"If I wasn’t so open about who I was, I never would’ve been able to do this."
By
Stephanie Marie Anderson

26 Mar 2018 - 4:44 PM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2018 - 4:49 PM

Emma González, a survivor of the Parkland gun massacre and one of the students who spoke at the March For Our Lives rally that took place over the weekend, has spoken to Yahoo about how her bisexuality and political activism are intrinsically connected.

President of her high school's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), González says: “They’re definitely linked for me personally. If I wasn’t so open about who I was, I never would’ve been able to do this.

“In ninth grade, I was in a creative writing class where I could actually really effectively communicate what I was feeling, and it especially helped me come to terms with who I was. That definitely was when I really understood who I am, and when I came to terms with it, and when I told most people.”

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He also stated that González didn't count as a survivor because she “was in a completely different part of the school” when the shooting took place.

González goes on to say that being open about her sexual identity “helped [her] understand that everybody, no matter who they are and what they look like, is going through a lot of different things.” 

She goes on to cite her involvement with Stoneman Douglas High School's GSA as one of the foundations that helped prepare her for the activism she's currently involved in, saying: “It’s really helped me get used to shifting plans very quickly, planning in advance, and also being flexible … understanding that maybe you organise a club meeting with this one person in mind and they just don’t come because they aren’t coming to school, and you can’t get upset.

“Because most of the kids in GSA either have depression or they’re dealing with a lot of stuff at home, and I can understand that. And there are so many people in the country who are dealing with that, in relation to gun violence. You have no idea. You don’t know how many people you talk to on a daily basis that have actually been shot before, or have lost someone through gun violence. With GSA it’s the same. Everything’s incredibly far-reaching and widespread.”

Read González' full profile here.