18 LGBTQ Youth Who Are Changing the World
GLSEN's National Student Council in Washington, D.C. / Photo by Wunmi Onibudo
Every year, GLSEN selects a group of exceptional LGBTQ young people for our national student leadership team, the National Student Council (NSC). Selected from a pool of over 700 applicants, the 18 members of GLSEN's National Student Council are high school students who are safe-schools advocates, GSA leaders and founders and passionate activists committed to social justice, representing the diversity of LGBTQ youth in schools.
For the 2016-2017 school year, they'll be dedicating their time and passion to creating safe and affirming schools for all students, helping spread the message of respect for all. They'll mobilize their local schools and communities; help create youth-centered resources, programming and campaigns; and represent GLSEN in the media and at conferences and events. Meet the 18 members of GLSEN's National Student Council!
1. Drew Adams
"Hi! I’m Drew Adams, and I’m a 15-year-old transgender guy. I’m going into 10th grade, and I live in Jacksonville, Fla. I am asexual and panromantic, which means that I take the phrase 'hearts not parts' very literally. I’m honored to serve on the GLSEN NSC this year!"
2. James Buck
"Hai! My name is James Buck, and I am a 15-year-old trans male and identify as pansexual. I am very passionate about the safety of LGBTQ students in schools."
3. Danny Charney
"Hi! I am Danny Charney, and I'm a 17-year-old gay male. I go to Alameda High School in Alameda, Calif., and I'm in 10th grade. I'm involved in my school's Gay-Straight Alliance, and I fight for causes such as anti-bullying!"
4. Queen Cornish
"Hello, my name is Queen Cornish. I'm 15, use she/her pronouns, and live in Wilmington, Del. I'm going into my sophomore year as an International Baccalaureate (IB) student at Mt. Pleasant High School. I've been involved in activism for years now, and I've advocated against bullying and the abuse of drugs, tobacco and alcohol. For four years, I've worked to ensure that the rights of LGBTQ students are protected in Delaware."
5. DJ Flam
"My name is DJ Flam, and I am 15 years old. I am a sophomore at Trumbull High School in Trumbull, Conn. I identify as gay, bi-romantic, and male. Recently, I went to the LGBTQ Pride parade in NYC and marched with GLSEN to fight for safety for LGBTQ youth in schools."
6. Emme Goldman
"Hi! I'm a 15 year-old, curly-haired student activist from Madison, Wis. Art, writing, poetry, Audre Lorde and rap music fuel her to pursue prison abolition, gender and racial justice and feminism. I advocate self-love and unconditional confidence. I identify as transfeminine and as a powerful queer woman."
7. Miguel Johnson
"Hi, I'm Miguel. I'm 15 years old, use they/them pronouns, and live in Missouri. I identify as genderfluid and am passionate about trans/queer rights, equal access to education, and gender eradication and POC (people of color) movements."
8. Rowan Little
"Hi, I'm Rowan Little. I'm a senior at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Ky. I'm 17 years old, use they or he pronouns, and identify as bisexual and genderfluid. I advocate for nonbinary visibility and mental health awareness, and I have a passion for graphic design and writing poetry."
9. Luis-Angel Lujan
"Hola! My Name is Luis-Angel Lujan. I'm a passionate guy trying to do good for my community. I'm from alien town, Roswell, N.M. My biggest goal this year is to serve LGBTQ youth in New Mexico as best as I can. While also playing Music. #ViolaSwag"
10. Madison Miszewski
"I'm a 17-year-old activist from Danville, Calif. I enjoy speech and debate, Sylvia Plath, and brightening people's days. I'm passionate about intersectional feminism and hope to go into international relations. I aspire to work for the United Nations and to be a reckless optimist."
11. Ezra Morales
"I'm a 16-year-old, queer, trans, gender non-conforming-identified guy in high school in Austin, Texas. I serve on GLSEN's National Student Council, National Advisory Council and the board of GLSEN Austin working to ensure the safety of youth like me all across the country."
12. Matt Nadel
"Hi! I'm a 17-year-old senior at A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla., where I make films to encourage communication about challenging social issues. I'm also the president of my school's Gender and Sexuality Alliance."
13. Charlie Peña
"I'm a 17-year-old Chicana and intersectional feminist living in Houston, Texas. I love sculpture, makeup and all genres of music. I'm passionate about my culture, art and social justice issues. I love to radiate positivity everywhere I go, advocating for self-love and human rights. I'm the happiest person on earth! Best friend of @kt_morelikeqt"
14. Alex Phillips
"Hi! I'm Alex. I'm 17 years old, and I use he/him and they/them pronouns. I identify as genderfluid. I go to the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts as a theater major. My activism is focused on trans rights, especially for nonbinary people and trans people of color, and safer schools for LGBTQ youth."
15. Katie Regittko
"I'm a 16-year-old Beyhive member from Garner, N.C. I'm passionate about LGBTQ rights and mental health advocacy. I strive to inspire everyone to love their authentic selves. I love politics, Audre Lorde, social justice, public speaking and my dog, Luna. Best friend of @wokemom"
16. Rebekah Robinson
"I'm a 17-year-old senior from Baltimore, Md. I'm passionate about languages, traveling and educating others on social justice issues. I also loves cartoons. I'm a leader in my school's GSA and my school’s diversity council. When I grow up, I hope to be a translator."
17. Kian Tortorello-Allen
"I'm Kian! I'm 15 years old, use they/them pronouns, and live in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Through my YouTube channel and an Instagram account where I serve as an admin, I advocate for LGBTQ rights. I'm interested in dismantling all forms of oppression."
18. Keress Weidner
"I'm Keress Weidner! I'm a 16-year-old junior from Dayton, Ohio, and I'm bigender and polysexual. I use they/them pronouns but prefer no pronouns. I'm an intersectional activist and artist who focuses on the rights of nonbinary and neurodiverse people as well as queer victims of abuse, religious persecution and racism. I'm a leader of Kettering Fairmont High School's Inclusive Queer Alliance."
All photos by Wunmi Onibudo.
Watch to learn more about GLSEN's National Student Council: