OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute.
This is my third week as a Victory Congressional Intern, but I am no foreigner to the city of DC. Since January, I have had the privilege to live and work in DC thanks to paid internships. Ya girl would not have been able to take on any of these opportunities if it weren’t for the financial help of organizations like the LGBTQ Victory Institute. So, huge shout out!
Although I have been in DC for a little now, I knew that this program would be an entirely new experience for me. I would be seeing a part of DC that I still was unfamiliar with, and would have immediate access. I would be in the place where systemic power begins and ends. I would be submerged be in a space that has historically excluded my communities. Capitol Hill. I, alongside 11 other brilliant LGBTQ+ undergraduates and leaders, would be placed in a congressional office and taking up space on Capitol Hill because #representationmatters. But really, though. We were all ready to be the change we wanted to see.
In my own personal opinion, the #VCI18 cohort is one of the most diverse of its kind. I know people throw around the word ‘diverse’ as a buzzword when trying to sound intersectional, or whatever. But our class is genuinely diverse, filled with knowledge, and most importantly, humble.
Being a queer, trans, Latinx femme from East LA who has grown up in a low-income household and was raised by immigrants, my perspective on life, culture, and politics is one that is extremely necessary on the Hill. There is clear lack of representation in political leaders with actual lived experiences of marginalization, which contributes to a power imbalance. This is what has made this experience so surreal—watching the 12 of us enter this space, soak in all of the new information, and bring it back to our communities in hopes of improving societal issues is empowering.
I have been placed in the Office of Senator Catherine Cortez Masto from the state of Nevada, the first Latina senator. I am really pleased with how involved the office is in the growth of their interns, they truly see our experience as an investment. I am excited to gather all this new knowledge and see what doors this may open up for me. Just how Cortez Masto was a woman of firsts, I hope to continue on with a similar narrative and break boundaries throughout the rest of my career.
I am doing this for all of the trans people that don’t get a chance. The trans women that don’t get a chance. All that are disenfranchised by a corrupt political system, this is what I am here for.