OutPower

Moments & Memories – Angel Strong

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

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The thought that keeps coming to mind as this experience is coming to an end is: “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” (J.M. Barrie) I keep returning to it because I’ve come to the conclusion that not only will I never forget living in DC and working on Capitol Hill, but I also don’t plan to go away (for long, at least). 

In this time, I’ve found the opportunity to learn more about avenues on the Hill that interest me through committee staffers I’ve gone to coffees with. I’m excited to see where the next years in my life take me as I work to apply not only for positions with other congressional members and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in order to return to this amazing city as soon as possible, but also to the U.S. Peace Corps on the advice of a Peace Corps Alumni and current Foreign Affairs Committee staffer. It is incredible to see how many avenues are open in my area of interest, far beyond what I ever expected. 

Being someone with a passion for International politics, I’ve always thought of the State Department as my end-all-be-all, but I have quickly found out from the advice of some truly incredible people that there is so much more out there; I just need to be willing to put in the work. It means being open to jump on any opportunity that may come my way, regardless if it lines up perfectly with the opportunities I am looking for. That’s something I’ve always been good at, so I am incredibly excited to see where this may take me.

During our workshop on LGBTQ+ history as part of our Victory Congressional Intern programming, I was floored to learn that the State Department and many other government agencies have had moments of incredible discrimination against members of our community, and even more impressed to hear how some of them fought back against it. I kept this in mind through future programming days, such as with Johnathan Dromgoole, the Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Manager, and with White House staffers like Reggie Greer, that show how far we have come, and more importantly how far we can go, if our community is willing to support and uplift each other. 

When I return to Nebraska, I’ll be keeping the Victory Institute and Washington, DC with me as I get to work to help elevate  two members of the community back home in their bids for the Nebraska Unicameral. So I won’t say goodbye. Instead, I’ll just excitedly welcome the next chapter in this journey.