GovSight is a non-profit technology and news company which was formed in 2019. In our weekly GovSight Diaries series, we share the stories of our challenges and successes in hopes that others can learn from our accomplishments and struggles.
On the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal, I was 16 at journalism camp in Washington, D.C.
I had never considered that maybe one day, I could get married too. The world split open in front of me.
The law students at the intensive program I was in went to the steps of the Supreme Court to join in with the celebration. But though it was groundbreaking news that would change the course of my life and so many others, the journalism students weren’t allowed.
I knew that history didn’t stop in textbooks and documentaries — that monumental rulings and legislature and events happened all the time — but this was the first time I really felt it. I wanted to be a part of that history. I wanted to be there with my community that day. I wanted to be an advocate, a voice.
But I had to find my role
In high school, I found my place in restarting a forgotten high school newspaper and working with local nonprofits on high-impact community projects. What I found was the best way to be impactful to a community — the way to be involved — was to work locally. Work with what you know.
Start small and use that momentum to create larger impact elsewhere.
Working local isn’t so hard when you’re from a small town. Since I was born and raised in Fredericksburg, V.A., I knew the community well and I understood my place in it.
That passion dimmed when I applied to business school in a city I didn’t know, in a community I wasn’t yet a part of. But it didn’t stay down for long: I was in Boston, a hub of smart, driven people who also wanted to make impactful change. The inspiration was contagious.
And suddenly, I could be a voice of the LGBTQIA community. It wasn’t the same as small-town Virginia. I had nothing to lose.
A small fish in a big pond can make waves
I didn’t know how to get involved, but I knew how to write. I added a journalism minor to my degree in my second year of school and started writing enterprise stories about communities I wanted to highlight. It was my own way of being in it, of being a part of history. I was documenting and bringing the narrative to the surface, even though I wasn’t doing it for big publications.
That was the same year GovSight was born. I got involved a year later, working with the team to bring explainers, articles and breaking news to the GovSight audience. I was up close and personal with the political storyline (read: history) in a way I’d never been before.
I found my place once again — reporting on LGBTQIA issues, interviewing experts, and, eventually, promoting a business I believed in.
It was exactly what I would have wanted to be a part of when I was minutes from the action on June 26, 2015 — a team of people making a difference by providing unbiased, informed journalism. People contributing to the narrative, not the noise.
Change happens from the bottom up
Grassroots work, community work, nonprofits — however you think of it— is often overlooked in a system that rewards fame and celebrity status and huge corporations. But it’s where some of the best, most important, most impactful work gets done.
I never was interested in being the main character. But now, I can help write the story.