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Florida Gov. Claims The ‘Genderbread Man’ Is ‘Indoctrinating’ Kids Into Changing Their Gender Identity

Photo: Hunter Crenian / Shutterstock
Ron DeSantis Claims Children Are Being Influenced By Genderbread Person

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has greatly divided the state and the Internet over the introduction of a recent bill.

DeSantis signed the “Parental Rights in Education Bill,” which opponents have called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, into law on Monday. The bill is aimed to restrict the instruction of sexuality and gender identity in elementary schools. 

At the bill signing on Monday, DeSantis held up a poster showing the Genderbread Person, the latest chapter in his scare-mongering of Florida parents.

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What is the Genderbread Person?

The Genderbread Person is a gender-neutral gingerbread diagram meant to teach about gender expression, identity and sex.

DeSantis waved the poster at the press conference with accompanying text that said: “found in Florida.” The governor claimed that the diagram was being used to push “transgender ideology” onto children.

"This is inappropriate for kindergartners and first-graders and second graders,” DeSantis said.  “Parents do not want this going on in their schools."

The Genderbread Person is a diagram that depicts the outline of a gingerbread man with four areas labeled, those being identity, expression, sex and attraction. Those four elements are then shown two exist on two continuums, with one representing more feminine values and the other representing more masculine ones.

“Using two continuums for each element (the “-ness” approach), instead of having a scale from F-To-M, allows a person to demonstrate that they embody more of one aspect of gender without that meaning they are less of the complement,” a document on the Genderbread person website says. 

Showing the diagram was just one of the ways DeSantis attacked Florida school districts during Monday’s bill signing. The governor also featured the mother of a former Leon County Schools student as a guest speaker at the event.

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The mother is locked in a legal battle with the school district, claiming that she and her husband were excluded from discussions about their child’s gender identity.

"It sent the message that she needed to be protected from us, not by us," the mother said.

The bill earned the “Don’t Say Gay” moniker when it was originally drafted, where it was intended to prohibit school districts from encouraging classroom discussion about gender identity and sexual orientation. The name has stuck through its numerous revisions.

DeSantis and other supporters of the bill argue that it will prevent schools from “indoctrinating” children to a specific ideology. The bill’s text says it is an attempt to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.”

On the other hand, opponents of the bill argue that it will cause a chilling effect on teachers, bringing into question what kind of conversations adults and students can have.

"Teachers and administrators are not indoctrinating children into one line of thinking,” Leon County Schools Superintendent  Rocky Hanna said. “They are teaching them to think for themselves.”

Regardless of one’s stance on the bill, we’ll always remember DeSantis attacking a poster of a gingerbread man as part of the saga.

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Jonathan Alfano is a writer who focuses on news and entertainment topics. He majors in journalism at the University of Central Florida with a minor in sports business. Follow him on Twitter.