All posts tagged: Iu Mien and Khmu


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 …

To Khmu and Mien Women When The World Says You Aren’t Enough

Your body tells a story of tradition Fingerprints a map of your peoples’ past Wrinkled palms show the mountains and valleys that surrounded your great grandmother’s village Hair a waterfall down your back, pouring life like those in your mother’s land Holder of history. Hope in true form. Every mole a marking serving as reminders that you are made of generations of magic. You are sacred. You are your ancestors embodied. All parts of you passed down from predecessors Living proof that they survived. This is how your being is never ending. This is how you know you are infinite.