May 25, 2022

Zander Moricz, the openly gay student president at Pine View High School in Florida, talked about the struggles of being gay in the homophobic and oppressive environment of Florida during his graduation speech. Because school officials told him that they would be ready to turn his mic off if he violated the Don't Say Gay law, he found a most clever way around it:

Zander Moricz, the gay Florida class president barred from saying “gay” in his graduation speech, got around the prohibition in a clever fashion.

Moricz is the first out class president at Pine View School in Osprey. His principal, Stephen Covert, had warned him against discussing his gay identity and LGBTQ+ activism while speaking against graduation in light of Florida’s recently adopted “don’t say gay” law, which restricts school-sponsored mention of sexual orientation and gender identity. The administration had threatened to cut him off if he did so.

However, in the Sunday night speech, Moricz, a plaintiff in a suit challenging the law. managed to get his points about being gay across without saying the word.

“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,” he said.

“As you know, I have curly hair,” he continued while taking off his graduation cap.

Here is a longer excerpt from Moricz' speech:

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