My childhood experience gives me the passion to be political. Being Vietnamese and growing up in Longview, WA, I know what it is like to have every system working against me. My family had to prove their patriotism to get their citizenship. We had to deal with the shame of being on welfare. I was fed with food stamps. I went to school where I was one of three Asian students and where our faces, culture, and personalities were interchangeable. Every single day, I wished that I could blend in – I wished that I was white. I lived in a place were my peers mocked my mother’s accent and my father’s shaved head. This environment motivated me to induce change in this oppressive system.
Favorite Musical Artist/Group: Alicia Keys
Posted by Mary Nguyen, NAPAWF fabulous intern
In 1996, I organized my college queer group to go to the AIDA Memorial Quilt the last time it was shown in its entirety. The quilt spanned every open space available on the Mall in Washington, DC, and if you tried to see all of it at once, you couldn’t. Hundreds of thousands of people paid their respects and marched for a swifter response from the government. For me, it has been a lasting reminder of how our bodies are both sites and vehicles of protest.
Favorite Musical Artist/Group: Right now I can’t get enough of Neko Case.
Posted by Miriam Yeung, NAPAWF Executive Director