Gov. Ron DeSantis has continued to grow in prominence as the 2024 United States Presidential Election slowly approaches. DeSantis, who announced he would run for president May 24, has used the state’s 2023 legislation session to mold Florida politics and boost his national campaign.
In my view, Gov. Ron DeSantis is the right man for the job. Through his leadership, he stood up to medical tyranny, put woke corporations in check and defended the rights of parents and students in the schools. DeSantis has the youth, energy and executive experience to move our country forward.
How I wish I had better news. It’s Pride Month after all — one of many occasions throughout the year when we celebrate diversity in a world that doesn’t always embrace such a thing. I’m happier with myself than ever, living my truth has been a blessing, allowing me to thrive. Unfortunately, being happy with oneself, is a different thing from being happy with one’s situation, even further removed, being happy with the state of things.
Last week, The Alligator published a paper with an emphasis on LGBTQ stories. We featured nonbinary drag queens, covered state trans legislation, local Pride info sessions and more. We’re proud to publish these stories our staff worked hard on. We’re honored to cover the stories about our local communities.
At first glance, most people I’ve met don’t realize I’m an Asian American, which led to my desire to embrace my Filipino identity. It pushed me to learn more about that side of my heritage. It was something I was proud to represent in my accomplishments, such as graduating high school and attending UF.
Representation matters. Having two top editors of Asian descent for the first time in The Alligator’s 117-year history matters. Their voices, their perspectives and life experiences matter – not only for their newsroom but for the UF community.
Despite the enormous efforts the community has made to establish its presence, The Alligator has lacked consistent coverage of AAPI people in the Gainesville community. Admittedly, this is the result of an inconsistent amount of AAPI reporters on our staff from semester to semester.
April 24, 2022, I got an email asking me to interview for The Alligator. A year later, I’m publishing my goodbye column in this semester’s final paper. My driver’s license might read the same name, but the kid who got that email isn’t the same as the one typing this column.
Those walls, though some now covered in mold, know The Alligator’s newsroom isn’t for the weak. It’s a pressure cooker of immensely talented, high-strung 20-somethings trying to launch a career in a field where you’re told to do cartwheels for pennies.
Two years ago, I thought I would stick with The Alligator right up until graduation, but sometimes finish lines come sooner than expected. I never wanted to be a name on the masthead, but sometimes cards just fall a certain way.
I could say I put in all this work to serve the UF and Gainesville communities, which would be noble. I could say I did it all for the clips and for a career after graduation, which would be cynical, but understandable in this dying industry. But neither is exactly true. I did it because the people around me were doing it.
As a senior who always felt late to the game, I spent the last year hustling to catch up. It seemed like everyone started writing for The Alligator in their first year, interned at a newspaper in their second and had a job lined up by their last. But despite the setbacks, I’ve grown more this semester at The Alligator than any other.
In recent years, the Florida legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis have made the state exceptional through a political agenda that is detrimental to the people of Florida — bills that have already been enacted.