Being Gay and Queer in the Laotian Community

Danny K.

Check out our MWSM collective member Danny and his published piece on Little Laos on the Prairie: Being Gay and Queer in the Laotian Community

“One of the biggest thing that sets me apart from most Laotians is that I’m gay. I’m one of the few out gay Laotians in Minnesota and I don’t want it to be that way. There have been questions and curiosity if there are LGBTQ Laotians out there, and I am here to say, “Yes there are LGBTQ Laotians in the community, and yes we do exist.” We are more prevalent than the community thinks about, or are informed about internally and externally of the Laotian community.”

If Danny’s story compels you, please support his leadership and activism through donating $20, $30 or $50 to our Trans* and Queer Southeast Asian Organizer retreat Aug 17 and 18, 2013. Your donation will enable Danny, and Trans* and Queer Southeast Asian activists, organizers, and scholars in understanding the importance of social justice work, activism, and service learning in their community.

Click here to donate: Trans* and Queer Southeast Asian Organizers Retreat Fundraiser

Raising UP Marina’s OUT, Proud & Unashamed Narrative

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Story #6

Marina Vang is 22 years old and currently residing in Minnesota. She identifies as Lesbian and she is a Shamanist.

I always felt attracted to girls ever since I was around the age of 14 years old. But I never had any affection in liking them until I was a freshman. At that time, I could remember that I felt happy liking them for who they were and that they also liked the as me. It was a feeling that made me felt good. I am out to anyone and everyone about my sexual orientation. I don’t feel ashamed of my sexual orientation and where I am in my life.

When I think of the Hmong community, I feel that it depends who the person is and how they understand LGBTQQI. Some people are against it and some are accepts it. Overall, I feel that at times the Hmong community is okay about people being LGBTQQI but for the most part, a lot of older Hmong people are still against it. But then again it all depends on who understands and who doesn’t cause day by day, people change and the world change along with culture beliefs.

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Please share your story by clicking on the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/HmongLGBTQQIStories

©Linda Her and MidWest Solidarity Movement, 2011 – 2013. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution with the intent to sell, use and/or duplication of these images, audio, video, stories, blog posts, and materials on this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Excerpts and links as stated by MidWest Solidarity Movement members may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Linda Her and MidWest Solidarity Movement with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pride Canvassing & Trans*/Dyke March at Twin Cities Pride, 2013

What an exciting summer this has been! This 2013, MWSM decided to take a different route at Twin Cities Pride (TC Pride). We recruited a team of 10 volunteers to go out and canvass the various non-profits and churches that were present and outreaching about their mission and services. For some of our volunteers, this was their first time at Pride, and canvassing so we made sure to pair them up with someone with canvassing experience. We wanted to find out from the many organizations and churches to identify what services and programs they provided, so we know where to connect our community members to , and possibly collaborate in the near future. The whole team had long and great conversations about the services, leadership dynamics, goal measurements, how does intersectional justice look like in their work, and how do they address institutional racism, white privilege and supremacy. We talked to about 15 organizations and churches, and will be talking to more in the next month to then produce a data report Fall 2014. We will keep you updated!

Meet the team that canvassed!

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After a morning’s hard work of canvassing at TC Pride, MWSM joined and marched in solidarity with the Trans*/Dyke March.

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HAPPY PRIDE!

Raising UP the Hmong American Bisexual Narrative

A Miao woman in China.
Photo by: Pius Lee http://www.dailytravelphotos.com/archive/2009/03/24/index.php

Story #3

Emo Miao Girl is a 19 year-old bisexual Hmong American woman from California.

In the year 2009, I was a sophomore in high school and I had a friend who claimed that she was “bisexual.” At that time, she was my friend. Of course I shared with her my problems and my curiosity of liking girls. So knowing she was bisexual, I looked up to her for advice here and there just like anybody would. At the end of the year, she moved and we became very distant, however, I eventually found out she was fake the whole time! I also learned that she claimed herself as bisexual simply for others’ attention! Anyway, my bicuriosity kept thriving into the rest of high school.

That was when I had my first and last girlfriend. I was not sure of what I was doing or wanted. I was confused at that time about my sexuality. So I gave it a try and from there I liked the feeling of being nourished by a woman. I knew that it is a woman whom I would share the most common interests with, not to mention the same sensuality with our bodies too. My attitude at that time was that only another woman could understand and love me the way I wanted to be loved. It was a great feeling that I felt, just like how any other couple would have felt.

Coming out as bisexual was difficult because of the fact that I am Hmong. I did not want to make my parents look bad and ruin their “reputation.” I was also afraid that my friends would not like me anymore if they knew about my sexuality. However, after a few months of feeling this way, I no longer cared. I showed off my pride with different colors and began hanging out with a different group of people. I began telling friends about my sexuality even if they did not ask me about it. I wanted to just shut them up so that they would not be so curious anymore.

A scene from the film Miao Miao. Photo credit from: http://www.withanaccent.com/2013/05/08/netflix-instant-files-miao-miao/

A scene from the film Miao Miao.
Photo credit from: http://www.withanaccent.com/2013/05/08/netflix-instant-files-miao-miao/

Facing my parents was the hardest experience for me. I was worried about how my own Hmong people would view me. I could already imagine what my parents will say or do to me if they knew. There seems to be so many things that they dislike in our generation. It seems as if they were born to hate things. They are upset when a daughter dyes her hair, cuts it, goes out, stays up late, or have a friend or boyfriend over. This seemed all too typical of Hmong parents. I am not saying all parents are like this, but I know so many Hmong parent who are like this. I knew the answer all along if I were to come out to my parents. The Hmong community is just too strict, conservative, traditional, and uptight about family reputations. I do not think I will live to see the day where people like us will be accepted by all of society, including the elders in Hmong society. Aside from my parents, even some of my own friends began to keep their distance from me because they thought I was going to hit on them. How sad is that? Soon, I noticed that many people were keeping their distance from me even though I was just a stranger to them.

I have not heard about any Hmong queers growing up. However, my curiosity began to peak and I began to Google about Hmong queers and Hmong LGBTQ to see if there was anything out there. Sadly, the first story that I stumbled upon was about the couple that had committed suicide many years ago. It makes me extremely sad when I read tragic stories like this.

No Apologies Quote credit by: https://www.facebook.com/AwesomeBiQuotes

No Apologies
Quote credit by: https://www.facebook.com/AwesomeBiQuotes

Now, I am out to everyone. I do not care what people think or say about me anymore. It is my life and I want to be myself. I myself am open and supportive of everyone. I do not judge others. We all have a reason why we are the way we are. We are all human beings. We all struggle in life and share problems within society. I would not want to see someone I care for suffer alone.

The main reasons why I came out as bisexual was because I came to a point in my life where I did not care anymore (about what people thought about my sexuality). It has been 4 years since I first was aware of my sexuality. In my experience, most men are asses! Yet, I dated the wrong girls as well! One mistake of my life was dating a girl who was a player. Right now, I am happily in a relationship with a man, my high school sweetie. He understands the struggles that I face. He is a supporter of the LGBT community. Even as an LGBTQ person, dating has been difficult. I just want everyone to be careful with who you fall in love with. However, stay true to who you are. Everyone will dislike you if they know you are fake, and that might include yourself, who is being fake to your own self.

Please share your story by clicking on the link below:

http://tinyurl.com/HmongLGBTQQIStories

©Linda Her and MidWest Solidarity Movement, 2011 – 2013. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution with the intent to sell, use and/or duplication of these images, audio, video, stories, blog posts, and materials on this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s authors and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Excerpts and links as stated by MidWest Solidarity Movement members may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Linda Her and MidWest Solidarity Movement with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Raise Up the Hmong LGBTQ Narratives at Soul Friday!

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Come kick back and have some fun with us at Soul Friday this Friday, March 1, 9pm at Hells Kitchen! Bring a friend(s)! 
Soul Friday is a Monthly dance party created for queer women of color and friends. Everyone is welcome! This month Soul Friday is supporting MWSMovement.com through their Community Give Back. We are working and organizing to ensure support, acceptance, safety, creative expression and education in our Hmong and larger community through an intersected social justice framework. Proceeds at the door, which is a $5 entrance fee, will be donated to our work.
 
In April, we’ll be heading to 16th Hmong National Development Conference in Fresno, Ca to outreach and organize inclusivity on Hmong LGBTQ justice. There will be over 1,000 attendees from all sectors of leadership, community, activism, academia, professionals, and elected officials. Soul Friday’s Community Give Back will support our efforts and ensure Hmong LGBTQ justice is part of the local and national narrative and the Hmong American Journey Forward.
Soulfriday, spinning the best in old school, R&B, old and new hip-hop, house, and more.
Late night food specials from from 9 p.m.- 1 a.m.
Drink specials! $3 Michelob Golden Light, PBR, and Miller tap; $5 Jameson; 
$4 Soul Friday shot; $7 Any beer special and shot of Jameson or SF shot.
9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
21+
$5 at the door
LOCATED AT:
Hell’s Kitchen, 80 South 9th St
(just 1/2 block east of the Nicollet Mall), downtown Mpls.
There is a parking ramp adjacent to Hell’s Kitchen and it’s just four blocks from the Nicollet LRT