OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute. Learn more about the internship at victoryinstitute.org/vci.
These past eight weeks in Washington, DC have been a dream. Every day on my way to work, I would catch a glimpse of the Capitol building, and I would pinch myself. I was working in Congress.
I interned with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who is not only my Congresswoman, but also one of the most progressive members of Congress. There’s something really special about working for a Member who you agree with on everything. My time in her office has been amazing, mainly because of my intern coordinator, who is also apart of the LGBTQ community. When I graduate this May, I want to move back to DC and work on Capitol Hill, and my intern coordinator made sure I was well-equipped for my job hunt. He took me on as his mentee and trained me in all the responsibilities of a Staff Assistant and Legislative Correspondent, from booking tours to writing constituent letters. One of the highlights of my time here was managing outreach for one of our bills, H.R. 1111, the Department of Peacebuilding Act. I was able to get Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Rep. Deb Haaland, three women that I deeply admire, to sign onto our bill.
The other part of this program that I really loved was being surrounded by other queer people. Growing up in a Catholic, Republican household in a Republican town was hard. I was told growing up that being gay was a sin, and that I was straight. When I got to college, I was finally able to be myself. And while UC Berkeley is a great place to come out as queer, I was still surrounded by straight people. The Victory Congressional Internship gave me the opportunity to live and work with queer people, and as a result, I’ve become so much more secure in my identity.
I am so thankful to the Victory Institute for this amazing opportunity. Thank you to Sarah and Mario for managing this program. And thank you to my fellow cohort members for making this summer unforgettable. I’m sad to say goodbye, but it’s a goodbye for now, not a goodbye forever.