What Next

An Out Teen in the “Don’t Say Gay” State

Will Larkins, a high school senior, had a life-saving conversation with a queer teacher last year. Would it have been possible under Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act?

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Episode Notes

Today’s high schoolers have lived in an America with legally recognized gay marriage for nearly half of their lives, but this fall, Florida students are starting the first school year under the “Parental Rights in Education” law, a.k.a. “Don’t Say Gay,” and LGBTQ students are bracing for a very different classroom experience.

Guest: Will Larkins, a 17-year-old senior at Winter Park High School, Florida and cofounder of the school’s Queer Student Union.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Elena Schwartz, Carmel Delshad, and Madeline Ducharme, with help from Anna Rubanova, Anna Phillips, and Jared Downing.

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The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.