Alan Lopez Reflects on Communications Internship at the National LGBTQ Task Force
My experience at the National LGBTQ Task Force has been great! I enjoyed working in such an amazing space where I was comfortable with whom I am. I truly admired the passion each and every person has in this organization that advocates for the full freedom of LGBTQ people. I learned that no matter how much LGBTQ people have accomplished, for example the historic Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, there is still a lot of room for improvement and advancement. I have always had an interest in working for an organization that supports LGBTQ rights. I am glad I chose to intern at the National LGBTQ Task Force in order to gain professional experience.
In the communications department I managed to learn how to use different types of media platforms. In the beginning of my internship I had no idea about how to monitor media. Now I am able to check media coverage and can create media contact lists of different media news outlets. To me this is an amazing resource when it comes to social media research. I would have never thought there was a system that has the contact information of every media news outlet all over the world. Another media platform that I utilized here at the Task Force was Word Press, which is a great resource when it comes to blogging.
At the National LGBTQ Task Force I was able to establish a research proposal on the topic of LGBTQ asylum seekers. This issue has captured my attention because I am very alarmed by how it has not received a lot of social media attention or broader awareness. The fact that there are thousands of displaced LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. is devastating. I felt a great interest in writing about this issue in my general research seminar to show awareness. The guide that I based a lot of my research on is called Stronger Together and was produced by the National LGBTQ Task Force. My professor was alarmed because she had never heard of this issue. She stated that she couldn’t believe there are thousands of LGBTQ people seeking asylum and that it was a big issue for people who identify as LGBTQ.
This is why I enjoyed my experience here at the National LGBTQ Task Force. We worked on issues the media does not touch. We bring awareness of social injustices and promote LGBTQ freedom for all. Here at the Task Force I learned that over 20 transgender women were murdered this past year, most of them were transgender women of color. Even with this devastating increase in hate crimes, media still does not cover this issue adequately enough. A lot of people need to know that these horrible crimes are happening in the U.S. today and they need to stop.
The Task Force has taught me a lot about LGBTQ inequality. As a self-identified gay Latino I can relate to the issues that the Task Force brings awareness about. I have never felt so comfortable in a space where I can simply be me. I have the Task Force to thank because I never thought I would be in a workplace that will allow that. So as I get ready to head back home I will take the knowledge that I learned here at the National LGBTQ Task Force and I will do my best to bring awareness, wherever I go, about LGBTQ inequality and to help promote LGBTQ freedom.
by Alan Lopez, National LGBTQ Task Force, Communications Intern