All posts filed under: Opinion

Being Laotian Chinese American at the 4th Lao American Writers Summit

As I start writing this, it has been a few weeks since the 4th Lao American Writers Summit has ended. Although I still feel sad that the summit is over, I still feel a strong emotional high from it. Before I begin, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Tommy Shee. I am three-quarters Chinese and one-quarter Laotian, born and raised in Missouri. In order to write a full reflection about LAWS, I wanted to cover all aspects of it, or at least the aspects I found relevant enough to include, such as, but not limited to: before the conference, the conference itself, and thoughts and advice on the summit overall. Starting off, how did I hear about this summit? I heard of this summit from previous attendees when I was looking for ways to meet more Lao people as well as learn more about what it means to be Laotian Chinese American. Unfortunately, the previous attendees I talked to could not make it this year due to work-related reasons. As a result, …

What a Queer Lao Man Wants You to Know

We’re coming up on one year of the Pulse Orlando shooting, so naturally I am very emotional, and reflecting on my own life as a queer* Lao man. Regardless of the motives of the Pulse shooter, the massacre meant that a gay bar – one of the few spaces in society that explicitly caters to LGBTQIA* people – has been violated. While gay bars may have their own slew of issues, it’s important to understand that for many people who have been bullied for their sexuality, an LGBTQIA space of any kind (including a bar) is necessary. For escape. For community. For self-discovery. I’m also equally emotional about letting people know that LGBTQIA Khon Lao exists! Racial minorities are regularly brushed to the sidelines of LGBTQIA conversations. Even though the Pulse shooting happened during the club’s Latino night – and most of the victims were Latino and/or Black – so much of the shooting’s media coverage focused only on White faces, voices, and stories. It’s obvious to me that representation for LGBTQIA people of color …