All posts tagged: Lao American

On fearlessness and art with #LAWS2017’s Saymoukda and Krysada

Next week, Seattle gears up to host the 4th Lao American Writers Summit. I sat down to have a candid conversation with my friends and summit keynote speakers, Saint Paul-based playwright Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay and San Diego-based bboy poet Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri. When it comes to honing their craft and building community through art, there are very few Lao Americans I know who hold the level of badassery as much as these two. We talk about the state of Lao America, building a community of artists and what’s next on their project plate. Chanida: What are you both looking forward to the most in Seattle? Krysada: Meeting new people and having conversations. Live chats with people will be my highlight. Saymoukda: Learning about other artists whom I haven’t met and learning about their work. I want to find possibilities to grow together and collaborate if it makes sense. And to amplify each other’s work. We don’t amplify each other’s work enough. C: Give us a teaser about your keynote speeches. S: There’s not a …

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 …