Follower Friday: semajaime

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 @semajaime.

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Who are you?

Hi there, I’m James! I am first and foremost the queer son of Vietnamese refugees. I am a scholar-activist, a teacher and mentor, and that one sassy friend you have a love-hate relationship with.

Where are you from?

I’m from Fontana which is a desert-turned-suburban city in Southern California. We say we’re from the Inland Empire or the IE, an acronym that almost no one knows about unless you’re from here. I’m currently based in LA though, an acronym that basically the whole world can recognize (sorry IE for giving y’all some shade, love you).  

What do you do?

I hold social justice and equity at the center of almost* everything I do. Right now, I’m a graduate student at UCLA in the MPH Community Health Sciences and MA Asian American Studies dual program. Improving the health and lives of marginalized communities (with a focus on Southeast Asian Americans) is a core goal of mine. My research investigates how gay Vietnamese American men’s dual minority status affects their mental health, so hit me up if you’re interested in talking about this! 🙂

*because let’s be real, I’m not perfect.

What are you passionate about?

Creating aesthetically pleasing presentations and diagrams!

What is your dream job (real or fantasy)?

I’m going to interpret “job” from the Final Fantasy perspective. I would love to be a summoner (who wouldn’t want to be Yuna from FFX) or a black mage because they’re basically the Avatar.

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

I honestly don’t know if any one idea of mine would ever change the world (even though this is a hypothetical). But I am all about those community-based ideas and people power.

Any personal plugs?

Check out and donate to these orgs: Southeast Asian Community Alliance, API Equality – Northern California, APAIT (Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team)

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