Meet the Interns: Samira Obeid
(Communications Intern/Tampa Bay)
1. Tell us a little about yourself...
I am an Indian lesbian poet/photographer living in the United States. A graduate student by day and a poet by heart, I am pursuing a Master’s in Women’s & Gender Studies at the University of South Florida. I a strong believer in the idea that conversation is where education begins and so I use all I learn within and outside my discipline to participate in everyday conversations. I call this everyday activism.
I have a four-legged child named Sherlock who is the love of my life. As a person of principle, I conduct my life based on three key principles: travel, food and fashion. All vegan, all healthy and all done with the intent to live a cruelty-free life.
2. Why are you involved with LGBT activism?
Growing up gay in India can be an extremely isolating experience. When I first moved to the U.S. in 2007, I did so partly to pursue higher education, but also to become who I am. Regardless, it took me three more years to come out, understand what LGBT meant, realize there is a community and find support when I needed it.
Being who you are shouldn’t have to be so difficult. And with all the global diversity policies that universities are initiating, we have hundreds of international students entering the country every day looking to find the same community I came here in hope of. LGBT activism is important to level the playing field for LGBT individuals, domestic and international, to feel safe and on equal footing with their non-LGBT counterparts. This is why I am involved in LGBT activism. Because someone in the world out there may not be as lucky as I was
3. Why did you want to intern at Equality Florida?
I have great affection for Florida. Tampa is the first place that has ever made me feel at home. It has helped me power through all my insecurities of being a masculine performing lesbian. Through the experiences I’ve had here I’ve learned to demand respect for being a human being and not acceptance for being gay. That said, Equality Florida is an excellent way for me to: Give back to my community Learn the ropes of communication and policy from the organization that brought marriage equality to Florida. Furthermore, as someone who intends to pursue a career in non-profit communications, specifically LGBT rights, interning at Equality Florida is the best first step in that direction.
4. What are your plans after you graduate?
After I graduate, I hope to move wherever my life takes me working for a non-profit organization in creative communication.
Stay tuned next week for the next blog post in our "Meet The Interns" series!