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GLAAD RELEASES INAUGURAL 20 UNDER 20 LIST, SPOTLIGHTING YOUNG LGBTQ TRAILBLAZERS SHAPING THE FUTURE OF MEDIA & ACTIVISM
- Last updated: August 10, 2023
GLAAD’s 20 Under 20 list, presented exclusively by Teen Vogue, features a diverse collection of young changemakers, including model Aaron Philip, rapper Kidd Kenn, actors Ian Alexander, Joshua Rush, Josie Totah, and Logan Rozos, activists Emma González, Jazz Jennings, Jamie Margolin, and Sarah Rose Huckman, among others
New York, NY – Monday, June 22, 2020 – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today revealed its inaugural Rising Stars 20 Under 20 list, spotlighting twenty young LGBTQ people, ages 20 and under, who are accelerating acceptance of LGBTQ people while shaping the future of media and activism. GLAAD’s inaugural 20 Under 20 list is presented exclusively by Teen Vogue.
“At a time when millions across the country are taking a unified stand against racial injustice, we are reminded of the undeniable impact that young people have when they use their voice and platform to call for change,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “LGBTQ young people continue to shape the future of LGBTQ visibility, representation, and activism in unique and exciting ways, and this year’s 20 Under 20 list is a true reflection of the changemakers who are advancing the dialogue and accelerating acceptance for LGBTQ people.”
- Aaron Philip, she/her, 19. Aaron is a model and artist who continues to break barriers after becoming the first Black, transgender, and disabled model to sign to a major modeling agency.
- Alex Escaja, he/they, 20. Alex is an award-winning filmmaker and advocate helping to bring awareness to LGBTQ issues in Vermont and across the country.
- Emma González, she/her, 20. Emma is one of the most notable gun control activists in the world, and helped to organize the historic #MarchForOurLives protest, which was the largest student demonstration in American history.
- Ezra Greyson Wheeler, they/them, 20. Ezra is a trans and non-binary activist whose work centers on accessibility, disability rights, intersectional feminism, and increasing LGBTQ inclusion on college campuses.
- Ian Alexander, he/him, 19. Ian is part of the next generation of trans actors helping to pave the way for greater visibility of trans men on-screen after his breakthrough role on Netflix’s The OA.
- Jamie Margolin, she/her, 18. Jamie is the founder and Co-Executive Director of Zero Hour, an international youth climate justice movement mobilizing young people to take action against climate change.
- Jazz Jennings, she/her, 19. Jazz is known as one of the youngest people to become a national transgender figure, and has helped to change the way people around the world see and understand transgender youth through her activism and TLC series I Am Jazz.
- Joshua Rush, he/him, 18. Joshua is an actor and political advocate who made history after playing the first openly gay character on the Disney Channel in Andi Mack.
- Josie Totah, she/her, 18. Josie is a transgender actress who is one of Hollywood’s most-sought after talents, and will soon star in the highly anticipated reboot of Saved By The Bell.
- Kidd Kenn, he/him, 17. Kidd Kenn is an openly gay rapper who signed a major record deal with Island Records in 2019 and has quickly become one of the top artists to watch out for in hip-hop.
- Lachlan Watson, they/them, 19. Lachlan is one of the youngest non-binary actors in Hollywood, best known for their role on Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
- Leo Rocha, he/him, 20. Leo is a Creative Manager at VICE and Newscast Producer at KOMU 8 News, where he uses his journalism and other work to amplify LGBTQ voices and issues facing marginalized communities.
- Logan Rozos, he/him, 19. Logan is a rising trans actor who plays one of the few trans men on television with his debut role in OWN’s David Makes Man.
- Map Pesqueira, he/they, 20. Map is known as the first out transgender person to be barred from entering the armed forces because of the Trump administration’s trans military ban, and has since used his platform to raise awareness about the state of LGBTQ equality in America.
- Ose Arheghan, they/them, 19. Ose is a student at the The Ohio State University advocating for queer and trans inclusion on campus, while also serving as the Policy Organizer for Know Your IX, a nonprofit seeking to end sexual harassment and violence in schools.
- Sage Dolan-Sandrino, she/her, 19. Sage is a citizen-artist, creative director, consultant, and founder of the digital zine and youth studio, TEAM MAG, who also serves on the advisory board for Gucci’s Chime for Change and the National Black Justice Coalition’s Trans Advisory Board.
- Sameer Jha, any pronouns (they/them preferred), 18. Sameer is a student and activist who founded The Empathy Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to making schools safer and more inclusive for LGBTQ+ youth.
- Sarah Rose Huckman, she/her, 19. Sarah is a student athlete who appeared in the award-winning documentary Changing the Game and has been instrumental in establishing nondiscrimination policies for trans people and trans student athletes in New Hampshire.
- Shannon Li, she/her or they/them, 19. Shannon is a UX design student at the University of Michigan and GLAAD Campus Ambassador dedicated to breaking down barriers for queer woman of color in STEM.
- Zoey Luna, she/her, 18. Zoey is a trans actress making waves in Hollywood, recently appearing in FX’s Pose and being cast to star in Blumhouse and Columbia Pictures’ highly-anticipated reimagining of The Craft.
The honorees on GLAAD’s 20 Under 20 list were selected by an internal committee at GLAAD, specializing in LGBTQ entertainment, media, and activism. Honorees were chosen based on the following criteria: 1) The honoree works to positively affect marginalized communities, particularly LGBTQ people; 2) The honoree has been featured in or a part of broad regional or national news media stories, public media campaigns, or other public media initiatives; 3) The honoree enhances representation for LGBTQ people through media advocacy; 4) The honoree utilizes an intersectional approach to LGBTQ advocacy.
GLAAD’s Rising Stars 20 Under 20 honorees will gain access to a network of resources made available by the largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization in the world. 20 Under 20 honorees will receive the opportunity to participate in an exclusive live-stream media training hosted by the GLAAD Media Institute. Throughout the year, GLAAD will also help give greater visibility to the 20 Under 20 honorees in the media, including opportunities such as helping to secure media placements, elevating projects on social media, and connecting honorees with unique industry resources for achieving their future goals.
GLAAD’s Rising Stars Program, which was launched in 2017, celebrates young people’s commitment to enhancing LGBTQ representation within their communities and culture at large. In the past, GLAAD has awarded Rising Star grants throughout the year to support young people in their initiatives to enhance intersectional LGBTQ advocacy and representation in their community. As an extension of the Rising Stars program, the 20 Under 20 list seeks to celebrate and spotlight the next generation of LGBTQ leaders in media advocacy, including journalists, actors, musicians, activists, and other young change agents.
For more information about the Rising Stars program, visit www.glaad.org/risingstars.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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