WHILE other little girls were talking about weddings and planning their dream dresses, a young Sara West felt like that could never be her dream.

Now the Glenmore High School senior, who "came out" to her friends and family when she was just 13, is the key speaker at Rockhampton's Marriage Equality Rally on Sunday.

In sharing her experiences, Sara said she hoped she could make the path a little easier for future lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) youth.

"They asked me to address my experiences as a gay teenager...but I will talk more about how to ensure younger people have better experiences," she said.

"I am hoping that my speaking can bring more awareness for younger people, I am more focused on getting the younger members of the community to open up and explore their identity.

"I want to tell them it's okay to be themselves."

Sara West will be speaking at the Marriage Equality Rally to be held on Sunday. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Sara West will be speaking at the Marriage Equality Rally to be held on Sunday. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Though she had a mixed bag of experiences after coming out in high school, she said the younger generations were the driving force of the modern LGBTI movements.

"It has mostly all been positive...everyone has my back," she said.

"The younger generation is a lot more politically minded than a lot of other generations would have been."

Talking on the uniting force of Sunday's rally, Sara fondly remembered the first rainbow rally she attended in early adolescence.

In preparing for her own, Sara is even painting her van multi-coloured to match the LGBTI pride flag.

She wants to see marriage made available to all Australians, and was emboldened by America's recent marriage equality court ruling.

"The thing that has always been concerning to me is when you're younger, especially as a young girl, marriage is a big deal," she said.

"It is kind of depressing to grow up and realise that marriage is not going to be a reality, simply because of the way you are. This is really good because it gives everyone hope."

Fast facts on marriage equality

75% of Aussies believe the reform is inevitable

15% of male and 25% of female same-sex couples are raising kids

Same-sex weddings could spend over half a billion dollars



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