Monday, May 20, 2013

Eddie Truong - Week 6

In Walter T. Boulden's article, "Gay Hmong: A Multifaceted Clash of Cultures", he illustrates the struggles that gay Hmong face as they "come out" to the Hmong community. This article reveals the multiple cultural obstacles that gay Hmong endure throughout the process of self-realization or coming to terms with one's self. I'm critical of this article because I recognize that there are many dimensions to queer experiences in the Southeast Asian American community. For instance, while there are struggles in reconciling one's SEA experiences with queer experiences, I observe that there are instances of reconciliation being successful. Gina Masequesmay's “Emergence of Queer Vietnamese America" demonstrates a successful organization that rejects the White, gay organizations in favor of creating their own space that recognizes the double experiences of queer and Vietnamese cultures.

I believe that Boulden's article is an important step towards understanding diverse experiences and increasing visibility of queer individuals in the Southeast Asian American community. However, Boulden develops a narrative that suggests that all gay Hmong are uncomfortable, without exploring additional dimensions to see how gay Hmong have used their own agency to negotiate and reconcile the fierce opposition of queer experiences in the SEA community. Further research should be done in order to find the ways in which gay Hmong empower themselves and demonstrate their own agency in living with multiple identities Are there empowered gay Hmong in the community and, if so, how would they negotiate their visibility in their community?

Here is a website where a discussion forum for gay Hmong experiences is possible: I believe that this website was mentioned in Boulden's article, but using a different URL.

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