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Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez honoured by LGBT campaigners

Nick Duffy March 12, 2018

Parkland school shooting survivor Emma González, the head of Stoneman Douglas High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, has been honoured by Equality Florida for her work on equality and gun control.

Emma González was a senior at the school in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people died and 14 were injured in a mass shooting by an extremist with a legally-bought assault rifle last month.

González, who is bisexual, is used to taking on archaic opinions as President of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance – and in the wake of the tragedy she has earned a following taking on the NRA.

The activist was honoured this week by LGBT campaign group Equality Florida, picking up the annual Voice For Equality award on behalf of the school’s students.

Accepting the award, González paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the shooting, as well as the 2016 Pulse gay nightclub shooting, which at the time was the deadliest in recent US history.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez is hugged by a friend following her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

She said: “I’m Emma González, President of the Gay Straight Alliance at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“The students of MSD who are here tonight along with myself would very much appreciate it if we could start out with a moment of silence for both the shooting at our school and for Pulse.”

She continued: “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’.

“We lost 14 classmates and three faculty members, and there were plenty of individuals who were injured and are still in the hospital due the havoc wreaked on Valentine’s Day in a period of six minutes.

“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.

“The MSD students who are here tonight, are very thankful and humbled that our GSA, its sponsors, and outspoken members of the club are being honoured by Equality Florida.

“Many of the members of our GSA this year have for the first time found a place where they can be themselves freely, can experiment with names and labels and learning about a culture that is widely ignored in textbooks and curriculum.

“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.”

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez is hugged by a friend following her speech at a rally for gun control at the Broward County Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 17, 2018. A former student, Nikolas Cruz, opened fire at the high school leaving 17 people dead and 15 injured on February 14. / AFP PHOTO / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
(Getty)

Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida said: “Students from the GSA at Stoneman-Douglas High School are an integral part of the student-led movement that has been a catalyst for demanding action by politicians to confront gun violence.

“Equality Florida honours them and their advisers for their leadership, resolve and the clarity of their voices in launching the #NeverAgain movement.

“It was an inspiring and moving evening as we celebrated the GSA along with SAVE and the Huizenga Family Foundation – these are the individuals and groups that will make Florida a more equitable, safe place for all of us. We are thrilled to honour their work.”

González took on the NRA’s Dana Loesch at the CNN townhall on gun control last month.

Addressing Loesch, who has two kids, she said: “I want you to know that we will support your two children in the way that you will not.”

“The shooter at our school obtained weapons that he used on us legally. Do you believe that it should be harder to obtain the semi-automatic and weapons and the modifications for these weapons to make them fully automatic like bump stocks?”.

In response to her question, Loesch said: “I want to answer your question.”

However, she did not actually do so, instead giving a rambling answer that did not address her question.

More: Emma Gonzalez, Florida, Gay-Straight Alliance, gsa, high school, LGBT, parkland, shooting, Stoneman, US

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