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Pulse Nightclub Survivor Pens Powerful Thread About Why 'Don't Say Gay' Laws Are So Dangerous

Pulse Nightclub Survivor Pens Powerful Thread About Why 'Don't Say Gay' Laws Are So Dangerous
J. Merritt/Getty Images for GLAAD; Francisco Hidalgo/Future Publishing via Getty Images

In a heart-wrenching Twitter thread explaining the danger behind Florida's "Don't Say Gay" legislation, a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub shooting drew public attention to the bill's inherent discrimination.

Brandon Wolf explained the harmful impact of demonizing conversations with LGBTQ+ youth about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

In his tweets, Wolf first shared his story of being outed at 17, kicked out of his church and forbidden from speaking with fellow students in his classes. He explained the dangerous epicenter of the rhetoric used against him was that he was "contagious."

See the full thread below:

In his post, he wrote:

"A threat. Contagious. Dangerous."
"I didn’t know it at the time, but those same insinuations had been used to dehumanize & justify discrimination against LGBTQ people forever."
"They’re also the same insinuations fueling Don’t Say Gay legislation now."

He continued:

“Accusations of a sinister plot by LGBTQ people to indoctrinate and corrupt aren’t new―they’re the oldest trope in the book.”
“Bigots lobbed them while they tried to ban us from being teachers, serving our country, getting married, adopting children, and using the bathroom ... And those tired accusations are being wielded as weapons once again.”

Wolf wrote:

“So let me say what I wish *anyone* had the courage to tell me when I was labeled a dangerous, 17 year old contagion: LGBTQ people are a normal, healthy part of society who deserve to be valued and seen."
"That’s what we’re fighting for. And I won’t apologize for it.”

In 2016, the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida was the scene of the second worst mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history and the second deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11. Wolf argued the war waged against LGBTQ+ people carries on with this bill.

Many parents and advocates agree.

On Thursday, a joint federal lawsuit was filed against the state of Florida over the new law, signed into effect last week. The plaintiffs are families of Florida school children and a number of advocacy groups who allege the law is unconstitutional.

The complaint was filed on behalf of, among other groups, Equity Florida of which Wolf is Press Secretary.

Supporters flocked to Wolf's post with compassion.

One person shared:

"Powerful, Brandon. Thank you for sharing your experiences."
"It is an atrocious law, like so many passed by the Florida Legislature and championed by the unscrupulous man we call 'governor.'"

Many related to Wolf's story, sharing their own similar ones.

One person shared:

"I was out at 16. Kicked out."
"My parents told all of my friend's parents. I had nowhere to go. I wasn’t welcome anywhere anymore."
"Ended up at a group home for homeless boys. It was a long and rough road."
"I wouldn’t wish that on anyone."

The ramifications of this law are still being found.

Educators are already saying they will refrain from even referencing LGBTQ+ language, references or concepts, fearing they will face repercussions from the state if they do.