Adam Hoover, 18
Determined to see same-sex marriage passed in Ohio, then-17-year-old high-schooler Adam Hoover put his grassroots gumption to work last year, co-founding the group Marriage Equality Ohio and organizing the 2011 Rally for Marriage Equality in Cincinnati, where more than 400 activists and allies stood up for LGBT community.
Sparked by its success—and a swelling legion of supporters on the “Support Gay Marriage in Ohio” Facebook page—Hoover launched more rallies this year in cities like Columbus and Dayton. With an attendance of more than 3,600 people, a March 24 demonstration in Cleveland was the largest of its kind in the Midwest and included a speech by State Representative Nickie Antonio and a mass “wedding” of LGBT couples and allies.
Thanks to his outstanding efforts, Hoover was named a grand marshal at the Cincinnati LGBT Pride Parade in June.
But this precocious activist’s energy isn’t exclusively dedicated to same-sex marriage: Now a freshman poli-sci/business major at Miami University, Hoover also fought for a revision of Ohio’s anti-bullying law to cover “any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of a student.” (Sadly the measure didn’t pass.) And on October 6, Marriage Equality Ohio is co-sponsoring an LGBT suicide awareness march and rally in Cincinnati. “I don’t ever feel like LGBT suicides are covered enough locally in Ohio,” says Hoover. “I don’t feel like it’s brought up enough. Something should be done in our schools.”
If anyone can make sure something will be done, our money’s on Adam.