The ‘bisexual Cuban’ called for stricter gun control after a mass shooting at her Parkland school has been given a LGBTI award.
Emma Gonzalez, 17, captured the world’s attention when she delivered an impassioned speech after 17 people were gunned down on February 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) in Florida.
She has taken on the NRA (National Rifle Association) and led a planned nationwide student walkout on March 24.
Gonzalez is also the head of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at her high school.
On Saturday night (10 March) she was honored along with her Parkland gun control activists with Voice for Equality award.
Equality Florida awarded the students and invited Gonzalez to address Saturday’s gala dinner.
She began by calling for a moment’s silence for the victims of both the Parkland and Pulse shootings. In 2016, 49 people were killed at the gay nightclub, Pulse in Orlando.
‘Just over three weeks ago, we experienced a tragedy that has been described as many things, but for now I’m going to go with “unnecessary”,’ she said in her speech.
‘It’s important that we remember these individuals when we fight for gun safety and gun control as well as all other individuals affected by gun violence in America.’
Gonzalez went on to say that members of the GSA found a place where the could ‘be themselves freely’. But it was their experience of ‘oppression’ that has given them the power to fight after the Parkland tragedy.
‘It is for us a combination of the oppression faced in the LGBT+ community, being students who are told to listen rather than to speak, the unsatisfyingly short periods of time in which we are allowed to be our true selves, and a million other reasons, that have contributed to us jamming our feet into the door of the media and and refusing to stand back in this time of senseless tragedy.
‘Now that we know we have the power to call BS, nothing can stand in our way of using it. I am Emma González. I am a bisexual Cuban.
‘We are people of different genders, skin colours, stories. We are members of GSA at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Tonight, we are all MSD Strong.’
The award came just days before a state House candidate, Leslie Gisbon attacked the activist on Twitter calling her a ‘skinhead lesbian.’