Artwork in headers by Trang T. Lê.
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What does it mean to be a queer Vietnamese-American woman immigrant? What is my legacy? How do I partake in the entitled privileged spaces that deny basic rights to supportive spaces for our most vulnerable communities? My birthday coincides with that of revolutionaries: Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh. As a Vietnamese American woman, I honor the responsibility of trying on those big shoes. I identify as: an ardent, earnest feminist, a humble educator (who learns much from our scarred, wise learners), a prolific creator, an infrequent artist, an indulgent intellectual, a daily activist, and, a privileged, educated individual. An appeal to policy makers: listen to our wise young people: They tell how it was, and how time came along, and how it happened again and again. They tell the slant life takes when it turns and slashes your face as a friend. Any wound is real. In church a woman lets the sun find her cheek, and we see the lesson: there are years in that book; there are sorrows a choir can't reach when they sing. Rows of children lift their faces of promise, places where the scars will be. -- Wise women wordsmiths inspire. Naomi Shihab Nye's "The Red Brocade," excerpted from 19 Varieties of Gazelle, affirms: No, I was not busy when you came! I was not preparing to be busy. That’s the armor everyone put on to pretend they had a purpose in the world. I refuse to be claimed.