South Florida Sun Sentinel | by Chris Perkins | May 11, 2021
Emma González, a survivor turned activist in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, no longer wants to be known as Emma.
During an appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” on Monday, the 21-year-old said it’s now “X” González, with a Twitter handle — @callmeX — to match. González also no longer identifies with she/her pronouns.
González went on to explain more about the reasoning behind the unique moniker.
“My name is Emma González, but I’ve decided to go by ‘X’ now because I really don’t want people who don’t know me assuming that they do know me because of the national narrative, or international narrative, that exists about me…and I don’t want people thinking that they’re my friends just because they know my name.”
“(It) also kind of tied up into my gender. I realized that I’m not a girl, and that I don’t like when people refer to me with she/her pronouns, or when they think of me as a girl.
“And Emma, as a name, just became such an identity that I became really disassociated with. So, I kind of took toward ‘X’ as, a sort of like, ‘I’m reclaiming my own identity,’ and if you see me don’t assume that you know me, just assume that you’re seeing, like, a person.”
González was on the late-night talk show to promote the documentary, “Us Kids,” which opens in theaters Friday.
The film focuses on the rise of the March For Our Lives movement, organized by González and other survivors of the mass school shooting that took place on Feb. 14, 2018, in Parkland, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.
Seventeen people at Stoneman Douglas High were killed and 17 more were wounded. González, who was not injured in the gunfire, was just 18 at the time.
Now a student at New College of Florida in Sarasota, González spoke to Fallon via video call from a dorm room.
Looking back on the experience, González said the opposition to March For Our Lives, an anti-gun-violence movement, was surprising because it was never about taking guns away.
González, a self-professed “violence interrupter,” said the organization “supports the Second Amendment…and the regulation of the militia that is mentioned in the Second Amendment.”
“In actuality, we should all be working together, we should not be fighting with each other,” González told Fallon.
Reaction to the Parkland shooting led to events such as the March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2018. It spawned more than 800 associated events around the world.
González, who is pursuing a degree in activism, has taken classes such as Manifestos, Alternatives to Capitalism and Socialism; Post-Colonial Literature; and Theory, Black Social and Political Thought, and Global Politics/Radical Comics.
“I feel like sometimes my skull is being cracked open, and information is being directly beamed into my brain,” González said.
Featured image: González appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on May 10, 2021, to promote the March For Our Lives documentary, “Us Kids,” which opens in theaters Friday. (Alex Brandon / AP)