Transgender Floridians say new laws are forcing them to leave the state

Within a month, 19-year-old Aaron said there won’t be any public restrooms he feels comfortable in in the state of Florida.

As a result, the lifelong Floridian and his family are listing their home for sale and packing up to move out of state.


“There are no toilets for me to use in public, so I get kicked out of public life,” he said.

His family compared it to being pushed back in the closet.

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On July 1, a law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that says transgender people must use the bathroom that aligns with their biological sex will go into effect.

That, plus another law banning gender-affirming care for minors that also limits how that care can be provided to adults, has transgender Floridians seeking to leave the state.

“This is my house,” said Cat Blackard, a fifth-generation Floridian.

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But after her health care provider told her he could no longer provide her with hormone replacement therapy, she made the difficult decision to do something she never imagined she would have to do: leave Florida.

“I feel like a traitor, but I have to do it for my own safety,” she said.

His provider cited the bill that prohibits gender-affirming care for minors, saying only doctors can provide such care to adults. But his clinic is run by nurses.

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“I had an appointment on Monday. That appointment was cancelled,” she said. “My estrogen isn’t just slipping away. Boom is ending. And without estrogen, within about 15 days, everything I do causes pain.”

Cat said she hopes the hormones she has will last until she can find a provider in a new state.

“It’s really sad,” he said.

State Representative Randy Fine cosponsored the two new laws.

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“There is nothing on our bill, nothing at all, that would prevent an adult from obtaining these castrating drugs,” Fine said. “…If it’s very important for a man to use the women’s bathroom, Florida is not the right state for them.”

He said more people are trying to move to Florida than are leaving.

“I have no idea why these couple of people have chosen to leave,” the Republican said.

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But Cat disagrees. She said these laws were made specifically to harm transgender people, leaving them no choice but to move.

“It has become functionally unbearable to be trans in Florida,” she said.

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