Share Your Truth

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“I am a Vietnamese woman.  This is my truth:  My mother tried six times to leave our home country after the war in hopes of a better life.  Each time we were caught at the border and sent back.  Because of her perseverance we finally succeeded on the 7th try.  It took several on-foot border crossings, a safe house, two fishing boat trips, two refugee camps, and six months for us to get to the United States.  My aunt, already living in the States, sponsored us.  My mother worked two jobs and went to school full time the first few years just to make a life for us.  I started in ESL classes, and 25 years later I am now pursuing a medical degree.  My Vietnamese name was torn apart and mocked on the playground so much I changed to an American first name when I got naturalized to make things easier. I am queer.  I am somewhere between masculine and feminine.  I was born in Saigon and now a US citizen living in Minnesota.  Miss Saigon missed the boat my family and I took to get here.”

– Vi-Anh