Alert the media, Robin Thomas is making history at UCF this homecoming weekend and I am so here for it.
Homecoming has been a tradition at the University of Central Florida since 1971, but never before have we seen a non-binary person or a person of Indian heritage take the crown. Live in action, we are seeing Robin break down barriers and have the courage to make new things possible. Thomas says, “I want to show people that no matter where you come from, how you think of yourself, or how you present yourself, there is no limit for you.”
I got the opportunity to sit down with them and talk about their pride within representing the queer community and Indian culture. Robin is dedicated to carrying themselves with a confidence and vision to do everything under the sun. They hold the power within themselves to slay the game at everything they put their mind to. Anything is possible, according to Robin Thomas themself as “Confidence to me is so important because if I’m not, someone else will tell me what I can and what I cannot do. If I know what I can do, I’m going to do it.”
The member of homecoming court is not just set apart from their competition because of their identity, but by their student involvement as well. Robin is a junior studying health sciences on a pre-clinical track. They are a proud part of the Pre-Dental Student Association, Asian Student Association, Out in STEM, and Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers.
If you thought that was impressive, there’s more. “I’m in every pot,” Robin admits. “I never want to be just one thing; I want to be everything because I know I can accomplish anything.” On top of being a content creator with 72.4K followers on TikTok that has worked with major brands like Rare Beauty, L’Oréal Paris, and Yitty, Robin is also a registered behavioral therapist for children with autism. They are the modeling chairman of Fashion Society as well as the Social Media Director of Village Mentors where they tutor refugee kids through Zoom.
When talking about more of what motivates them, Robin told me about a story that does nothing less than inspire. As an aspiring pediatric dentist for special needs children, Robin attended a dental summer program at UF. During a mock interview, they were asked why they want to be a dentist. According to Thomas, “The generic answer is that ‘oh I want to help people,’ no. I said I want to be a part of the less than 0.01% of queer dentists in the world.” This steered the attention to how little representation there is of the queer community within health care, which is such a vital thing to understand when looking at the impossible they are making possible everyday.
Robin’s mission is to inspire and push for a world where everyone of any identification or race can feel safe within themselves and capabilities. ““I’m a visual reminder that okay, ‘they’re Indian and come from a traditional family but still continue to wear makeup and clothes that are outside of the expected norm and if they can, I can be my true self too.” Robin told me during our interview.
They explained to me that winning homecoming royalty isn’t just winning a title. ” I’m doing this not just for me, but for the bigger majority of people who are queer, who are brown, who are people of color period who are told what they can or can’t do or made fun of who they are.”
As part of their journey during their homecoming campaign, Robin has been able to experience the utmost support from their friends, family and the staff at UCF. We are seeing the university become increasingly inclusive, and they have been sure to make the campus a safe space for everyone of any identification.
Robin shouted at the University of Central Florida’s Office of Student Involvement during our talk, telling me that “Even during the interview process, everyone introduced themselves with their pronouns and made sure I felt respected and I was comfortable.” And that is why we love you, UCF. “We are the second biggest college in the U.S. and I am so grateful that we have such an open queer space where we’re accepted.”
Robin Thomas is living, breathing proof that we are the creator of our own reality, no matter who we are or what we look like. They are an inspiration to students who have goals that they would never find attainable, to people of color and the queer community who have struggled with finding the confidence to thrive in who they are.
Thank you Robin, our future homecoming royalty, for being the change everyone’s been waiting to see.
Here is to Robin Thomas, for making history with their existence, drive and motivation to be.