World tennis number nineteen Coco Gauff has hit back at Florida for passing a bill that prevents classroom discussions around sexual orientation and gender identity.
Lauded as the ‘don’t say gay‘ bill by the opposition, the measure has sparked an uproar and even led to multiple student walkouts in schools across the States.
Gauff, who grew up in Florida, has slammed the decision to pass the bill.
“I’m against it,” the 17-year-old told The Guardian. “I think these conversations are important, and for me, who has friends in the LGBTQ+ community, I couldn’t imagine not being able to talk about your identity. I feel that’s something that is normal.”
Gauff talks about the importance of having these conversations, especially for young LGBTQ+ people.
“Every [LGBTQ+] person I’ve known has known that they were part of that community since they were young. I think it’s important that they have those conversations in school because that is supposed to be a safe space to talk about everything.”
She draws on similarities between this and the continuous fight for racial justice.
“I think it was in 2019 and 2020 when I talked about the Black Lives Matter movement,” she said. “I said it was important to have those conversations.”
“Same stance on this. I think it’s important to have those tough conversations, and from the people that I spoke to who are part of the community, it definitely makes a difference when you don’t have to hide who you are.”