Devin Johnson (any pronouns) and Maddie Furey (she/her)
Johnson and Furey are both high school students from Salinas, California.
“Being a gay woman, it’s hard to talk to our straight friends about certain aspects of your life, such as struggles of romance,” said Furey, seen here at right. “But with Devin, I know I can talk about any of that without judgment.
“Being able to talk with someone who is in the (LGBTQ+) community too has definitely shaped my identity and my comfort in it.”
Johnson identifies as genderqueer, asexual and aromantic and says that joy means truly feeling safe for the first time. “I remember in middle school, a friend came out as bisexual and she started learning a lot about the LGBTQ+ community. I never liked anyone or had any crushes, and she told me I might be asexual. For the first time, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I now know who I am,’ and it was something I could finally identify with. Nothing else really made sense until then.”