against the tide? I’m sure there are plenty of liberal parents who worry about online influences on their kids. If these people weren’t so extreme, they’d have some people making common cause with them.
Especially if they’ll get arrested and convicted of a felony if they ever come back, yeah.
@Anyway: Big Mouse squeaked, and DeSantis immediately attacked the company’s improvement-district status. I’m not sure what to think of these private government arrangements (although it’s not just Disney), but it really showed just what kind of animal he is that he attacked the company in this way for saying something he didn’t like.
@Alison Rose 💙🌻💛: Exactly. Thank you.
@tomtofa: it is the Orban playbook. And MSM should point that out, constantly.
@Baud: No, I agree with you. I actually see the book banning as a kind of easy short hand (for the “normies”) for all the other heinous bullshit they’re doing.
Speaking of which, anyone have a line on an awesome “Don’t Ban Books” tee-shirt, proceeds of which will go to good causes?
“It makes him look like a poser and a weenie.”
So himself then…..
@Alison Rose 💙🌻💛: “Bottom surgery on a 10-year-old” is the “aborting a healthy pregnancy at 8.7 months on a passing whim” of gender-affirming care. It’s what the antis want you to think about, though it’s not a realistic case and they’re extreme in the opposite direction.
(Though a thing they DO do, or at least used to do, is non-consensual surgery on very young intersex kids to normalize their genitalia one way or another, and the results are often psychologically disastrous.)
Crippling the economy to force ordinary people into serfdom is a good thing in their book. The people who think this way already have more money than they can ever hope to spend, so the only thing that really matters is being able to control other people’s lives.
“they could be making a stupid mistake”
There isn’t any other kind of conservative idea, reaction, policy.
They want to travel back in time to 1850, when assholes ruled.
Alison Rose 💙🌻💛
@Matt McIrvin: Yeah, and it’s pretty transparent, what they’re trying to do. Despicable, the lot of ’em.
Major Major Major Major
@Matt McIrvin: puberty blockers aren’t really 100% reversible (what is at that age?) but they’re a damn sight better than surgery for while you’re young and still figuring things out.
@Matt McIrvin: Yup. There is a high correlation between education level and a person’s ability and willingness to pick up and move away from a state in which he or she has grown up. That being the case, I expect to see a significant brain-drain in states like Florida, Texas, etc. Since a modern economy depends upon an educated workforce, the economies of those states will suffer, which will accelerate the migration of educated people out of those states. Perhaps an analogy: Back in the eighties I saw many people from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries coming to the U.S. and into my “field” (IT). Less than ten years later, the Soviet Union fell apart. People like DeSantis and Abbot might like to pretend that they’re Hitler, but Leonid Brezhnev might be a more apt analogy.
@Matt McIrvin: Also, it’s fucking HARD. I know a family with a trans kid who is 15 who wants surgery and they are supportive of him but want to wait until 18 for surgery. So what does he do? He binds, which is incredibly unhealthy. They ask him to throw away his binders and he stashes them at school, then passes out at school because of the binding and is taken to ER. Things are not easy for these families in the first place. Having randos with no firsthand experiences of these challenges tell them what the “moral” thing to do is not in any way helpful.
I think the same and then I remember that Peter Thiel exists. I really hope he’s an outlier.
Also, too, coastal erosion. It’s always a thing, but it’s going to be a much bigger problem when the sea level is rising.
The Thin Black Duke
@Tony G: It’s not substainable. Sooner, not later, Idiocracy happens.
When I was a kid, under the age of 10, my family went to Miami Beach every winter in the 1950s & 1960s. I have such wonderful memories. We stopped in 1965 when my father died. I actually spent my honeymoon in Florida and went on vacation there in the 1980s with my husband a few times. I always dreamed of retiring there. Now that we are both retired, I would never go there. I won’t even go there on vacation. The GOP have destroyed it. First the ecology, then the economy, then the culture and now the people. South Florida could have been a wonderful tropical paradise instead UGH.
That was Jim Crow! Jim Crow was tossing away productivity gains in business thru a (more) diverse workforce for maintaining Boss Hogg in the racist/sexist/homophobic Oligarchical lifestyle he’d become accustomed to.
There’s a great study on how adding Black people to the workforce post-Reconstruction improved the Southern economy…and how, when Black fox were removed to pave the way for Jim Crow, the economic gains dropped like a rock.
So yes — they’ve done it before, y’all.They are happy to strip all the white people they can of money and give them the pain and suffering of Black folx, of Women folx, of LBGTQIA+ folx, Disabled folx, and so many more, in return.
If we let them, these fuckers will recreate as much of that GONE WITH THE WIND shit as they can.
We’ve seen this movie before, with targets changed as often as necessary to keep the rabble happy and braying. From pregnant teenagers to CRT to woke teachers to trans kids….well, we know where it’s going. Take it away, Reverend Niemoller! “Tthen they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”
@Major Major Major Major: There is simply no protocol for treating transgender children that begins with surgery. Doesn’t happen.
Yeesh, me too.
Major Major Major Major
@C Stars: where did I say it does
So let’s not let them.
Unfortunately, some of the most desirable states are too expensive, especially for families with young children.
I know people who live in liberal enclaves in San Antonio and Austin, and in Atlanta and other Georgia cities.
This might change if some states continue to become extreme right wing, but it still might be difficult for some people to escape.
I also know some single people in their 20s who don’t think that they will be affected by the craziness around them. Sadly, some of these people are also apolitical. Willful blindness.
Look, we play this “just move! who will move” game almost every time this stuff comes up. I know that’s not quite your point, Tony G, but let me us this as a ramp off to a general concern I see around today’s comments, OK?
…I also see the “don’t people know/care what’s happening” around today, as well. And I think we here, who are by nature and privilege aware of all Internet and Political traditions, might miss who others live.
See: in my awareness? The people working their fingers to the bone and trying to care for 2+ kids and maybe a sick Momma or two, ain’t gonna care. They ain’t got time to care!
They’re lucky if they can get time off and a ride to vote. Their cell phone is a way to escape the hellscape of their lives, and find out when their kid threw up in daycare. The TV needs to be an escape, because nothing else in their lives is.
And I submit there’s a lot of people living like that, a lot more than we tend to think about. Those people have no chance to move out of a state like Florida — and even if they did, so many of them have roots there. Worse, too many…well, who’s gonna take care of Mama? they can’t afford to put her in a Home!
As someone who just got off the phone with my sick Dad, trying to find him a temp home, I know this all too damn well. And it’s frustrating to see people of otherwise Goodwill debate “oh, the smart ones’ll leave” as if the rest of us aren’t smart, or maybe don’t have damned good reasons to stay.
I’m so damned lucky around this stuff. But even with that, its hard. A lot of my recent silence has been just holding together, emotionally.
I cannot imagine how hard it is, if you don’t have the choices and resources I have.
I ask we consider some grace and space for the many Floridians encumbered by the shit end of the stick, ’cause they are the ones we need to fight for, no matter how much they vote, or read Balloon Juice.
My son’s childhood friend was overweight as a little kid. He didn’t have much help changing his diet, and had gynecomastia as a teen. He had surgery to remove the breast tissue.
I recall some high school swimmers on boys’ teams who had the same condition: more breast tissue.than usually seen on males. I can imagine some boys feeling self-conscious over it.
So, should they be permitted to have surgery for this before 18? Is it different if the surgery helps the child become more gender-conforming?
I think hormone-blocking drugs can delay puberty, which seems like a reasonable thing to do for a child who is miserable with the impending breasts or beard.
@Major Major Major Major:
I took this comment to imply that it was an either/or choice, which it is not. Apologies if I misconstrued your intent.
Speaking of loving book fairs as a child (when dinosaurs roamed), I still have a set of cards with dinosaur pictures on one side and a descriptions on the other side that I bought at the school book fair. They are antiques now, lol! Several dinosaur names have changed, too.
Damn that shithead fascist DeSantis for taking away a childhood joy. What an asshole.
@MisterDancer: Thank you.
Not enough money in the world to entice me to live there. Maybe not even in the universe. I don’t care how many quatloos are out there.
@MisterDancer: Those are all good reasons why a person can’t or won’t leave, and thank you for enumerating them. Here’s my reason: I’d rather stay and fight the goddamn fascists for my home than just leave it to those motherfuckers. I might not win the fight, but I’m not giving up without one.
@Matt McIrvin: Thank you. Also too, these are treatments that drastically reduce suicide. I actually don’t think it’s reasonable to deny kids access to these treatments and doing so is no better than forcing them into conversion therapy and borders on torture. Anyone who doubts this should go read the accounts of Trans adults about their lives before and after gender-affirming care.
Yep but not just Latinos. Asians can be bonkers as well, engaged to one. Watching the elections in Philippines was comedic. Her family is “mostly” pale and they were hardcore Marcos types. They went to private schools, had maids, and they did not talk to the lessers once they hit middle school. It’s just not done. They wanted Marcos.
She’s not like that at all but the family very much is. They are good Catholics, that’s why they are wealthy, those other people are shit jungle Asians (not my term, theirs, and they also call them provincials which is a slur there) that make them look bad and are poor. They have skin bleaching parties and it’s not because of the US.
Other than her and her nieces they are all die hard GOP because of abortion, gender roles, and homosexuality.
Their entire view point is vastly more classist and skin tone based than stuff is here to the point your head spins and you go “wait, the fuck” and then they talk it off “doesn’t matter she’s a provinicial” and then you get it explained and it’s all “oohhh shit”.
Not excusing Americans, but we aren’t the only jerks on the planet.
I don’t know the ins and outs of gender affirming medical procedures, but I do know that in my mind I am a dude and if my body did not match that I would be really unhappy and want to have it fixed as soon as possible. Because it is permanent, I can understand why it would require serious consultations with medical professionals to make sure. I can also understand that their may be age requirements because of medical reasons due to developing bodies. Once those hurdles are cleared, that should be it.
@Quiltingfool: the first book I recall buying at a school book fair was a mass market paperback of horror stories. The cover snagged me—a corpse pushing up through the dirt, a flower growing out of his mouth. I lost it a few moves ago and hunted online for a replacement copy. Was very happy when I found one.
@CaseyL: I can tell you that our (Large, Multinat company) is having problems filling positions in Austin that we aren’t having elsewhere. There aren’t very many people wanting to move to Texas right now, and especially women are very leery of it.
The question is whether it’s going to be hard enough to impact the state and the companies that base there.
@Ruckus: I keep going back to this anecdote from my own life, when I was 16 and was invited by my sweet but clueless boyfriend at the time to join him at a jock party (he was only there to sell pot). I didn’t want to go, but he didn’t have a car and we had plans later in the evening, so a friend and I swung by to pick him up. I was a punk rocker or grungy or whatever the alternative designation was in the mid 90’s, and oh man those aggie jocks did NOT WANT ME THERE. They were big mad. And they were drunk and stoned. So, a big group of them went outside and found the old VW bug that they assumed all of us “hippies” drove and rolled it into a deep ditch. I’ll never forget the look in their eyes as they watched my friends and I walk past them and the car they had just upsidedowned (which belonged to a sweet-faced cheerleader). The whole scene was so odd to me at the time; didn’t find out the story behind it until the next day. But I won’t ever forget that look in their eyes as we walked past and hopped in my pickup truck….
Moral of the story: Bullies eventually destroy themselves.
@MisterDancer: very well expressed. There’s a pie chart somewhere called “why I live in Illinois” with tiny pieces for such things as tourist attractions and weather (no one lives in Illinois for the weather) and the vast majority of the pie for “I was born here”. And I’ve lived my whole life in northern Illinois, mostly because of family. Two of my brothers moved to California. They call themselves “the smart ones.”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
My silent-generation father used to say about his two sisters who moved from Chicago the greater Los Angeles megalopolis in the late 60s, “They talk about the weather out there as if they had something to do with it”
We’ll see if DeSantis invites Orban’s goon squad over here for “urban confrontation training”.
It’s not just a vertical elevation rise you have to consider, it’s how that rise might be amplified by tides, storm surge, etc. Even if sea level doesn’t rise 20 ft., it doesn’t need to to still inundate huge areas during a hurricane.
Something that’s not politically motivated that’s putting the brakes on emigration to Florida is the wild increase in land prices in the last few years. That may be slowing down some, but it’s had an effect on young families considering moving here – they can’t afford housing. Combine that with the war on education, and the only people coming here will be wealthy old duffers (well, and a few poor old duffers like me). Housing costs are also affecting younger residents’ decisions on whether to continue living here or not; I’ve seen several articles in the local paper about officials looking for ways to stem the outgoing flow. No good answers that I’ve seen, but electing some officials who aren’t sworn wingnuts might be a good start.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it.
I’ve watched my kid go through it and gender dysphoria fucking *sucks*. The day they found out they could get gender reassignment surgery, it was like they had a new lease on life. Literally. Of course they’ve had plenty of therapy to sort out how they feel and why they’re taking this route and what the implications are, but what that’s done is ensure that once they’re on the other end of this, they have a way to process the journey and be a normal, functioning adult, rather than a traumatized, damaged (and possibly suicidal) wreck, which is what a lot of these poor kids in shithole states will be if these laws stand.
They are the ones we fight for. But I do not blame anyone who chooses to leave. And it’s perfectly okay if someone (such as me) decides to never spend a penny in or on products from FL. It’s the best weapon we have.
I can get an arguement for not bringing surgery into it (which is serious) until someone is an adult but I can’t gork letting religious nutters having a say over it if someone is in pain.
I’ve but cut up more times in my life than I care to think about from being stupid, being injured, military stuff, cancer. It’s not pleasant. You don’t just “wake up and it’s all good” there is a lot of pain and long term healing and I don’t think many get that. Unless you know, you’ve been there. I don’t think it’s something that most people know enough to volunteer for? It’s hard to express but going under the knife is not what you think it’s going to be. It’s sort of surreal at times?
Personal and very private thing I got torn up so bad once I don’t even know what happened. I “came to” in a hospital utterly delirious with a head full of ketamine watching gray spaceman spiders crawl out the walls and the room was on fire. Took a bit to calm down and figure stuff out, I was babling about tasting purple and sky. Surgery is no joke and I’m not a fan of letting people just randomly throw themselves at it.
People should have the option. But this is a doctor issue really, though I’d agree a full blown adult would have to make the call because you do not know what you are getting into.
Well said, Betty.
It’s Terri Schiavo all over again. They can’t win elections unless they rile up their base with some sort of culture war stuff which means their version of the government getting in the way of families deciding what to do with their doctors.
We have to vote the monsters out.
An old friend of mine has lived in FL for at least the last 20 years. He just moved back here to PA because he couldn’t stand it any more. The crazy had gotten to be too much.
@Betty Cracker: That is also a good reason!
And — thank you. I know I can get cantankerous, yet I strive to learn from what you say.
@Baud: that was a good one eh
Most of the ads about the Kansas No vote on abortion centered on medical privacy, keeping the government out of the doctor’s office with you, the freedom of doctors to do what they think best without politicians interfering. All the years of conservatives yelling “keep government out of our healthcare” came home to roost and brought even conservatives onto the side of Vote No. That applies to abortion, trans medical care, parent’s choice of books for their children, all these issues. Their own framing dooms them.
@geg6: I fear that if I move back, it will be just in time for the inauguration of Governor Mastriano ///////
Gonna get crushed in Philly.
RollingStone has a 19 second clip in this story.
@eversor: No shit.
@Gretchen: Excellent point on framing. I hope Charlie Crist crams the ridiculous “free state of Florida” slogan down DeSantis’s throat like a cast iron Cuban sandwich.
My daughter, her husband and the grandkids are about to move from central Florida to Vermont to escape the shit show. My wife and I who also live in central Florida are about to put our house up for sale and move back to Colorado from whence we came.
In my seventy third year, I never thought I could be compelled to move out of our house of 32 years but we can’t wait to be gone from this state.
Texas used to be a strong D state – “I knew Jack Kennedy and you’re no Jack Kennedy!” Florida used to be a strong D state – “Keep your foul hands off Social Security!” Etc.
The answer isn’t moving, the answer is working to keep the monsters out of political power. The battle never ends, and any board/city/state/country can be flipped if people don’t stay engaged every election.
Yeah, that’s why puberty blockers are a good thing: it gives kids who think they may be trans some time to mature, some time to really be sure who and what they are, gender-wise, without having those irreversible physiological changes.
And that’s why Florida (and potentially other states) taking action against them pisses me off so much. If they wanted a kid to wait until age N before having gender-affirming surgery, but were OK with the puberty blockers in the meantime, I could see that. But to ban both is hateful and inexcusable.
From your mouth to God’s ear.
@Omnes Omnibus: That’s it. I recall someone here saying they didn’t understand “why a guy would want to cut his dick off” (but that they didn’t have to understand it to be supportive). I remember thinking that wasn’t quite the way to think about it: instead, think of being a guy like you or me who feels strongly that he’s a guy, but unaccountably has breasts and a vagina and has had to deal with people insisting all his life that he’s a girl or woman. It’d be a tough situation.
(And, to be clear, there are a lot of ways to be trans and not all of them are that kind of binary, gender-dysphoric situation–there are people who don’t want surgery but feel they don’t really have a gender, for instance. But this is the easiest case for a cis man to sympathize with.)
Isabel did a lot of flooding in the DC area in 2003:
My father made a point to me once – “liquids are not compressible” – while explaining how a hydraulic jack works. It applies in other situations as well. IOW, once the water is pushed up the river (or out of the ocean) it is going to go somewhere.
@lowtechcyclist: It seems like there’s a strong sense of “argument from Nature” in a lot of this, that puberty and the genitals you were born with are natural so that’s what should determine everything. And that in turn resembles a lot of anti-abortion, anti-vaccination, etc. arguments.
@MisterDancer: It strikes me as facile when people jump to that–“just move” as a solution, and it bothers me that I did that myself in my comments here. I’m not sure that I was thinking of individuals specifically, more of a vague demographic of “working families with school-age children and/or the companies that employ them.” But of course that demographic is made up of individuals, and it is not easy to move, not for anyone, whether because of finances, or family, or simply being settled in a place. In truth, the progressives that I know in TX, AZ, FL (Betty Cracker!) are some of the most badass people in the world, and the fact that there are folks actively and visibly working for progressive causes in these places, even in the face of very clear threats of violence, makes me want to cry a little with just pride in fellow humans. One of the things that I love about BJ is that it opens up a space to support those people. I will rethink that framing the next time it pops into my mind in frustration.
@C Stars: “Just move” is also how you get a 40% reactionary minority having total control of the federal government, because of the organization of Congress and the Electoral College. Moving doesn’t help once they can send the FBI after you.
(There are times when I feel guilty about not moving 3 miles across the border into New Hampshire to maximize my political effectiveness as a liberal voter. But I don’t wanna. It’s selfish, I guess.)
@Jinchi: Corporate CEOs, by definition, care only about their own personal wealth and power. However, if they find themselves in a position in which they cannot find workers with adequate education and experience in the fascist-states like Florida and Texas, they will do something. “Something” might be moving operations to a different state.
@C Stars: Republicans are pretty shit at understanding economics, in case you hadn’t noticed.
@Tony G: A possibly relevant anecdote: About ten years ago I was an IT “contract worker” doing software support at IBM in upstate New York. They paid me (and many others) because a “brilliant” plan by some middle managers had turned into a train wreck. The plan had been to move the software support office to Iowa. Cheap rent! Low pay! What could go wrong? It turned out to be the case that there weren’t enough people with the necessary skills in Iowa, and nobody wanted to move from New York or California to Iowa — so, after burning up a lot of money, they moved the support office back to New York State. The point is that corporations care only about money, but lack of access to the right workers hurts profits. That’s a lesson that DeSantis, Abbot and their ilk might learn soon.
@Matt McIrvin: I agree that “telling people to move” is neither the right thing nor a good strategy. However, when things get bad enough in the Christo-fascist states, some people (generally young, unattached and well educated) will move of their own accord — thereby depriving those states of the people they need the most. Meanwhile, very few people will choose to move to those states. Actions have consequences.
Quaker in a Basement
There’s another group of kids that might become collateral damage in this fight. Children who experience early childhood malnutrition are more likely to enter puberty at an early age. Puberty blockers can be prescribed to keep kids from ending their height growth prematurely or developing secondary sexual characteristics while they’re still very young.
Children adopted internationally are especially vulnerable. If a ban on puberty blockers is applied indiscriminately, these kids will also suffer.
People with power overtly selecting the least powerful and most vulnerable victims for their bullying is just despicable (or maybe DeSpicable).
AM in NC
@MisterDancer: EXACTLY. And banks could have made millions in the 1960s and 70s by issuing credit cards and loans to women without requiring a husband or father to co-sign for them. But they chose patriarchy over profit (until legally forced to accept the damn money and let women have access to credit). Just like they choose racism over profit. A scarily large number of white men know what ultimately benefits them, and they will fight to the death (ours, theirs, the nation’s, the planet’s) to keep it.