All posts tagged: LGBTQ

Transforming beauty and identity: Mayline Manivong

Maybe it’s your hair, maybe it’s Mayline. Most likely it’s Mayline. As I rushed across a crowded Nicollet Mall to the cozy Studio 52 hair salon, the first thing Mayline Manivong wanted to do was my hair. “Why…do I look that bad?” I was embarrassed for the poor excuse of a hairdo which looked like a bird’s nest on top of my head. “Let me cut and style it. I need to warm up to you!”, she insists. I plop myself down in her chair and we chit chat. “I’ve never done an interview. I’m a little nervous”, she tells me. With each strand of my hair meeting the shears, I felt her nervousness shed. For over 20 years, Mayline has been passionate about hair. Some say her hands are like magic to their hair nightmares. “What I love about my job is I always make my clients look better than when they came in. Not just better, but transformed”. A true Lao at heart, Mayline is a lumvong (Lao dance) fanatic, who enjoys kicking …

Being Gay and Queer in the Laotian community

Minnesota is my home because it’s where I have lived all my life. I live in a small town that is known for its diversity called Worthington. The Laotian community in Worthingon is very well known, and the mayor Al Oberloh attends and celebrates the Lao New Year event. As a first generation college student, I am currently attending the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. One of the biggest thing that sets me apart from most Laotians is that I’m gay. I’m one of the few out gay Laotians in Minnesota and I don’t want it to be that way. There have been questions and curiosity if there are LGBTQ Laotians out there, and I am here to say, “Yes there are LGBTQ Laotians in the community, and yes we do exist.” We are more prevalent than the community thinks about, or are informed about internally and externally of the Laotian community. I like to highlight a few LGBTQ Laotian individuals who are not shown in the Lao media or spaces. Andy. Ari or Ariyaphon, Southiphong is …