Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma González, who made headlines with her moving call-to-action at a gun control rally after a deadly mass shooting at her school, isn’t new to activism: The 18-year-old is openly bisexual and the president of her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
In a profile from the Washington Post, González shared a glimpse into her life before the massacre, which claimed the lives of 17 of her classmates and teachers.
González has been a member of Stoneman Douglas High School’s GSA for three years, she said. She was known at school for her unconventional appearance, sporting handmade clothes and a buzzcut.
The day of the shooting, González spent her lunch period selling “professions of love”—inclusive Valentine’s Day cards designed to look like marriage certificates. She was with dozens of her peers when the incident happened—and spent hours hiding and looking at Google News updates until the halls were cleared.
She’s still processing the tragedy, she told the Post.
Just days after the massacre, she was handed a mic and told she could speak to the nation about what needs to be done. Her moving speech “called B.S.” on the NRA—and the conservative politicians who accept donations from the organization. The tragedy has propelled her activism forward, she said: “This has changed me fundamentally to the core.”
Watch González’s full speech below.