Republican Politico Tells Gay Youths
Florida's Rep. Allen Trovillion Berates Safe School Advocates
Bigot's Harsh Condemnation Brings Tears to Distraught Teen
Compiled By GayToday
Courtesy of Equality Florida
The students, part of a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in Tallahassee for Equality Florida's Youth Lobby Day, visited representatives seeking to share their individual stories about the frequency of anti-gay violence in Florida schools. One of the students, 17-year-old Chris Vasquez, was left in tears by Trovillion's remarks.
"He (Trovillion) is one of the people we're supposed to look up to for moral guidance and support," Vasquez said. "He's spouting.ideas that only make the world more dangerous for gay youth."
Statistics from national and state studies already paint a grim picture of life for sexual minority youth in schools. A nationwide report released by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network in 1999, revealed three out of four sexual minority youth report verbal, sexual or physical harassment on their school campus.
Despite a nationwide call for additional security and safety on school campuses, Representative Trovillion told Gentile, "You have to suffer the consequences of your actions."
Vasquez, a member of the Orlando's Gay and Lesbian Idea Exchange for Youth (GALIXY), responded to Monday's incident, "Ironically, Trovillion's comments only prove our point that discrimination against sexual minority youth is still rampant in our state...sexual minority youth need protection from harassment in their schools."
A recent Pinellas County School Climate Survey reported that sexual minority youth were four times more likely than their straight peers to skip school because they feared for their safety. The survey also showed that 63% of the Pinellas students hear anti-gay comments more than twice a day.
"I don't understand why the gay population is becoming so vocal," Trovillion questioned. "You are going to cause the downfall of this country which was built on Christian principals."
Statewide human rights leaders expressed outrage upon hearing of Trovillion's remarks. Equality Florida executive director, Nadine Smith, expressed her disappointment and urged the Florida Legislature to take action.
"Representative Trovillion has disgraced and embarrassed the Florida Legislature by callously dismissing the painful experiences of these students, " said Smith. "We call on the Governor, Trovillion's colleagues in the Legislature, and all fair minded Floridians to stand with students who are striving to make our schools safe."
To this end, Equality Florida is asking all Floridians to express their outrage by contacting Governor Bush at 850-488-4441 and asking him to show desperately needed leadership in condemning the bigoted actions of a callous legislator.
You can e-mail State Rep. Allen Trovillion at email@example.com