By Sierra Hancock
Webster University sophomore political science major Maggie Hake received a spot on the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Network’s first
“20 Under 20” list. The list was created to acknowledge young people who excel in promoting acceptance in the LGBTQ community, said Morgan Keenan, founder of GSA Missouri.
Hake was nominated by her friend international human rights major Erin Coleman. Hake said she had no knowledge of this nomination and was pleasantly surprised by it. Coleman said Hake’s passion for the LGBTQ community inspired her and she was not surprised that Hake made the list.
“What Maggie has is probably 116 percent more dedication than others who were not placed on the list. She cares about what she’s doing, and that makes all the difference,” Coleman said. “It’s something that I can definitely relate to and what I admire Maggie for the most: dedication and heart.”
Morgan Keenan has known Hake since she was in high school. He said he knew she had the power to educate others on a variety of issues. Keenan said he believes Hake is a positive role model and people look up to her.
Keenan said he knows the hardships of promoting LGBTQ acceptance. He was taken into state custody after coming out to his parents as “queer” at 16. The relationship with his parents has not been mended. Keenan said he does not want other LGBTQ members to feel secluded.
His passion for uniting people of different sexualities is his main reason for founding GSA in his home state of Missouri. He was glad to see Hake nominated for the “20 Under 20” list. He believes she is a leader on Webster’s campus and deserves to be recognized.
Video by Sierra Hancock
“No one really thinks of young people as being powerful or having the access to do things that sort of help, but they really do,” Keenan said. “(Young people) really are key players, especially in their own lives and on college campuses.”
Hake plans to stay involved with the LGBTQ community. She is an active member of the LGBTQ Alliance at Webster because she believes everyone should have equal rights. She said she is a firm believer in making the issue of gay rights known.
“I’ve always been interested in making things better for other people,” Hake said. “… This is a human rights issue that I think—whether or not I was gay — I don’t think that would make a difference. I think that I would definitely be interested in helping people and making the issue known.”