A gay Florida high school student came up with a creative way to share his experience after his graduation speech was censored by his school.

Zander Moricz, Senior Class president from Pine View High was warned prior to his speech against speaking about his experience as a gay student in the wake of the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.” 

According to Moricz, as he is the youngest public plaintiff in a lawsuit against Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill and led protests against the anti-LGBT bill, his principal informed him that, “if my graduation speech referenced my activism or role as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, school administration had a signal to cut off my microphone, end my speech, and halt the ceremony.”

Student Finds A Way To Say ‘Gay’

Despite this, Moricz found a cheeky way to talk about his experience.

In his speech, he said, “I must discuss a very public part of my identity. This characteristic has probably become the first thing you think of when you think of me as a human being.”

“As you know, I have curly hair,” he said to laughter and cheers from the audience. 

He continued, “I used to hate my curls. I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them, trying desperately to straighten this part of who I am, but the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to endure.”

“So while having curly hair in Florida is difficult, due to the humidity. I decided to be proud of who I was and started coming to school as my authentic self.

He went on to talk about the support he received from teachers, friends, and his family, and explained why it is so important. 

“There are going to be so many kids with curly hair, who need a community like Pine View, and they won’t have one. Instead, they’ll try to fix themselves so they can exist in Florida’s humid climate.”

‘Dehumanising Decision’

In an interview with Good Morning America, Moricz talked about the decision to change his speech, saying, “It was a really dehumanizing decision because I had to take something I had written and was really proud of that discussed my identity and human rights and had to find to be clever to discuss who I was.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a conservative Republican, signed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” into law on March 28.

The Bill, officially named the Parental Rights in Education Bill, will restrict the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity.

It states, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade three or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

Parents would be able to sue if a school if school is suspected of violating the law.

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