Transgender Man Leaving Florida to Which I Reply—’Good Riddance!’

See the Lakeland Ledger article below with my comments in BOLD.

Some LGBTQ residents in Polk say Florida now feels unsafe

Gary White | Lakeland Ledger | USA TODAY NETWORK

Once a week, Erin Rothrock holds a syringe filled with exogenous testosterone and injects himself in the thigh.

For Rothrock, a transgender man, it is an essential regimen, one he has followed since he began his transition in 2017. Rothrock has previously received prescriptions for hormones from a registered nurse, while other transgender people have gotten theirs from nurse practitioners. A newly passed law, though, requires patients to see medical doctors for such prescriptions.

That change prompted Rothrock to find a new practitioner, resulting in a delay in getting his testosterone dosage.

Through a combination of new laws and revised rules from state medical boards, transgender residents face an array of new requirements and potential hurdles for continuing the gender-affirming care that some have been receiving for years or decades.

“So, I’m not sure exactly how that’s going to affect me at this point yet, but it’s definitely very concerning,” said Rothrock, 39. state of Florida.” “One of my red lines is if I cannot get continuous medical care in the state of Florida, that me and my family will have to leave the state of Florida.”

Good Riddance ! This is not medical care, it is insanity !

While Florida’s political leaders have emphasized that they are seeking to protect children in passing laws concerning sexuality and gender, Rothrock’s story shows that the changes are also affecting adults. And he echoes other LGBTQ residents, particularly transgender people, in saying that Florida now feels like a hostile place.

He and his ilk are the ones who made Florida hostile toward their agenda by their in your face pushing of there agenda including:

  • In our schools indoctrinating our children including the use of LGBTQxyz oriented, age inappropriate and even pornographic books; teachers hanging LGBTQ banners and denying the use of true biological pronouns, etc.
  • At entertainment venues involving children like drag shows.
  • At “Pride Parades” and homosexual rallies.
  • Extorting woke companies to include them in advertising.
  • Using the corrupt medical field making billions to mutilate children with “gender affirmation” surgeries; hormone treatments and puberty blockers.

“I know of many families with transgender kids that are leaving the state of Florida because of the bills,” said Rothrock, a veterinarian. “It absolutely is happening. People are leaving the state because their kids’ lives are at risk. I can tell, personally, that my own mental health goes down the drain if I go off my hormones, and it’s not pretty. These are kids whose mental health is not good in the first place — extra tough on them. And I would not risk my kid’s life on it.” Stating that people’s “lives are at risk” is pure emotion with no facts to back this up.

Rothrock and other LGBTQ residents have raised concerns about various laws the Florida Legislature has adopted and Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed the past two years. Among them:

• HB 1069, an update of last year’s “Parental Rights in Education” law, prohibits classroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity through eighth grade.

• SB 254 prohibits gender-affirming medical care for minors and blocks the use of public funds for adults receiving such care. The measure also raises the prospect of the state taking a child from a parent who has allowed the child to receive gender-affirming care or plans to seek such care, in Florida or another state. That applies not just to surgery but also to the use of puberty blockers or other hormones.

• HB 1521 directs transgender people to use public restrooms designated for their birth genders and bans genderneutral restrooms and locker rooms in schools, health care facilities and jails.

In addition, Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine adopted rules last fall restricting doctors from providing gender-affirming treatment for minors. Those stances contradict the policies of such groups as the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

On June 30, the two boards approved rules requiring transgender adults to sign “informed consent’ forms that describe gender-affirming treatment as ‘purely speculative” and stating that “the possible psychological benefits may not outweigh the substantial risks.” Critics called that language inflammatory and unnecessary.

Transgender adults will also be required to undergo a suicide risk assessment every three months.

Meanwhile, there have been news reports of some pharmacies declining to refill the prescriptions of adult transgender patients for hormone treatments. And another newly adopted law, titled Protections of Medical Conscience (SB 1580), raises the prospect of doctors and pharmacists refusing care to transgender patients on moral or religious grounds.

There is nothing wrong with any of these new laws and/or regulations which are designed to protect children from life altering procedures which can’t be reversed and actually causing their mental health to be worse rather than better. This is especially true since children’s brains and critical thinking skills are not fully developed. As for doctors and pharmacists refusing care to transgenders this reinforces medical protocol of doing no harm. A healthcare professional has every right not to provide such services based on their moral and/or religious preferences.

“I have a couple of friends that have already said they’re having trouble refilling their medications, having troubles getting their doctors’ offices to sign off on them,” Rothrock said.

“I haven’t heard of any issues with pharmacies yet, but I do know that there’s issues with some doctors not wanting to and not being able to or (being) afraid to refill on people that have already been on (medications). And these are adults over 18.”

He added: “I’ve heard of kids that are already on hormones, families looking to move out of the state or moving out of the state because they’re afraid their kids won’t be able to continue. I also know of a couple of kids that are starting to look into starting hormones, and they’re going to have to probably leave the state of Florida to do it.”

All of Polk County’s legislators voted for the four bills mentioned above: Sen. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula; Sen. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland; Rep. Melony Bell, R-Fort Meade; Rep. Jennifer Canady, RLakeland; Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven; and Rep. Josie Tomkow, R-Polk City.

Rothrock spoke to a reporter before DeSantis, now running for president, released a controversial campaign video on June 30 criticizing his main Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, for supporting Pride Month. Even some fellow Republicans have criticized the video, a frenetic montage mixing gay, transgender and straight beefcake imagery, as homophobic and anti-trans.

Speaking before the release of the video, Scott Guira, a Lakeland resident and founder and president of Polk Pride, said many LGBTQ people find the atmosphere in Florida hostile to them.

Again – this is their own fault for pushing their sexualizing agenda on everyone including children.

“There are definitely people that are reconsidering whether or not this is a safe place for them to live, and there have been people that have moved out of state intentionally and for the sole purpose that they know that this is not a place that they’re going to be able to live comfortably, and that the government is creating an atmosphere where they are not welcome,” said Guira, a gay man. “And they have moved to other states that are more inclusive and welcoming. And it’s very sad when you’re living in the United States and you have to be a refugee, moving from this state to go to another state that will allow you to live and be safe.”

Enjoy paying these Blue State taxes; high crime rates; and more government control!

Transition was ‘life-saving’ Jaden “Spike” Poma, a transgender man, began transition socially at age 13 and started medical treatments at 16 or 17. The Lakeland resident said he had been suicidal before beginning treatment.

“Personally, I believe that it’s a very harmful thing to legislate on, especially being somebody that started as a minor in my transition,” said Poma, 21. “My transition for me has been completely life-saving. Prior to starting my medical transition, I was actually rather suicidal at the time and I couldn’t wait until I was 18 to start my transition. So, I do believe that new laws that restrict minors from transitioning in any type of way is going to create extremely harmful consequences and, in many cases, deaths of children.”

Poma is involved with several LGBTQ groups and knows of minors whose plans to begin gender transitions are now blocked by Florida’s laws and policies.

Exactly the kind of evil mentoring these minors do NOT need – where are their parents ?

“There’s quite a lot that were already currently transitioning,” he said. “There are several that were wanting to start within the next year or so that aren’t able to now. And that’s been affecting them severely mental-wise, as well as just in everyday life. I know a lot of them are planning on moving out of state within this year, if not next year.”

They need real physiological help from psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and/or certified mental therapists not from perverts like Porma.

The changes have also caused problems for Poma. He used to get hormone replacement therapy prescribed by a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood but now needs a prescription from a doctor. Poma, who is unemployed, said that specialists charge about five times what he paid for care through Planned Parenthood.

“So it creates a kind of classist effect, especially on a lot of trans adults, because we don’t have the means to get these high-dollar prescriptions or appointments and stuff like that,” Poma said.

So now LGBTQxyzers consider themselves a “class” of society based on their sexual preferences. The Civil Rights Laws cover nondiscrimination based on biological gender not on gender identification.

A teen’s perspective

While the new laws and medical rules are affecting transgender adults, the atmosphere is especially daunting for minors who have either begun a gender transition or are considering one.

As intended – minors should not be mutilated thru gender affirmation surgery, hormone treatments, puberty blockers or any other form of so called “health care” that alters their biological bodies.

Alex Orasky, 15, joined fellow students in a demonstration outside Lakeland High School in March to protest some of the laws then under consideration in the Florida Legislature. Alex, who uses the pronouns “they/them,” is gender fluid and illustrates the complexities of gender for many young people.

“There are days where I feel more like a girl and days I feel more like a boy or something in between,” Alex said, sitting on a couch at their family’s Lakeland home. “Like, for instance, today is more an in between. … My birth certificate says ‘female,’ but I usually identify as male most often.”

This is a description of mental illness which needs to be treated as such.

Alex said they started recognizing discomfort with their female gender in sixth grade and slowly began sharing that with friends and some teachers. They switched away from using their birth name upon entering high school.

“There certainly are 4- and 5-yearolds out there that just know that they don’t feel right inside their bodies,” said Vanessa Orasky, Alex’s mother. “Other kids don’t know. They don’t feel wrong until puberty hits. And that’s what happened to my kid. They were super smart, funny and responsible and just such a good kid. But when puberty hit and their body started changing, for them, that was when they felt wrong in their own skin.”

A mother who needs therapy for her cognition ability.

Alex started researching hormone therapy treatments while in eighth grade but has not yet decided to pursue gender-related medical care.

“With what’s been going on recently, I’m thinking I’m probably not going to start until I’m at least an adult,” Alex said. “And depending on how Florida goes, that might not even be an option.”

Alex is aware that many Americans reject the concepts of gender fluidity and transgender status. Three members of the Polk County Commission this year rejected a proclamation of June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, scoffing at the notion that people can change genders.

“The way I view it is sex can be male, female or intersex,” Alex said. “So that’s where I originally see the problem, because intersex does exist. Some people are born with both female and male parts. So to begin with that logic doesn’t make sense. But gender and sex are two very different things. Sex is what your body feels and looks like. Gender is how your mindset is.”

Vanessa Orasky, is a veterinarian, and her husband, Jeff Orasky, is an emergency nurse.

“The medical science is irrefutable,” Vanessa said. “There are more than two genders. It exists in multiple animal species, not just humans, that there are different combinations of chromosomes and different spectrums of sexuality in every species on Earth. So in the deepest sense, it is wholly and perfectly natural for some humans to not adhere to the binary, male and female.”

Worries keep mother awake

Orasky, 42, said that Alex has mentioned preferred pronouns with some teachers. Under HB 1069, an expansion of last year’s law labeled “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, teachers and school employees are barred from asking students for preferred pronouns and are directed to use pronouns that match a person’s assigned sex.

Orasky said that the teachers she has encountered only want to support their students. But she said laws such as HB 1069 “embolden people who are full of hate.”

Noting that Alex attended the Pride in the Park event in Lakeland this year, Orasky became emotional as she added: “And I’m really scared that one of these crazy people is going to decide that my child is an affront to God or my child’s existence is some kind of threat. At the end of the day, it’s those things that keep me up at night.”

Orasky knows that many politicians and others look critically on any parent who would allow a child to begin medical treatment intended to alter their biological sex.

“My response would be that nobody is more invested in making the right decision for a child than the child’s parents, and most parents are following the recommendations of a medical professional,” she said. “No parent goes out of their way to say, ‘My kid is a different gender,’ and then seeks hormone replacement therapy. That is the act of a parent who is listening to a child and is listening to a medical professional and choosing to support their child.”

The combination of fears and practical concerns has prompted Jeff and Vanessa Orasky to begin planning a potential move out of Florida, the state they have called home since 2006. It would be a wrenching adjustment, as Vanessa owns a business and the couple have two other children.

While other families consider states that seem more welcoming to LGBTQ people, the Oraskys are looking at other countries.

Yes – please leave – perhaps the Congo would be a good alternative for you.

“Why would I walk away just to move a few states further away and pray that it doesn’t get worse, when I can just move to a country that has constitutionally stable, legalized LGBTQ rights that are not going to change with the flip of an election?” Vanessa said.

She mentioned a brother-in-law living in Japan and a cousin who moved to Sweden. She recently had a videochat with a fellow veterinarian in Canada.

Alex said they hope to remain in Lakeland long enough to finish high school but recognize their parents’ concerns.

“Yes, I completely understand,” Alex said. “And if it really comes down to it, I would probably move with them, I probably wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. I just would not like to leave; I would rather be able to stay here. But that doesn’t seem like too much of an option at this point.”

Alex said some friends have also raised the prospect of fleeing Florida because of the perception of hostility to LGBTQ people.

“A few of them have mentioned it, but it’s not something I really talk about with them because it makes us all very uncomfortable,” Alex said. “Because we don’t like the thought of having to leave our home.”

Kerri McCoy is president of Lakeland Youth Alliance, an LGBTQ peer support group consisting mainly of middleschoolers.

“The kids don’t talk a whole lot about it,” McCoy said of the political situation. “The children are waiting until they’re a little older before they decide to start any kind of therapies, as far as hormones and testosterone. And they’re definitely not having surgeries.”

McCoy, the parent of a grown gay son, is also involved with PFLAG, originally called Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

“I don’t think they understand the ramifications of these bills because they are young,” McCoy said. “So I don’t think that they think that it directly affects them yet. However, I do know people who have already moved out of this state. I do know people in my PFLAG group who are very afraid of what their future holds, as far as being transgender.”

Preparing a ‘bug-out’ plan

Rothrock has an additional worry beyond the uncertainty about maintaining his medical care. Under a newly passed law, titled the Safety in Private Spaces Act, anyone using a public restroom or changing facility not aligning with the person’s sex assigned at birth commits a second-degree misdemeanor.

Rothrock has facial hair and presents a masculine appearance. He and his wife, Alison Foley-Rothrock, have four school-age children, with another due soon. Their oldest son plays high school football.

“I’ve got kids in Polk County Schools, and if I go to their school and I need to use the restroom, legally I’m supposed to use the women’s restroom,” Erin Rothrock said. “And I don’t think that many people are going to be happy with me walking into or out of a women’s restroom.”

Rothrock expects the “bathroom law” to cause distress even for people who are not transgender.

“They’re trying to keep masculine presenting people out of the women’s restroom, and what they’re really doing is forcing very masculine-presenting people to use women’s restroom,” he said. “There’s that dichotomy that — I’m just, like, ‘You did not think this through? How are you going to enforce this?’ And what it kind of comes down to is a test of femininity, and are you woman enough to use a women’s restroom.”

Absolute insanity! Arrrgh – I can’t take or comment on any more of this BS!

Poma, describing himself as ‘cis(gender) passing,’ is uncomfortable with the idea of using a women’s bathroom, as Florida law now requires. He is 5-foot-9, with facial hair and a relatively deep voice.

‘I’m going into a women’s bathroom, I do not look like I belong in that setting — and I don’t, I don’t belong in women’s spaces, and I don’t feel comfortable being in women’s spaces,’ he said. ‘But these kinds of laws have forced me to have to be there and make everybody uncomfortable. I’m extremely uncomfortable and always feel like I’m in danger in those situations. And especially with bathroom situations, there’s quite a few times that I’ve been verbally harassed and, I think, two or three times recently that I’ve been physically harassed.’

Like the Orasky family, Rothrock and his wife have formed strong ties in Polk County. Erin has considered forming his own business, and Alison operates a law firm. Yet they are strongly considering a move out of Florida after Alison has her baby and their son completes his senior football season.

“I fear that the state’s going to try to take my kids away from me because I’m transgender,” Rothrock said. “I’m not going to risk my family, the safety of my family and my kids, on (hoping) that doesn’t happen.”

The emergency plan involves living with Rothrock’s parents in Indiana until the family settles on a permanent location.

“I’ve already talked to my parents and said, ‘If we need to leave fast, can we come to your house?’” Rothrock said. “If we need to pack up the truck and leave in the night, we’re there. We have our emergency bug-out plan in place because I don’t feel like it’s safe, and I feel like the environment can change quickly. And I don’t know that my family is going to be safe tomorrow, next week, next month.”

Gary White can be reached at or 863-8027518. Follow on Twitter @garywhite13.

Erin Rothrock, a transgender man living in Lakeland, said his family is likely to leave Florida because of recently passed laws and new medical rules that he thinks make the state hostile to LGBTQ residents.

Jaden “Spike” Poma of Lakeland speaks during a Democrat Men’s Club of Lakeland event at the Lakeland Women’s Health Center in May. Poma, a transgender man, said he was suicidal before beginning his medical transition as a teen and worries that some minors denied that option may take their own lives.

©2023. Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.



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