The It Gets Better Project, through It Gets Better EDU, is proud to present Youth Voices – Class of 2022. These exceptional young people have partnered with our organization to offer their unique stories and words of advice to other LGBTQ+ youth around the globe. They are students, artists, and activists who are working to change their communities for the better and who have empowering insights to lend to their LGBTQ+ peers.


Alejandro Isabella J.

  • Age: 17
  • Pronouns: Him/Her
  • Location: Near Dallas, TX 

Alejandro Isabella is in his second year with the It Gets Better Project and couldn’t be more happy to do so. Since coming out as a lesbian in seventh grade, and then relabeling to queer, Isabella has always been a large activist to LGBTQ+ representation in any and all media. Her passions are guitar, bringing light to the taboo, and being a positive and bubbly influence to those around him. He also is devoted to normalizing experimenting with your gender identity, and strives to educate with non-gendered language, both in English and Spanish. 

As a proud latine, Isabella fights for representation for people that look like her, and remains fierce in his stand to do so. Remaining true to his life motto “Give me latina Disney princesses, or give me death.” Passionate in everything under the sun, Isabella’s greatest goal is to create a platform where others can see themselves accepted in the media and thrive, just like how she wanted to when he was younger.


Andrea B.

  • Age: 16
  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Location: Near Los Angeles, CA

Andrea is a 16-year-old human rights activist, passionate and dedicated to helping and supporting the LGBTQ+ community and fighting for equality and justice of all people in hopes of creating a safer, kinder world.

Raised in a low-income family in an environment forcibly opening her eyes to the jarring issues involving the lack of acceptance for the LQBTQ+ community, racism, sexism, and overall hatred that plagues our lives, she strives to produce love and acceptance for all people. With her main hobbies being reading and writing, she hopes to use her talents to give a voice to the voiceless and to shed light on the honest, cruel, and unpopular reality of the struggles that are happening in our communities today.


Ben B.

  • Age: 16
  • Pronouns: They/Them
  • Location:  Near Trenton, PA

Ben is a big fan of public speaking and performing, as they’ve done debate, theatre, choir, and mock trial, which are some of their favorite extracurriculars. Ben is a part of a youth group in their community called Youth4Unity, where they’re a director for the group along with some of their peers. They really enjoy public service and activism and you can often find them volunteering. They came out as gay at age thirteen and non-binary at fifteen. Their goal is to touch the hearts of young and adult LGBTQ+ people in an attempt to create safe spaces for all LGBTQ+ families across the globe.


Chloe L.

  • Age: 14
  • Pronouns: They/Them
  • Location: Near Charlotte, NC

Chloe is a nonbinary artist who likes to express their creativity with different mediums such as drawing, writing, and painting. They enjoy writing articles and drawing different things that they find interesting. Chloe wants to leave a fingerprint in the world, and aspires to change it for the better. They want to be doing big things, like commercials, ads, brand deals, and more, all while embracing who they are.


Elliot S.

  • Age: 13
  • Pronouns: They/Them
  • Location: Near Austin, TX

Elliot has always been a big advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and recently came out as transgender, nonbinary, and queer in June 2020. In coming out, they were met with overwhelming support and made it their mission to fight for equality and representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Elliot’s passions include creating art, exploring nature, and cultivating meaningful friendships.

After noticing a lack of education regarding gender queer people in the community around them, they organized a presentation for their school defining and explaining gender neutral pronouns, which helped create a more inclusive and respectful space within their school community. Elliot is a big advocate for mental health awareness and aims to let other LGBTQ+ youth know that they are not alone, and it really does get better.


Hailey T.

  • Age: 16
  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Location: Near Huntsville, AL

Hailey Saya Tomlinson is a musician, human rights activist, and transqueer creative. Since coming out as queer and transgender in rural Alabama, she has experienced a plethora of discrimination, hatred, and outcastation, and even lost a loved one to conversion therapy. However, Hailey stayed strong, involving herself in activism organizations like Diversify Our Narrative, ACLU of Alabama, Southerners on New Ground, Project Say Something AL, and the Shoals Equality Center in an effort to find safety, find community, and utilize her story to make a difference. She has recently completed research with her mentor, Dr. Laine Walters Young of Vanderbilt Divinity School and Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth pertaining to her future goal, the abolishment of conversion therapy and the instatement of LGBTQ+ protections. She hopes to become a human rights lawyer by 23.

She is also a talented percussionist, pianist, and honor student. In piano lessons since age 7 and the school band since age 10, they hold over 30+ musical accolades, including WGI Scholastic Concert World National Finalist and Southeast Champion, 2x Alabama 6A Percussion State Champion, and 2x All-State Percussionist. As 1st chair and mallet percussion section leader, she is involved in percussion ensemble, marching band, and wind ensemble while maintaining a senior position in the school’s show choir and performing arts program. She is also a dual percussionist-pianist for the Nashville Curb Youth Symphony and NCYS Marimba Quintet, and hopes to spread the love of music through a percussion nonprofit after retiring.


Hammy H.

  • Age: 17
  • Pronouns: They/Them
  • Location: Near Mobile, AL

Hammy is a nonbinary content creator, filmmaker and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. After gaining a following on TikTok, they helped organize @Gayburgerofficial, an internet collective for queer young people by queer young people. Their art, comedy and activism is making a difference around the world by utilizing the power of social media. 

Hammy’s personal experience with social media has been nothing but positive and eye opening. As an African American TikToker, they’ve been able to meet so many amazing people from all over the world and make them laugh.  In the future, Hammy hopes to be a forensic pathologist and to be the representation for kids they wish they’d had growing up.


Jace D.

  • Age: 17
  • Pronouns: He/Him
  • Location: Near Salt Lake City, UT 

After coming out as trans and gay at age 14, Jace dove into social activism (especially LGBTQ+ youth visibility and empowerment) at his school and in his city. He’s in his third year with his high school’s GSA, serving as the club’s gender and sexuality educator. He has participated in workshops for faculty, round table community discussions on diversity, and pride events around Utah, New Orleans, and Paris. He has also been involved with the city’s LGBTQ+ task force and helped them organize a float during the 4th of July parade. Jace has worked hard to combat inequalities and injustices in his school and city. He envisions a world where LGBTQ+ youth and adults feel as safe, seen, and celebrated as anyone else, all the time. Jace is also planning a future involving many, many years of college, a few degrees, a career as a queer theory professor, activist, and summer camp counselor.

Jace loves working with the queer community especially with his peers. Recently, he joined Utah’s Planned Parenthood Teen Council, a group dedicated to fostering a safe environment for peer-led sex-ed in schools across the state. He dedicates himself to finding queer joy and a sense of community in his life and with his peers. You are most likely to find Jace at a queer rally, in a queer bookstore, or discussing current issues with his friends and/or teachers.


Kiki P.

  • Age: 13
  • Pronouns: She/Her
  • Location: Near Paterson, NJ

Kiki was born and raised in Mexico. She moved to the US when she was just 5 years old. She loves to read, enjoys Greek and Roman mythology and is passionate about Disney since that’s the first place she can remember “she could really be and be seen as who she really was”. 

KiKi also enjoys traveling with her family because she believes “you can only learn about other cultures through their local food and actually talking to other people”. She is a fierce believer of the importance of human rights for every single individual, especially women and POC.  She is eager to make a change for her latinx/Hispanic community and to work directly with other LGBTQ+ youth located in Latin America. 


Laynie R.

  • Age: 15
  • Pronouns: All Pronouns
  • Location: Near Columbia, MO

Laynie is a genderfluid high school sophomore, a gamer, an artist, as well as an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Ever since Laynie was a child, she has been extremely passionate about those three things. After coming out to their extremely supportive family, Laynie has attended local pride events, protested for BLM, and volunteered at food banks. With a passion for equality for all, Laynie’s main goal is to use their platform as a space for everyone to feel safe, equal, and seen.

As well as a firm sense of justice, Laynie loves video games and the arts. Growing up, video games were an escape for them, from whatever was happening in the real world, and even as a teenager their love for Nintendo hasn’t faded one bit. Being able to see characters like yourself in something you enjoy is an amazing feeling, and Laynie hopes to bring more diversity to the gaming world, so everyone who games is able to see themselves in the things they love. As a honor roll student, Laynie has big plans for themselves, hoping to pursue a job in graphic design, something they love to do and hope to be able to do as a career.


Nico J.

  • Age: 17
  • Pronouns: He/Him
  • Location: Near Pasadena, CA

Nico loves to foster change, and he uses communication to do that, especially to help foster mental growth for himself and others. His experience with chronic pain and autism – as well as a very large dose of people not being their best – has helped him grow and change. He’s also focused on helping others and genuinely caring about people in the process. He believes there is no one way for a person to be and he wants to share that insight with others.

Nico is also an artist, actor, and poet who believes that “people learn from art.” He advocates that art can teach the importance of representation, culture, neurodiversity, and stories to all types of learners. He wants to be a gallery artist and actor for the purpose of growth and change in the world.


Uma F.

  • Age: 17
  • Pronouns: She/They
  • Location: Near Washington, D.C.; and Hong Kong

Uma is a Queer, Mixed-Race, and South-Asian student human rights activist. After noticing the absence of LGBTQ+ representation in education and policy, she founded MoCo Pride, an organization dedicated to giving LGBTQ+ students a voice in Maryland’s political and educational systems. The organization lobbied successfully for the creation of the United States’ first standardized LGBTQ+ studies class for high schoolers; Uma was also a student writer for the course’s curriculum. She has organized student delegations  to the Maryland State House to lobby their legislators for various student rights, including menstrual equity, transgender student protections, and LGBTQ+ government representation.

Uma is now an international student in Hong Kong. There, she works as the co-founder and co-executive director of Youtheoria, an international organization that brings students from over 65 countries together to engage in social justice education and grassroots community advocacy. She is also one of the It Gets Better Project’s Youth Voices ambassadors. Uma cares deeply about global human rights and intersectional LGBTQ+ justice. She is passionate about fighting for global LGBTQ+ protections, researching LGBTQ+ identity and rights, and making activism inclusive of the communities it impacts.


Zach K.

  • Age: 17
  • Pronouns: He/Him
  • Location: Near Baltimore, MD

Zach is a first year undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. He is on track to major in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and minor in Legal Studies between the Wharton School of Business and the CAS and a second minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the CAS.

Most recently Zach served on the Howard County Board of Education. During his term as a Board of Education member, he pioneered the efforts for LGBTQ+ inclusivity by moving a unanimously approved LGBTQ+ studies course, working with staff to allow students the option to use their preferred name and add their pronouns on the school systems digital learning platform.

Zach was an original member of the It Gets Better Project’s Youth Voices and will serve as a member through August 2022. Through this initiative, he has presented at many different functions including SXSW EDU 2021 and a Teach For America (TFA) Summit about LGBTQ+ Inclusive Curriculum.

After graduating from Penn, Zach plans to attend law school with the ambitions of working in human rights law, continuing his path in fighting for social justice.


To learn more about the work being done through It Gets Better EDU, visit itgetsbetter.org/EDU