Dad was disappointed I was gay. I never thought he’d change his mind and vote yes

Dad was disappointed I was gay. I never thought he’d change his mind and vote yes:

A touching story of a Cambodian father’s love for his son.

An excerpt:

“Have you been following the news about the same-sex marriage postal survey? Have you given any thought to how you’ll vote?”

I click send. I check my inbox every day but there’s no reply. A week passes before he gets back. He is circumspect.

“It is a controversial issue. It drags on too long now. Wait and see the vote,” he says.

My
dad’s reply was a non-answer, much like when government departments
“issue a statement.” I was being fobbed off by my own dad.

Weeks
later, the Yes campaign has released a chirpy advertising campaign
urging people to “ring your rellos” to talk about the survey. If only it
were that easy. One ad shows supportive Anglo-Saxon parents with their gay son, hand on shoulder. They don’t look like me or my family. It
makes me realise the Turnbull Government’s survey has forced many
Australians, like me, to confront family members who don’t accept them.

Despite
the Yes campaign’s optimistic vision of a modern pluralist society,
many Australians still live under a heavy cloak of secrecy and even
shame. They are forced to keep their true self invisible, or have it made invisible for them. They sit quietly at the family table, afraid the mere mention of their sexuality might elicit harsh words or worse. They are tolerated, not accepted.

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Follower Friday: lutankiet


Follower Fridays is a series of profiles highlighting members of Gaysian
Third Space to showcase the diversity of gaysians in the Community.
This week’s featured member is @lutankiet​.


Who are you?

Who am I? I am Lu Tan Kiet. I’m a Vietnamese-American who grew up struggling to accept my identity as an Asian American. I’m currently a junior in college pursing a degree in Business Administrations, concentrating in Marketing. Along with pursing this degree, I’m also working at one of my favorite retailers, H&M. I love spending time with my friends and families because they’re all I have. I’m an introvert with extroverted characteristics. I love spending time by myself but I also love spending time with my family.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. However, I feel that a part of me belongs at my motherland, Vietnam. I visited Vietnam a couple years ago and it completely changed my life. It was an extraordinary experience that left me wanting more.

What do you do?

What am I doing? I’m honestly not doing much currently. I’m just focusing on school and work right now.

What are you passionate about?

This might sound weird, but what I’m passionate about is helping people, specifically special ed students because I feel like I was one in my previous life and I’ve always wanted to help them. I have the type of personality where i love to encourage my friends and family and see them move forward with their lives. I love boosting people’s confidence and making other people happy because it brings joy to me.

What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?

My dream career would be to own my own clothing brand and have it be sold internationally, but who doesn’t dream of having their own clothing brand? With a solid business, I want to be able to travel from American back to my motherland from time to time to visit all my love ones. I want to be able to create a clothing brand that’s minimal and without a huge logo that empowers the youth and bring the confidence out of people when wearing my clothes.

If you could change the world with one idea, what would it be?

I want to change the way people treat people with mental issues and its barriers. Personally, I have really bad anxiety and I’ve dealt with depression, and through my experiences I want it to help transform the way people think of mental health. Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Mental health is extremely important and I feel that people should be able to seek help for it, without judgement.

Living in the Margins: A National Study of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders (2005)

Living in the Margins: A National Study of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islanders (2005):

A bit outdated but nonetheless, a landmark study on the LGBT API population with many interesting data points. I’m curious to see how this data has evolved, particularly in regard to marriage equality and HIV/AIDs concerns. I’d also love to see where mental health falls under this hierarchy of public policy issues. Below I’ve highlighted some results from this fascinating study on our community:

  • LGBT API men ranked media representation as their highest concern (43%) while women and trans folk listed hate violence/harassment as their number one concern (39% and 45%, respectively)
  • Women and trans folk ranked health care as a higher priority (22% and 20%, respectively) than men (12%), though these percentages flip when it comes to HIV
  • Disaggregated by ethnicity, LGBT API Indians ranked immigration as their top concern (52%) while Chinese and Filipino/as listed media representation (42% and 45%, respectively). Koreans, Japanese, and Vietnamese, on the other hand, all listed hate violence/harassment as their chief policy issue (52%, 51%, and 46%, respectively).
  • Across regions, immigration was a top priority in the Northeast (42%), while media representation was the most important in the Midwest (45%). In the South, marriage equality and hate violence/harassment shared the top spots of importance (37%) while the West was split between media representation and hate violence/harassment as their primary public policy interests (39%)

-Jeffrey

PRIDE and LGBTQIA Advocacy in Laos: An Interview with Anan Bouapha

PRIDE and LGBTQIA Advocacy in Laos: An Interview with Anan Bouapha:

An excerpt:

What are the most important things about the history of the
LGBTQI community and issues in Laos that you wish the general public
knew?

Laos is a very open-minded country and I think being LGBTQI is
absolutely not a problem, unlike other countries in the world. State
government has tendency to further their understanding and support for
this community; mostly in healthcare area. However, I think the core
problem is we don’t talk about this topic in a work table. Public seems
to be reluctant or not familiar with any kind of advocacy work. They get
used to the idea that everything will be alright or it doesn’t matter
“bor pen yung” or “ya mun”. It’s quite a new idea for the public to
insert the notion of political advocacy in their actions because they
think a political talk is against the norm. Personally, I think they
know much about the issues surrounding the LGBTQI community, but they
just don’t see how this issue can be engaged for change yet.