All posts filed under: Being Laod

She/They

Written by: Janit Von Saechao In pristine-white Portland, I am seen as progressive for being a person with brown skin yet privy to this piece of my identity. What they don’t know is that when I say, “My name is Janit Saechao and my pronouns are she/they.” I mean She, as in We We, the ones assigned women while given no words for otherwise. We, as in all the non-men who have wondered which is the better way to survive– to silence ourselves for centuries of tradition or to speak our truths and risk our lives. They, as in Us They, as in those who came before me. They, as in all my ancestors who listened to Their own hearts and trusted Their own beings. They are my chain smoking Khmu aunties in Laos who puff tobacco through hand rolled cigarettes, laughing on the sides of dusty Luang Prabang roads at the colonizers with cameras who won’t leave Them alone. They are my single Mien femmes in America making more money than all the men …

Conversations With Sarky: Going Solo

This is Part Two in an interview series on Lao American music artist, Sarky Mekmorakoth. You can read the first interview, “Conversations with Sarky: The Early Years (Part One) here. I feel like I need to lighten the mood, so, I’m gonna ask, what are you most proud of during your career? Teaching. It’s an amazing feeling to be a guitar instructor because it’s something I love to do so much. So, to get to share my passion, knowledge, and love for music to a new generation? It’s like seeing yourself back then, when you first started and the progression. It’s cool what these kids are able to do. I get to share everything I went through, learned, and some of these kids really have it. That doesn’t happen everyday but when you see it and hear it–it’s an impact. I’ve been very blessed to get to do what I love and pass it on to more people. And to be able to do it for this long. It’s a dream. Considering how many of …