Emma González explained how her LGBTQ activism and the fight for gun control are “definitely linked”

A little more than a month after a deadly shooting rocked her school’s community, Parkland student Emma González has become a recognizable leader of the gun control movement, even helping to organize the March For Our Lives that took place on March 24th. Although she rose to prominence only weeks ago, González is not new to the world of activism. In a recent interview, the teen said that her activism as a member of the LGBTQ community is linked to her participation in the gun control reform movement.

González identifies as bisexual and is the president of her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle published on March 25th, she said that her sexuality made it easier for her to head the movement.

"They're definitely linked for me personally," she told the website. "If I wasn't so open about who I was, I would've never been able to do this."

González added that being open about who she is allowed her to “understand that everybody, no matter who they are and what they look like, is going through a lot of different things.” She said that she learned empathy and flexibility from her time as GSA president, especially with regard to the struggles that her fellow students might be facing.

The teen also recalled meeting with representatives from the LGBTQ and pro-gun control organization Gays Against Guns. She received an orange parasol from them emblazoned with the slogan “NRA: Prepare to GAG.” And González named trans activist Sylvia Rivera, who helped pioneer the Stonewall riots, as one of her heroes.

González is not the only Parkland student involved in the battle for LGBTQ rights. Sarah Chadwick, who recently mocked the NRA with an on-point parody ad, identifies as lesbian. And in a recent interview with Teen Vogue, Chadwick said that she really began lobbying for gun control in the wake of the Pulse shooting.

Chadwick, González, and the other Parkland students’ commitment to change is inspirational. We applaud these students for their efforts to bring about change, and we stand with them in their fight against gun violence.

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