The “Don’t Say ‘That’s So Gay'” PSAs recorded by the likes of Hilary Duff and Wanda Sykes have encouraged a spike in young people creating videos of their own, asking others to stop using the “G” word to mean “lame.” As we’ve seen from the It Gets Better campaign, hearing from your peers can have a stronger impact than a kind word from an adult or celebrity.
Laura Kay’s sweet message above is another sign that this generation is growing more aware about homophobia, more comfortable speaking about it, and more willing to call their friends on it. A sophomore at Vassar, Kay took a moment to tell Queerty a little about herself and her history of queer advocacy:
I got involved in LGBT activism upon entering high school—I joined my school’s GSA as a freshmen. I took on a more active role each year, becoming secretary, vice president, and eventually president as a senior… The two things I’m most proud of accomplishing while president were authoring successful proposals to get gender-neutral restrooms on campus and starting a GSA in my school’s junior high.
More useful than cutting English class and doing donuts in the parking lot, that’s for sure!
Driven by a passion for equal rights, Kay continued her activism during the passage of California’s odious Prop 8, attended leadership conferences and—while still in high school—led a protest at Los Angeles City Hall against the Ugandan “Kill The Gays” bill.
All this and she’s only 19.
My age has been a part of my message as an activist in the sense that I’ve been conscious and proud of it, choosing to let being young empower me…Just because I couldn’t vote for the first few years I was involved didn’t mean that my opinions were any less valid. I refused to let a number stand in my way of being heard and went about finding and amplifying my voice without waiting to be told someone was ready to listen.
It takes courage to organize your thoughts, be creative, speak your mind and inspire others to action, and we applaud this young activist’s poetry and passion. We know she’s already graduated, but can still we nominate Laura for “Most Likely to Succeed”?