Florida student goes viral after giving classmates an LGBTQ history lesson


Days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill restricting LGBTQ teaching in the state’s public schools, high school senior Will Larkins had an idea.

Larkins, founder and president of the Queer Student Council at Winter Park High School outside Orlando, said he asked his history teacher if he could share a lesson with classmates about the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City, widely considered a key A twist on the essentials of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The teacher agreed, Larkins said.

“She didn’t know what that was,” Larkins said of the Stonewall Uprising. “It just goes to show how unfortunate our education system is. They don’t even teach history teachers. It’s something you really have to go out of your way to learn.”

The Stonewall Uprising was a multi-day LGBTQ rights protest in front of the Stonewall Hotel, a gay bar near Greenwich Village in New York City. The uprising was ignited after patrons decided to fight back following a routine police raid on the bar. The Stonewall Inn was the first LGBTQ site in the United States to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places (1999), and according to the Museum of History of the City of New York, it was named a National Historic Landmark (2000) and designated a National Monument (2016) website project.

Larkins, 17, a junior, had one of his classmates record the March 31 class, and he posted the video to Twitter three days later. It went viral and led to a profile on Larkins in the Washington Post on April 4.

In an interview on Friday, Larkins said his history teacher had filed a complaint against him, claiming that Larkins had misrepresented her statement in an interview with The Washington Post, and as a result, he is now being accepted by the school ‘s investigation.

“I’ve had maybe 10 investigations this year. I’ve never been disciplined for those,” Larkins said. “I was very outspoken about the homophobia I faced at school.”

Winter Park High School did not respond to a request for comment.

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