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Kilin Tang

Swarthmore College

Politics, Philosophy and Economics



Kilin grew up in the small white town of Putnam Valley, New York. As a child, he struggled to process his sexual orientation amidst an ethnic, Asian American family clan that stigmatized queerness. Kilin joined the debate team in sixth grade, which helped him find his voice and fueled his curiosity regarding the role public policy plays in uplifting marginalized communities. In high school, Kilin co-captained the debate team, placing second at nationals, and served as managing editor of The Phillips Exeter Asian Magazine. Kilin’s involvement in debate gave him the tools and confidence to speak candidly about himself when he came out as gay in July 2021. His intersectional experiences as a queer, Hong Kongese American have made him interested in the intersection of law and public policy as a means to enact societal change. Kilin believes that securing voting rights for marginalized communities will ensure more equitable public policy. As the andidate Team co-leader of the Fair Ballot Project, Kilin passed seven township resolutions in New Jersey explicitly supporting fair ballot design. Now at Swarthmore College, Kilin is an A-Team attorney on the Mock Trial Team, a member of the Swarthmore LGBTQ+ Student Advisory Board, a policy intern for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and a summer intern for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Kilin has also been working as a Swarthmore Voting Inclusive Excellence Fellow, devising ways to ensure that transgender and non-binary Swarthmore students are able to obtain proper voter identification without fear of harassment or discrimination. Upon completing his degree in politics, philosophy, and economics, Kilin aspires to be a civil rights lawyer dedicated to shaping public policy and protecting every American’s right to vote and hopes to serve as a role model for future queer BIPOC youth.

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