Learning and Growing – Sydney Mudd

OUT ON THE HILL is the official blog of the Victory Congressional Interns. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of LGBTQ Victory Institute.

My name is Sydney Mudd. Last semester, Spring 2018, I graduated with an Associate’s Degree from the College of Lake County located in Grayslake, IL. This upcoming school year, I will be attending Lake Forest College located in Lake Forest, IL; I will be entering as a junior. During my time there, I will be studying Philosophy. I also plan to study Politics and Social Justice.

I have been placed in the office of Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez. She is the Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. She is the fifth-highest ranking position in the House Democratic Leadership. Moreover, she is the first Latina elected to a leadership position in the United States Congress and is currently the highest-ranking Latino in the House of Representatives. I am extremely privileged to be working in the office of a powerful individual who has made strides for her Latino community.

Quite frankly, the first week of this program has been turbulent to say the least. That is not to say that I have not been enjoying myself, mind you; rather, it has taken me a lot of mental energy to adapt to this environment with the hopes of not only surviving but also thriving here.

As a white person, there are a lot of people who look like me, and who represent people who look like me, on the hill. With that being said, it has been hard adapting to an environment with little visible representation of my queer community – more specifically my transgender community. Very few people like myself have the opportunity to come to Washington D.C. and participate in our government in the way that I, and the other interns, have. Therefore, I feel the heavy burden of responsibility to always be on-point in order to represent my community in the best way possible.

As time passes, I am learning to adapt but still feel like I am lacking fulfillment. The environment of the Hill is very different from any other work environment I have ever existed in. I feel as though I am not living authentically during my time there. Interactions seem forced and transactional. Regardless, I am attempting to make the most out of this program by working hard to foster genuine connections with people. Moreover, I am using this time to learn from the incredibly talented and intelligent people around me.

Outside of the internship on the Hill, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time. The Victory Institute, and the people who work there that I have had direct contact with are inspiring me to do more… to be more. Without this program, I don’t think that I would have been able to make it through these past two weeks. I am so privileged and honored to have this opportunity. It has already provided me with knowledge that I will carry with me for a long while to come; I can only imagine the extent of my knowledge once my time here is over.