Election 2024

Ron DeSantis gaslights LGBTQ+ people: I’m not “demeaning” anyone!

Ron DeSantis
Photo: YouTube screenshot

Gov. Ron DeSantis – one of the most anti-LGBTQ+ governors in history – has yet again stood behind his widely mocked anti-LGBTQ+ campaign video by claiming he is not in favor of “demeaning” anyone.

While speaking to Bret Baier on Fox News, DeSantis took “responsibility” for the ad and yet also continued to defend himself. He said the issues the video brings up (like the fact that Donald Trump expressed support for trans people once, years before he was president) are “totally legitimate.”

“I don’t believe in demeaning anybody, and we have not done that since I’ve been governor,” he said. “These things get shared or whatever — and look, I’m responsible for it, don’t get me wrong. But the idea that I was sitting there like ‘oh, share this video,’ no, it was a rapid response thing.”

DeSantis’s claim that he has not demeaned anyone since his time in office is a direct contrast to the video’s message, which brags about the barrage of legislation he has signed decimating LGBTQ+ rights.

The ad opens with several clips of Trump expressing support for LGBTQ+ people, framing these comments as damning. After the clips of Trump – most of which came from before he was elected president in 2016 – the video abruptly shifts to intense music and a photo of DeSantis shooting lasers out of his eyes, followed by snapshots of headlines about the anti-LGBTQ+ laws DeSantis has passed.

The video proudly shares that DeSantis has been called “evil,” “dangerous,” “draconian,” and “public enemy no. 1” and even includes a clip accusing DeSantis of passing legislation “that literally threatens trans existence.” It also contains images of shirtless buff muscle men inter-spliced with these statements about how DeSantis is hurting LGBTQ+ people in his state.

DeSantis was universally mocked for the ad, but initially defended himself by saying, “Identifying Donald Trump as really being a pioneer in injecting gender ideology into the mainstream, where he was having men compete against women in his beauty pageants — I think that’s totally fair game. Because he’s now campaigning saying the opposite.”

While the video appeared to come from a supporter outside the campaign, it has since been revealed that staffers were involved in its creation and dissemination.

Despite it being “the weirdest ad in American political history,” as The New Republic called it, the video is nonetheless an accurate portrayal of DeSantis’s time in office – which he has devoted to attacking – or perhaps one could describe it as demeaning – LGBTQ+ equality, as well as the rights of people of color.

DeSantis has gone to war with Disney over its opposition to the Don’t Say Gay law, has launched numerous blindsides attacking “woke indoctrination” in schools, and has taken control of the state’s education system with handpicked administrators and the power of the bully pulpit. His staff has regularly smeared LGBTQ+ people and allies on social media with vile slurs and insinuations of sexual abuse.

The Don’t Say Gay law – which has been expanded to all grades – has led to the banning of LGBTQ+ books in schools and the forced outing of students to their parents by school administrators. 

In 2021, DeSantis signed a bill banning trans students from participating in school sports.

DeSantis has ranted against “woke gender ideology” and once claimed, “In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten.”

LGBTQ+ students in Florida have been so scared of repercussions that many have refused to speak with LGBTQ Nation about their experiences. Earlier this year, a non-LGBTQ+ student told us that terrified queer students are learning to “shut up and keep their head low.”

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Oklahoma Gov. signs executive order defining male & female as sex assigned at birth

Previous article

Caitlyn Jenner shocked fellow conservatives called her a man when she called out Ron DeSantis

Next article