All posts tagged: Lao

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 …

Dear Guru: How do Lao last names work?

Hello there,  I am currently staying in Laos and got interested in Lao names. It would be interesting to me to get to know more about how and if Lao people change their names after getting married. Also if there are any dynasties of families with famous names, as some other South East Asian countries seem to have those.  Hope you can help me out here 🙂 Thanks and cheers! -Curious Reader in Laos — Dear Curious Reader in Laos, Up until the late French colonial era, Lao people did not typically have surnames. French enforcement was weak and then the country fell into turbulent times, so even today in some remote areas people still do not have surnames. Unfortunately, also due to these factors, there is a great deal of duplication of surnames even when two families are not related at all, unlike in neighboring Thailand where surnames are not allowed to be duplicated when there is no relation. When a rural family wants access to social services, such as enrolling a child in school, …