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“Don’t Say Gay” Bill Means It’s More Important than Ever to Bring #HealthyTeen22 to Florida

Legislation that restricts young people’s rights isn’t a reason to stay away…it’s a reason to come and get loud.

Caricature of Gina Desiderio

By Gina Desiderio

March 22, 2022

It’s more important than ever for us to bring #HealthyTeen22 to Florida. Our annual national conference, Dare to Dream of a New Era, will be held in Miami, October 17-19, 2022. 

And we’re not toning it down. Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill will limit its state’s educators from bringing comprehensive, inclusive, and truthful sexual health education and services to their young people. It’s imperative that we keep #StandingStrong with all young people to access the education and services they have a right to. 

We echo the outrage. It’s absolutely harmful legislation that will stigmatize and put LGBTQ+ young people at even more increased risk. 

Which is why yes, we’re still going to Miami. And we hope you’ll join us in bringing the very best you have to offer, to share and learn from each other. 

Because every young person has the right to live their authentic sexuality. That right doesn’t stop because they live in a red state that enacts homophobic, ideologically-driven legislation without any basis in research or what is best for its young people.  

#HealthyTeen22 is our opportunity to come together, finally, after two long years of distancing and video calls. We’ll cultivate healing—inwardly and outwardly. We’ll amplify and reflect on this young decade’s renewed calls for racial justice and remarkable technological growth. And oh yes, inclusive and affirming sexual health education and services. 

 Legislation that restricts young people’s rights isn’t a reason to stay away…it’s a reason to come and get loud. At Healthy Teen Network, we are committed to bringing you the very best opportunities and resources, and connecting you to others working in sexual and reproductive health. Our annual national conference is just one of these opportunities. We learn from each other and we help each other to provide the honest, affirming care and education that empowers the next generation to lead healthy, fulfilling lives.  

Because every young person has the right to live their authentic sexuality. That right doesn’t stop because they live in a red state that enacts homophobic, ideologically-driven legislation without any basis in research or what is best for its young people.  

Healthy Teen Network certainly won’t stop fighting the fight for #SexEdForAll, for inclusive and affirming education and healthcare services for all.  

 And yes, we will be saying GAY in Miami. 

Gina Desiderio, MA, is Director of Communications for Healthy Teen Network and oversees all of our communications and dissemination. Working here has only sometimes prepared Gina for spontaneous sex-positive conversations with her two young sons. Read more about Gina