Venezuelan queer activist Javier Gomez was attending Miami Prep Academy when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Then 17 and serving as the president of the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, Gomez sprung into action, organizing his classmates to protest and rally against the oppressive bill. He was joined by at least 100 other students in their first walkout.
Gomez recognized the importance of schools being a safe space for his classmates who were unsupported at home and struggling to feel empowered to be themselves.
His outspoken activism and quick action caught the attention of President Biden and he was invited to speak at the administration’s 2022 Pride event. Gomez’ focus on queer and trans liberation has earned him recognition on GLAAD’S 20 under 20 list.