Javier Gomez: Educating and Organizing

Javier Gomez. Courtesy photo.

Not many teenagers watch the PBS NewsHour, a nightly no-commercials news report that many politicians and business leaders tune into. Few teenagers are interviewed on the show.

This profile is a part of our series The DeSantis Defiers - Meet the 5 LGBT Activists Giving the Governor Hell. Read more here.

But in September 2022, Javier Gomez was a guest on the show, only a few months after graduating from iPreparatory Academy in Miami. He had already garnered statewide attention for launching Queer Study Hall, a series of virtual education sessions on LGBT issues. Now he was on national TV.

I think parents don't understand their kids. There's a lack of communication among both parties of what is really best for queer youth. And that's going to cause this immense and drastic change to how queer youth see themselves, their mental health, their education.

As Gomez told PBS, “It's overwhelming. Sometimes, I think to myself and contemplate and reflect on why I do this. But the answer is just to help other little Javiers to not go through what I did when I was younger – my trauma, my queer trauma as a child.”

Gomez pushes against DeSantis by educating and improving visibility.

The 19-year-old Miami-Dade college student has criticized anti-LGBT rhetoric since he was 13. Today, he attends Miami-Dade College and serves as the LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair for the College Democrats of America. He’s also organizing a Miami Queer Fashion Festival and Queer Study Hall.

Gomez organized the Queer Study Hall to educate people with little understanding of the queer community and attempt to influence people with little interest in politics. Gomez will bring various experts to host alongside him.

“Why not bring it to people who might think that queer education is just useless. It's actually not useless, it's very important specifically for people who don't know much. I could use your privilege and your voice to help people who are marginalized,” he said.

The Miami Queer Fashion Festival aims to bring the queer community to light and show how fashion allows for personal expression. Gomez hopes the runway shows will allow participants to highlight their individuality and show pride. All proceeds made from the festival will be donated to various LGBT organizations.

“I think a lot of us are very distraught over so many disgusting bills that are being passed, so why not celebrate what we are and where we are made up?” he said. “Why not celebrate our special traits? Because in reality, queer joy is something that is so life changing.”

The festival is slated to take place in September.

Gomez believes DeSantis in the White House would be detrimental to all marginalized communities and current anti-LGBT legislation in Florida is foreshadowing possible platforms for the national arena.

“In Florida, we're already seeing the start of a genocide against the community, imagine that nationwide. That's why it's so important that people start to understand how dangerous this man is,” he said.

Gomez encourages people to begin advocating against harmful rhetoric immediately. He believes silence is a large part of a culture that allows anti-LGBT legislation to flourish in Florida.

“Your uncomfort of speaking up is what's stopping progression from happening,” he argued.

Gomez also argues it is imperative to balance negative press attention with positivity and remain optimistic despite a challenging political climate.

“We have to start looking at the future and the depth of legacy that we're leaving to so many beautiful queer and trans youth who don't have particularly a voice in the legislative system,” he said. “We're acting as safety nets, but we're also acting as role models that we never had.”

Follow him on Twitter.

Check out more activists here:

Wayne Besen

Eleanor McDonough

Zander Moricz

Darcel Stevens


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



Got a juicy lead or story idea? Let us know!



Out South Florida

Hello from OutSFL! We hope you'll consider donating to us. Starting a business can be a scary prospect, but with your support so far, we've had tremendous success. Thank you!

donate button