Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What we are hearing elsewhere

Monday, February 15, 2010

What we are hearing around town

Quote: "...Đặc biệt năm nay có sự góp mặt của đoàn diễn hành của những người đồng tính. Họ đã đi diễn hành một cách bình thường và được khác giả tán thưởng nhiệt liệt, khép lại một cuộc tranh cãi khởi đầu vài ngày trước hôm lễ hội..." -- Little Saigon Radio news @ 3 PM

Theo nhu+ La^m, do.c cho Vuong nghe thi` ba?n tin lu'c 12 gio1 trua cu?a da`i Little Saigon
phat thanh tren 1500 AM . San Jose thi`: "Cuoc dien ha`nh nam nay co' su+. tham du+.
cua nhu~ng nguoi` DT mien Bac & Nam Cali. thuc hien. Ho. rat ha`i ho`a & de^~ thuong. Ho. duo.c su+. huo?ng u+'ng & khen ngoi. cu?a nhu~ng nguoi` tham du+. va` khe'p la.i trang su+? tranh lua^.n giu+~a nhu~ng nguoi` DT va` nhu~ng suy nghi~ kho^ng du+'ng da+'n ve^` ho. "

Others report a mixed review of 50% pro and 50% con.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

1st day after the Parade March

Care to share what are your thoughts of the day after the parade march? Some of us are writing to the newspaper to counter the attacks by the Interfaith Council and Andy Quach and Dina Nguyen. Some of us are talking about working to sue or make sure Andy Quach and Dina Nguyen not get elected this November. Some of us are thinking about working more closely with other LGBTIQ groups in OC and they have offered.

Bolsavik Blog:

OC Weekly:

From the Viet Herald:

February 13, 2010 Tet Parade

Please share your experiences of the day of the march. What was your experience getting to the parade site? What was your experience during the prep time before the march? What was your experience during the march? What was your experience after the march? What was your experience at the luncheon?

Here is a link to Nguoi Viet Daily News at the end of the day.

We sent out a press release at 2 something am of February 13, 2010 to the OC Register, Nguoi Viet Daily News, Nguoi Viet Herald and Vien Dong and KUCI radio.

February 12, 2010

To the Vietnamese Interfaith Council of America and Westminster City Councilman Andy Quách:

Tết Nguyên Đán (The Lunar New Year), also known as Tết, is a special and sacred holiday in Vietnamese culture and tradition. It is an occasion for Vietnamese people to share a common ideal of peace, kindness, and prosperity. This is a time when families gather to celebrate a festive holiday that is filled with love, hope, and joy in welcoming the New Year. Vietnamese cultural values are based on family unity and cohesiveness. People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are also part of Vietnamese families. We are born into families, and we live our lives with our families. We are your sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. We also attend service at temples and churches and many of us consider ourselves very devout and spiritual. Tết is one of the many ways that we celebrate our collective Vietnamese culture.
Around Tết when the New Year arrives, Vietnamese people graciously try to eliminate their old negative way of thinking. We do things to create auspicious energy to start the year full of possibility and good will towards others. It is unfortunate for the religious leaders planning on boycotting the parade because they will be missing out on the collective celebration of happiness and joy. The major religious teachings emphasize peace with oneself and to “love thy neighbor as thyself”. Religious and spiritual leaders should be role models for society in establishing bridges of understanding and love, not encouraging separation and intolerance amongst one another. Excluding oneself or others from the Tết parade is being socially irresponsible and does not foster a positive atmosphere in celebrating Tết and in building a stronger community.
Because we are part of the Vietnamese community, we feel that we, LGBT people, have the right to join our families and fellow Vietnamese in celebration of Tết. There is no better time to be united with our families within the Vietnamese community. The Interfaith Council and City Councilman Andy Quách would like to dictate who is and is not Vietnamese and who can or cannot celebrate Tết. That type of thinking is very backward. It is time to embrace the new world of freedom.
We have many reasons for peacefully and cheerfully marching in the parade. We wish to exhibit love and harmony to the Vietnamese people in wishing them a happy and prosperous new year. Some LGBT people are fortunate to have parents and siblings who acknowledge and accept them for who they are. Most Vietnamese LGBT people grow up in families that reject them, causing deep sorrow and suffering. We are determined to be visible at the Tết parade to make the lives of our LGBT brothers and sisters easier, to increase the Vietnamese community’s awareness that we are here and we are part of you – we are not mentally ill or immoral. We want to urge the community to support same-sex marriage because we are family members of the Vietnamese people. Most of all, we hope to march proudly in the Tết parade to promote love, support, good will, prosperity, and justice for everyone.

May love, understanding, and compassion prevail,
Sống Thật Radio, Ô-Môi, Gay Vietnamese Alliance,
and The Vietnamese Lesbian and Bisexual Women Network and Friends

Pre-Parade Thoughts and Experiences

Please respond to this post to share your experiences of the days before the march.

Here are links to articles about Andy Quach and The Vietnamese Interfaith Council of America opposing us.

We made the Advocate Page:

Purpose of this Blog

The purpose of this Blog is to create a space to document our experiences at the Tết Canh Dần in Little Saigon, Westminster, CA this February 13, 2010. We also want to highlight our experiences that cut through the racism, anti-immigrant and homophobia that are sometimes yelled out by non-Vietnamese LGBTIQs or by straight Vietnamese.

This is the first time that the Viet LGBTIQ group is marching in Little Saigon Tết Parade. We have marched in San Jose since 2004, but this is the first time in epicenter of Vietnamese America. Prior to this experience Ô-Môi (the Vietnamese queer female network) and GVA (Gay Vietnamese Alliance) have marched in the Orange County Pride Parade. Some of us have also marched many times in the Los Angeles Pride Parade and Los Angeles Chinatown New Year Parade. To walk in Little Saigon as out Vietnamese LGBTIQ, however, is the first for all of us.

Led by our fearless leader, Chị Vương (Old Sister Vuong), and excellently coordinated by our coordinator Thanh Đỗ who is also our articulate Public Relations person, we registered with the City of Westminster to march in the parade as an LGBTIQ group. We sent out press releases to the Vietnamese news media on Sunday 2/7/2010. Some of us were called for interviews on Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday 2/10/2010, we heard that Westminster Councilman Andy Quách, who is also president of the Tết Parade committee, had sent a press release to the Vietnamese newspaper decrying our participation in the parade. The Vietnamese Interfaith Council led by Lutheran Pastor Trần Thanh Vân called for a press conference the next day (Thursday 2/11/2010 10:30 am) to denounce our participation and asked all religious organizations to pull out of the parade if we were to be there. In the background, Dina Nguyễn, Garden Grove Councilwoman and Andy Quách also called Thanh to ask that we withdraw our participation. We were angered by the narrow-mindedness and ignorance propagated by Little Saigon religious and political leaders. Even more determined to educate our community of the ignorance and misunderstanding of LGBTIQ Việt people, we set forth to march with great tension in the air. We rallied our friends and allies to come out and support us, and the most beautiful, last minute emailing, facebooking, and calling of friends and contacts happened. We must outnumber hate with a message of love.

Unclear whether we will encounter violent protest or a no show from our Vietnamese community, we met the night before the parade at The Center OC that Ginger Hahn had graciously offered to us, to create more positive signs of the new year spirit.

The day of the parade, the police sent four officers to keep a close eye on our contingent because they heard rumors that people were going to throw tomatoes at us. Our friends and allies came out in large number and helped us to a most peaceful, dignified march down the heart of Little Saigon. We heard more cheers than insults and it was most pleasing and heart warming to see our elders and vets waving at us and smiling. I have never been prouder to be Vietnamese and queer and to feel the connection and love from all of our friends and allies.