Zander Moricz: Courting a Younger Generation

Zander Moricz. Courtesy photo.

When Zander Moricz began battling DeSantis, he wasn’t old enough to vote against him. Two years later, he’s one of the governor’s best-known opponents – in the media and the courts.

This profile is a part of our series The DeSantis Defiers - Meet the 5 LGBT Activists Giving the Governor Hell. Read more here.

The 2022 high school graduate felt the consequences of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill when his school administration told him his graduation speech could not reference his sexuality or activism.

While a student at Pine View School, a magnet school near Sarasota, Moricz led a student walkout to protest the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. But he achieved notoriety – and controversy – when he became the first gay class president – delivering a graduation speech that went viral.

Because he talked about his hair.

As you know, I have curly hair. I used to hate my curls. I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them trying desperately to straighten this part of who I am.

The metaphor was obvious and put Moricz on the map.

“This law was a gateway law and it was designed to build more hateful and homophobic infrastructure within Florida's public school system, and a lot of people listened, but almost nobody acted,” he said.

This lawsuit ultimately failed, as a judge ruled the plaintiffs had no standing to declare it unconstitutional. However, Moricz said the lawsuit was instrumental in showing the injustice of the law and sparking debate around the country.

“It was the only opportunity that we had to potentially eradicate that law, and so I had to take it, and I'm glad that I did because we were able to make concessions, and we started an important conversation,” Moricz said.

Moricz believes young people are the key to fighting politicians like DeSantis.

Moricz, alongside The Social Equity through Education (SEE) Alliance, a youth-based alliance of advocates, planned a statewide school walkout to protest the bill and other legislative initiatives impacting Florida education. April 21, thousands of students in Florida participated in over 100 walkouts, and they gained massive media attention.

Utilizing an active pledge platform, Moricz and his counterparts are working to register young voters and keep them updated about ongoing legislative initiatives. Their goal is to channel the support of young voters into removing dangerous politicians.

“The legislature will come to understand that young people across the state of Florida are accessing their power, and so, in selfish interest or not, you will listen to what we have to say or you will not have a job,” he said.

Moricz also said people need to realize DeSantis is “unintelligent” and his actions and initiatives have been tailored from analyzing actions that gain large press attention, not his own ideas. He claims this thought process was much more evident as DeSantis geared up for his presidential campaign.

“If you have a president who's doing that, then you have a president who's going to go to war in 30 seconds or you have a president who would be a terrible president and I think the country is seeing that,” he explained.

Moricz urges the queer community to speak up and encourage their friends to join their fight.

“Unless the queer population of the United States is prepared to closet themselves, then we have to immediately begin vocalizing and demanding that every straight person we know vocalize because it is going to get worse, it will not get better,” Moricz said.

Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and

Check out more activists:

Wayne Besen

Eleanor McDonough

Javier Gomez

Darcel Stevens


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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