Human Rights

Ron DeSantis’s Florida Finds a New Way to Hurt and Humiliate Transgender Residents

I don’t know where some of these creepy Republicans come from, but they all seem to live in Florida. That’s truly sad because Florida is truly a beautiful state with amazing wildlife and gorgeous beaches full of pristine coral reefs. But it’s infested with stupid right-wingers and that tends to screw the whole thing up. I’m of course referring to majorly transphobic Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who recently withdrew from the 2024 Republican Presidential nomination and somehow even managed to make Donald Trump look good.

DeSantis, however, isn’t the only transphobe I’m singling out for special attention here. I’m also including Robert Kynoch, the deputy executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). The Department, according to a memo issued by Kynoch on social media, reports that Transgender Floridians face having their driver’s licenses revoked or possible prosecution if they try to change their gender markers.

I fail to understand why Florida Republicans are so obsessed with transgender people, or for that matter, any people in the LGBTQ+ community but they are and Kynoch’s memo, dated January 26, states “establishing gender on a newly issued Florida Driver License is based on the supporting documents provided with an application,” according to a screenshot posted on X. Those documents “must be sufficient to establish the identity of the applicant” under Florida law, Kynoch wrote. “Furthermore, misrepresenting one’s gender, understood as sex, on a driver license constitutes fraud under s. 322,212, F.S., and subjects an offender to criminal and civil penalties, including cancellation, suspension, or revocation of his or her driver license.”

To all my dear transgender friends, I really don’t know how you get around that cavalcade of ridiculous Republican crap. I would tell you if I knew.

Of course, DeSantis and other Republican lawmakers have been targeting trans rights in Florida, even going as far as banning gender-affirming care for minors, restricting discussions in schools about personal pronouns, and forcing people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex when they were born. This is frankly something that is no one’s business but it doesn’t stop Republicans from doing this. Republicans in other states are also promulgating new laws to target people in the LGBTQ+ community.

Homelessness, generations of young people who will never, ever be able to purchase their own homes, climate chaos, who cares about that? We have to peek under everyone’s skirt.

In the rest of his memo, Kynoch said the department had rescinded requirements directing personnel to issue a new license if the licensee “wished to alter the gender marker on his or her license.” The department, he said can “issue a replacement license only when a license or permit is lost or stolen, or when there is a subsequent change in the licensee’s name, address or restrictions.”

He also wrote that the term “gender” does not refer “to a person’s internal sense of his or her gender role or identification, but has historically and commonly been understood as a synonym for ‘sex,’ which is determined by innate and immutable biological and genetic characteristics.” Gee, I didn’t know he was an expert on such things, did you? I mean we are talking about the party of family values, and Matt Gaetz and Matt Schlapp, so of course we’re among experts.

But Kynoch’s memo is windy, so I’ll include this last part. He notes “a driver license is an identification document and, as such, serves a critical role in assisting public and private entities in correctly establishing the identity of a person presenting the license. Permitting an individual to alter his or her license to reflect an internal sense of gender role or identity, which is neither immutable nor objectively verifiable, undermines the purpose of an identification record and can frustrate the state’s ability to enforce its laws.”

I’m sorry but any state that loses the ability to enforce its laws because someone is transgender is probably not a state worth living. Unless of course, you’re a Republican.

Civil rights attorney Alejandra Caraballo, who is also a clinical instructor at the Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic who shared the memo above wrote:

“Any trans person who has had [their license] changed is potentially subject to suspension. Anyone attempting to change it after could be criminally prosecuted for ‘fraud.'”

Carabello noted in other posts that the situation is even thornier than that, writing “if the language used in this directive is taken at face value, any trans person driving with a changed gender marker on their driver’s license could be criminally charged with fraud. This interpretation could potentially apply to anyone driving in the state, including tourists.”

This change, Caraballo told Newsweek will “forcibly out” transgender people and put them in danger.

“This is a show me your papers’ policy for trans people in the state of Florida,” she said. “Trans people are now at risk for having their licenses revoked or suspended at any time. It’s the legal erasure and criminalization of the entire trans community. It’s a dangerous change that will forcibly out trans people and put them at immense risk for discrimination and violence.”

This, in a state where there are at least 94,900 transgender adults, with an additional 16,200 people between ages 13 and 17 who identify as transgender according to a report published by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

So my best advice to all my trans friends, who shouldn’t have to do this because of Republican idiocy, is: If you live in Florida, get the hell out. It used to be a nice state. With the emphasis on “used to be.”

meet the author

Megan has lived in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida and she currently lives in Central America. Living in these places has informed her writing on politics, science, and history. She is currently owned by 15 cats and 3 dogs and regularly owns Trump supporters when she has the opportunity. She can be found on Twitter at and Facebook at


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