SARASOTA - Zander Moricz is the youngest plaintiff on the lawsuit against the Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida. He says he is fighting to defend human rights and the LGBTQ+ community as he heads to Harvard this fall. 

“This characteristic has probably become the first thing you think of when you think of me as a human being, as you know I have curly hair," said Executive Director of Social Equity Education Initiative, Zander Moricz. 

“I remember I told you on the phone call, I think I have something, I think this will work, I think that it could work but I just don’t know yet," said Moricz. 

“I think the second I referenced it a bunch of people starting laughing just because it is a little bit of a joke, and I thought it would be funny but the response outside of that room was life changing," said Moricz. 

The Sarasota native made national headlines, appearing on Good Morning America, MSNBC, the Rolling Stone Magazine and receiving support from people around the world.

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t incredibly cool, and I haven’t been able to enjoy those really interesting moments because it’s been the work, pushing the work forward, the law goes into effect next month, we’re trying to set up support structures and resources, trying to make sure kids are supported and functional, and have environments that are supportive and functional, so you really can’t wait around and enjoy it, you have to keep that momentum," said Moricz. 

Moricz will be heading to Harvard University in the fall to pursue government and work with public policy to further his work with the Social Equity Education Initiative. Their mission evolves with the current political and social climate to focus on combatting prejudice wherever it strikes. Though there is a lot of support, there is also a lot of hate. Moricz says he has received several death threats and dehumanizing comments since speaking out.

“To have kids message you, should I still come out has been the most heartbreaking experience of my life, because that should never be something someone has to worry about and not in 2022, it sounds so cliché but in 2022 I’m having people message me, should I still come out," said said Moricz. 

Moricz credits organizations on the Suncoast, like Project Pride SRQ which focus on community activism and hold several events celebrating the LGBTQ + community  

“That’s something that we really need to focus on, establishing not only a presence in our community but a bright one, one that is happy, one that draws people and energy because that is what we are trying to protect, that’s what my advocacy is about, not a miserable community," said Moricz. 

SNN will bring you stories of Pride on the Suncoast throughout the week, stay tuned!!