Homecoming nominee hopes to lift underrepresented voices with his campaign

todayNovember 1, 2023 32 5

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By Diego B Gonzales

Blog Content Contributor


Johnny Dao on Texas State University holding a plush red dragon
Johnny Dao, Texas State Senior, is running for Homecoming King. | @latebravo

Homecoming week means a lot of things to a lot of different people, but to Texas State senior Johnny Dao, it’s an opportunity to uplift the communities he’s a part of. Dao, a pre-med biology major, takes part in many organizations at Texas State University and hopes to inspire the queer and Asian communities at the school with his homecoming campaign.

For Dao, this isn’t just his first year running for Homecoming King but also his first year participating in a Homecoming event in general. Dao attributes this to the way he was brought up. “Before college, I was always told by my family and my culture to keep to [myself],” said Dao. “In the Asian community, we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves, and that passively makes our voices weightless.”

It wasn’t until Dao started attending Texas State University that he became inspired to put himself out there to give a voice to his culture. “The number of Asian students here at Texas State is so small,” said Dao. “I want to uplift those voices not only for myself but for others as well and be that representation that we need at our university. I want to be able to inspire others and let them know that it’s okay to take up space and it’s okay to have our voices be heard.”

A data sample from TXST showing that there are only 2.62% of Asian Students at TXST.
Demographic data from the Fall of 2022 semester of Texas State University. | TXST

According to the most recent demographic data from the university, only 2.62% of students at Texas State are Asian. Certain organizations, such as the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), have helped Dao find a community with students with similar backgrounds. “I remember my first general meeting with [VSA],” said Dao. “I had a culture shock because I haven’t been around that many Asian people since high school. It made me feel good to be around those people again because I’ve been so like bubbled up at Texas State.”

In his race for Homecoming King, Dao was surprised by the support the other nominees had given him and each other. “I think what I realized throughout this process is that we’re like a family,” said Dao. “We’re running for the same cause and getting our voices heard. We’re supporting each other on social media during voting and sharing each other’s stuff, and that was really nice to see. Although it’s a competition we’re still looking after each other.”

The results of the Homecoming voting will be revealed this Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Texas State football game during half-time.

Written by: Cayla Soriano

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