Liberty Hill's 2013 Leaders to Watch: Ariel Bustamante
Jan. 23, 2013

Meet Liberty Hill's 2013 Leaders to Watch, including GSA Network's own Ariel Bustamante, SoCal Program Coordinator.

As a high school student, Ariel Bustamante faced off against a teacher about student participation in Transgender Day of Remembrance. She won.

In 2009 she started a national letter-writing campaign demanding that Seventeen magazine apologize for an offensive story about a transgender teen. After her campaign was picked up by bloggers at Pam’s House Blend, Slate and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), she won that one, too.

In college, she “stepped up” to help the school “grow its analysis” and include economic and racial justice-related issues in its environmentalism curriculum.

Now in her 20s, Ariel is Southern California Program Coordinator for Gay Straight Alliance Network. She, like GSA Network, which has made ally support one of its core values, is all about alliances. She’s one of a new generation of young leaders forging strong links among varied individuals and groups seeking social justice. “At GSA,” she says, “We really talk about and focus on coalition building.” She was drawn to the organization because “They were also talking about low income youth and people of color, something that other LGBT groups were not doing.”

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