Emma Qing Wang was, as they say, made in China. She lived there until the age of four, when she moved with her parents to Amherst, Massachusetts. She lived in Massachusetts until her family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota when she was 14. It wasn’t until the end of junior year in high school that she came out to her first friend. Even as valedictorian of her graduating high school class, Emma felt unable to discuss her sexuality to more than a few friends in an environment where the school GSA received little school support and where the general environment was imbued with a cultural bias toward heterosexuality.
Arriving on Harvard campus, she was not immediately involved in LGBTQ activism until experiences spurring her to speak out about the homonormativity that existed, in addition to the heteronormativity on campus, led her to pursue a more visible role in the school’s LGBTQ community. Emma became active in leadership her sophomore year as a Political Committee Chair of the Harvard College Queer Students and Allies (QSA), the largest LGBTQ undergraduate organization at Harvard, and was elected as Co-Chair the next year. She was also part of the founding class of Harvard’s first intercultural questioning, same-gender loving and confidential group for students of color, called GLOW.
Junior year, she served alongside administrators, staff and faculty on a team led by the Dean of the College to investigate BLGTQ student life. The outcome of this yearlong committee was the creation of Harvard’s first full-time paid staff position dedicated to LGBTQ issues, the Director of BLGTQ Student Life.
Emma plans to apply to law school to pursue international human rights law.