Inspiration From The Hill – JJ Briscoe

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

A dream come true. This past weekend, when we, the Victory Congressional interns, had a chance to stand in front of the entire Victory Institute board and share what this experience has meant to us, that was the number one thing I wanted to make sure I was able to convey. Being able to be a part of this experience is a dream come true. It has been everything and more than what I expected. Looking back at just the past two weeks, I feel like I have met more people like me than I have previously in my entire life. The rich community that Victory Institute provides feels like drinking out of a fire hose in all of the best ways. Experiencing the passion and power of LGBTQ+ officials that are trailblazing the paths I hope to walk down one day is such a surreal feeling that I find myself getting goosebumps.

Something that I did not expect from this experience was to be truly struck by the history of how far the LGBTQ+ community has come and the empowerment that follows. We have learned so much listening to trailblazers, such as Mayor Annise Parker and Empress Nicole the Great, The Queen Mother of the Imperial Court of the Americas. Hearing about how criminalized it was for them to simply live their lives and yet how they continued to fight to create a world that they would be able to live more free and more equal lives has been impactful to me. It has helped me realize that I’m living in that current world right now, the one that they had a hand in creating. It inspires me as I now realize that I am in a position to pick up the work that they have been committed to for nearly their entire lives and continue it to fully realize an America where the Queer community can live as freely and as equally as our counterparts. Thinking about how to continue the fight leads me to the Equality Act and the need to keep pushing until it can finally be passed through Congress. Looking forward, it is vital to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and on a federal level finally cement the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity for all of the facets of life as an American which also includes employment, housing, public accommodations, education, federally funded programs, credit, and jury service.

This is a time where life is moving very fast. Whether it’s running around on the Hill, meeting icons of Queer history, exploring what DC has to offer, or simply sharing how our day went with my fellow Victory Congressional interns, I can feel myself walking around in a dream come true.