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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Buffalo Grove teen among GLAAD's '20 Under 20'
2021-06-23

This article shared 1053 times since Wed Jun 23, 2021
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Molly Pinta—a 15-year-old who was the catalyst behind Pride celebrations in Buffalo Grove, including this year's Pride Drive—is listed in Teen Vogue as one of GLAAD's second annual 20 Under 20 list.

Pinta is a bisexual student and activist who founded the nonprofit The Pinta Pride Project to increase LGBTQ awareness within suburban communities in Illinois.She also launched her town's first-ever Pride celebration in 2019 and was the youth grand marshal of the 2019 Chicago Pride Parade.

Full profiles of the 20 Under 20 honorees can be found at TeenVogue.com . This year's other honorees include:

—Amiri Nash, he/him, 19, is an artist, activist, writer and a DC Youth Poet Laureate who co-founded Sign of Justice, a project that creates signs in predominantly white neighborhoods to raise awareness about racial injustice and other social issues.

—Andrea Alejandra Gonzales, they/she, 20, is a Mestiza queer activist and organizer, currently working as the Director of Operations for Youth Over Guns and an Instructor through New Yorkers Against Gun Violence Education Fund's school program, ReACTION.

—Andrew Adams, he/him, 20, is a student and activist from Florida who successfully sued his school board for restricting him from using the men's restroom because he is transgender, becoming the country's first trial involving a transgender student's equal access to restrooms.

—Ashton Mota, he/him, 16, is a GenderCool Project Champion who is known for being a public face for the "Yes on 3" movement in Massachusetts, which successfully upheld a law allowing people to use restrooms and public facilities that align with their gender identity.

—Austin Houck, he/him, 20, is the founder of Homoglobin, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing queer equality in healthcare and education, which was instrumental in helping to pass HB 916 in Virginia in 2020.

—Cyn Goìmez, they/them/elle, 18, is a LGBTQ and mental health activist who serves as a member of the Mental Health America's Youth Leadership Council, an ambassador for the Tangible Movement, and a Commissioner on Homelessness for the City of Berkeley.

—Darid Prom, any pronouns, 20, is a queer immigrant who has worked with GLSEN, GLAAD, and multiple nonprofits to promote the liberation of LGBTQ people of color, and has testified in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on the impact of anti-LGBTQ bills on LGBTQ youth.

—Eli Bundy, they/them, 17, is a trans and non-binary student and activist who led their school's Gender and Sexuality Alliance in successfully striking down South Carolina's "No Promo Homo" policy, the first time such state law has been abolished by a federal court on constitutional grounds.

—Gia Parr, she/her, 17, is a GenderCool Project Champion who uses her platform to educate the public about trans youth. In addition to guest starring in season 2 of Pose, she recently released a book titled, "A Kids Book About Being Transgender," which helps start conversations between children, parents, and families about what it's like to be a young trans person.

—JoJo Siwa, she/her, 18, is a global pop star and one of the most influential teenagers in the world, with more than 45 million social media followers across platforms. Earlier this year, Siwa came out as a member of the LGBTQ community and continues to use her platform to promote necessary messages of LGBTQ acceptance and equality.

—Kaylyn Suji Ahn, she/they, 17, is a queer student and activist who organizes monthly projects in their community centered on social justice, advocacy, and community service. Kaylyn spearheaded a "March for Asian Lives" demonstration in Arlington Heights, Illinois to call for an end to anti-Asian hate following the horrific Atlanta shooting in March 2021.

—Max Prestigiacomo, he/him, 19, is a student, community organizer and politician who was elected to the Madison Common Council in April 2020, becoming the youngest elected official in the country and the youngest ever to sit on the Madison Common Council. He also became one of the first out LGBTQ candidates ever elected in Madison.

—mxmtoon, she/her, 20, is a bisexual artist, songwriter, actor, designer and gamer with more than 2.9 million social-media followers. Well known for playing the ukulele and her unique bedroom pop anthems, including her hit single prom dress, mxmtoon's music has been streamed over 500 million times across platforms.

—Onyx (E. Smith), they/them, 19, is a Black, queer, non-binary activist who founded the Central Texas GSA Coalition to enhance the impact of GSAs in the Austin, Texas area. They also created a project called Q+ EDU, an interactive virtual experience designed to connect, inform, and empower LGBTQ and allied students, parents, and educators.

—Soleil Wheeler a.k.a Ewok, he/him, 15, is a professional Fortnite player who is part of the FaZe Clan, and recently signed an exclusive streaming deal with Twitch, where he has over 346,000 followers. On National Coming Out Day in 2020, Ewok publicly disclosed that he is transgender and bisexual, becoming the first transgender man in the T1 esports organization.

—Stella Keating, she/her, 16, is is a GenderCool Project Champion and aspiring politician who made history by becoming the first transgender teen to testify in front of the U.S. Senate when she spoke during a hearing on the Equality Act in March 2021.

—Trevor Wilkinson, he/him, 18, is an openly gay student from Texas who, after being suspended from his high school for wearing nail polish, successfully influenced his school administration to adopt a gender-neutral dress code policy following the launch of a petition signed by over 400,000 supporters.

—Ve'ondre Mitchell, she/her, 17, is a Black and Latinx transgender social media star who uses her platform to amplify conversations about trans inclusion and representation to her more than 3.6 million followers across TikTok and Instagram. In 2021, she was nominated for the first-ever "TikTok Queer Advocate of the Year" award at the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

—Yasmin Finney, she/they, 17, is a rising Black British trans actress who rose to prominence on TikTok with videos sharing her experience as a Black trans woman. She is set to star as the lead role in Orion Pictures' coming-of-age film What If?, directed by Billy Porter, as well as in Netflix's upcoming series Heartstopper.


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