Florida’s anti-LGBTQ+ bills are fuelling “harmful rhetoric” about the community, a survivor of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando has warned.

The state’s infamous ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill has limited discussions of sexuality and gender identity in schools, with there now being a push to restrict gender-affirming care for minors.

Governor Ron DeSantis’ administration also recently revoked the Hyatt Regency Miami’s alcohol licence after it hosted a drag show with minors present in the audience – something he said is part of a wider effort to protect children.

“On the surface level, these pieces of legislation limit job opportunities for drag entertainers, reduce resources for transgender individuals, and prevent students (both children and adults) from being educated about LGBTQ+ topics,” drag performer Venus Envy told Insider.

“All of these outcomes are harmful in their own right, but the greater impact of these bills is already being seen in the increase of hatred toward the LGBTQ+ community and the harmful rhetoric that drag queens are predatory.”

In a statement about the legislation to the outlet, DeSantis’ press secretary said: “Sexually explicit content is not appropriate to display to children and doing so violates Florida law. Governor DeSantis stands up for the innocence of children in the classroom and throughout Florida.”

What is Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill?

‘Don’t Say Gay’ was signed into law in Florida in March 2022 and restricts “classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

New research from the UCLA School of Law confirmed that the legislation has already had an impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the state.

READ MORE: Republican behind Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill resigns after federal indictment

The data, which was released in January 2023, found that 17 per cent of LGBTQ+ parents had already taken the necessary actions to move elsewhere.

Almost nine out of 10 also express concern over the effects the legislation could have on their family.