OutPower

So Long, Farewell, and Thank You, DC – Alexandria King

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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So here I am in my new apartment, in a big city, they just dropped me off. It’s so much colder than I thought it would be” – Taylor Swift, “Never Grow Up” 

Despite being a city famous for its fast pace, bustling culture, and claim to being one of America’s premier places to live for young people, there was something exciting yet terrifying about deboarding my plane at DCA and moving into my dorm for the summer. While I had been to Washington, D.C. before, I was being thrown into a new job, new neighborhood, and new group of people. 

New beginnings are always lonely. Specifically, in this city it is easy to get lost in the slew of coffee chats, LinkedIn requests, quick conversations, and receptions. In a city full of passing acquaintances, meaningful connections become ever so important. And D.C., while I may not always be your biggest fan (especially of your metro system), you have reminded me of this important life lesson and made me grateful for the amazing people I have in my life and those who I will continue to meet. 

First and foremost, Washington, D.C., you have made me eternally grateful for my friends who make me feel so overwhelmingly loved and appreciated. When D.C. felt lonely, you all were ALWAYS a phone call away. Whether it was one of my best friends Hayden or Jason staying on the phone with me while I walked home in the dark, Emily on FaceTime hearing about my minor inconveniences, or funny memes in the group chat, I always felt connected to you all. I especially felt so loved when I had the pleasure to host my friends traveling from different parts of the country for the weekend to see me for my birthday. Not only did my friends come in to see me but took on the burden of planning and coordinating my birthday details despite never having been to the city much less being knowledgeable of it. Over the course of four days, I enjoyed touring the city, scooping out fantastic eats and most importantly reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in over a month (and with this amazing group, I was really feeling the time).  Hayden, Jack, Jason, Emily, Amelia, and Claire, thank you for making me feel so special on my special day and on every day. 

I also cannot forget about the new friends I have made along the way. To my Victory friends, thank you for making me feel loved and safe for who I am. In this city I have learned it’s more important than anything to have a community to lean back on— especially a community that understands your common struggles. When I first came to Washington, D.C. this summer, I feared being accepted and understood, but after getting to spend eight amazing weeks with you, I can see that I had absolutely nothing to fear. Whether it was celebrating my first pride out, going to see Rocky Horror together, piling into someone’s dorm room for late night conversations, or having someone to say hi to as I passed through the halls of Rayburn or Longworth, in a short eight weeks we became friends; we became family. I cannot thank you enough and cannot wait to see what you do with your bright futures. To the friends I made by simply being outgoing (perhaps too outgoing) in Dunkin, or on the bus- Catherine, Megan, Sofia, Kate, and Sasha- thank you for being amazing supportive friends who welcomed someone you just met into your life. Making memories, chatting in the back of the 36 bus, going to the Capitol 4th concert, walking around Georgetown in the rain, or seeing a really bad comedy show, I have loved every second of getting to know you and cannot wait to be your friend from all the way back in Boston. 

Finally, to the Victory staff and family. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to work in the field I love and meet so many of the amazing people leading this country in the fight for a more just and loving America. Over the course of the Victory Congressional Internship program, I have loved getting to work with Representative Katherine Clark’s staff in her fight for equality and rights for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ Americans, and in her service to the 5th district of Massachusetts, my new and beloved home. I had the honor of deep diving into gun control policy research, proposing bills to cosponsor (one of which, the National Federal Pell Grant Day resolution, was signed onto by the Congresswoman), and even giving tours for the office. Just this week, I got to have lunch with the Congresswoman and discuss my passion for voting rights activism, organizing young voters, and strengthening our democracy. This opportunity has made me so grateful and appreciative for leaders like Representative Clark and the ability to represent my voice and identity unapologetically in these significant spaces— and that is all thanks to the LGBTQ Victory Institute. Itay and Sarah-so much for taking a shot on this girl you met through a zoom screen this winter and for all of your support.  

As I look to the future, I am reminded of the importance of the people around you. If you surround yourself with the right people creating a supportive community regardless of your physical location. Further down the line in my career and in life, I will continue to hold those dear to me with all the love in my heart and embrace the opportunity of spontaneity of meeting new people and watching connections bloom. 

With much gratitude and appreciation, despite your ups, your downs, and your crazies, so long, farewell, and thank you DC.