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LGBTQ people are leaving Florida in record numbers

New legislation in Florida that bans gender transition treatment for minors and restricts it for adults is prompting individuals from the transgender community to move out of the Sunshine State.

From the beginning of the year, GoFundMe initiatives aiming to assist trans individuals with relocation costs have accumulated $200,000, as disclosed by the Associated Press.

GoFundMe sees drastic increase in fundraisers

The platform recorded a 39% increase from April to May in the number of fundraisers explicitly created to support trans individuals exiting Florida.

One such individual, Sage Chelf, who transitioned in 2021 and identifies as male, is presently employed as a leasing agent in Orlando but is contemplating moving to Illinois to live with his girlfriend.

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Trans people continue to leave Florida

Credit: DepositPhotos

Chelf initiated a GoFundMe campaign when he discovered that the clinic providing his hormone therapy was planning to cease treatment.

“I don’t want to go back to the person that I was forced to be at the time,” Chelf told AP.

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“It was a very dark time in my life. I would rather just not be alive, I guess, than have to go back to living, not trans.”, he said.

Chelf, who is 30 years old, launched the fundraiser on May 20 with the goal of raising $2,500 to aid in relocation costs. So far, he has managed to gather more than $4,000.

Additionally, the Campaign for Southern Equality is offering financial help in the form of $500 grants to transgender minors and adults in Florida, adding another resource for these individuals.

Families lodge lawsuits against the state of Florida

Last May, three families with transgender children lodged a lawsuit against the state to prevent the law from being implemented. They contend that the law is unconstitutional as it promotes discrimination based on sex and gender.

“This is a state of emergency for Florida parents, who are already being forced to watch their kids suffer rather than get them the safe and effective healthcare they need and that will allow them to thrive,” the Southern Legal Counsel said in a statement.

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Furthermore, they added, “This law ignores science, unconstitutionally inserts the state into family privacy and parental decision-making, deliberately provokes family conflict by inviting challenges to established custody orders, and tramples on the rights and wellbeing of transgender adolescents.”

Breaking this law is classified as a third-degree felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to five years.

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