Benjamin Hong Starr is the newest Victory Congressional Fellow named by LGBTQ Victory Institute.
This competitive fellowship brings one outstanding young LGBTQ professional to Capitol Hill for an intensive fellowship that includes a yearlong placement in the office of a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus. The fellow supports the Executive Director of the LGBT Equality Caucus with critical projects. As a fellow, Hong Starr will also participate in a leadership development program that explores the policy-making process, includes our Candidate & Campaign Training, and dives into the pressing issues facing the LGBTQ community. His fellowship begins August 30, 2021, and ends July 1, 2022.
Hong Starr is currently completing his Master of Public Administration degree at the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky, where he also graduated with a bachelor’s in human health science. In addition, he also completed two minors, one in health advocacy and one in political science all while making the Dean’s List each of the eight semesters of his undergraduate career. While at the University of Kentucky, he received the Darrell A. VanMeter Service Award and served on the Alpha Phi Omega National Convention Steering Committee as the Publicity Chair. His service extends to the political realm where he was a digital organizer for Hood to Holler and a Kentucky Democratic Party Precinct Committee Chairperson and Legislative District Delegate. He has also been honored by the governor of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor the governor of the commonwealth can confer in recognition of outstanding service to the community, state, and nation. He’ll be leaving his role as coordinator for student organizations at the University of Kentucky to embark on this fellowship as he completes his final courses in graduate school.
An Eagle Scout, Hong Starr grew up in Texas before moving to Kentucky for school. The son of a Chinese immigrant mom, he learned from her at a young age to not make waves. As a result, he pursues an approach grounded in a strong understanding of the details and context of every situation before leaping into action. Though interested and engaged with local, state, and national policy, he originally intended to become a pharmacist. However, his experiences finding role models like California Representative Mark Takano, engaging with local politics, and experiencing the challenges of 2020 changed the course of his professional journey. He is excited to use his voice to advocate for the LGBTQ community. Hong Starr is heading to the Hill determined to continue his advocacy for the LGBTQ community and eager to dive headfirst into Congressional policymaking.