I have been inspired and empowered by strong and courageous individuals on I Am Hmong Beauty (IAHB). This is the first time I have taken to reflect on and write out my story. Those who know me personally may have witnessed or heard bits and pieces, but do not know my story in its entirety. And this will be the first time I will be speaking about many things that I have never disclosed to others—even my partner, lover, and best friend, who read the first draft for the first time several months ago.
I truly apologize to those whom I have given misleading stories (you will know who you are). This chapter of my life has been the most difficult to talk about in detail because I have always been in denial and afraid of ridicule and judgment. But I have grown mature and wise over the years during my journey to discover myself (with the help of many wonderful people and organizations) and have come to accept me for who I am, for all that I have experienced. I no longer fear the things that have held me back for so long.
I would like to thank I am Hmong Beauty for giving me this beautiful idea and opportunity. IAHB’s mission is to provide “a safe and supportive community where Hmong women can share memoirs of their struggles and successes…. to inspire, educate, promote dialogue, raise awareness about Hmong women’s issues, and advocate for change in the community.” If you want to step into the world of a Hmong person—especially a Hmong woman—I recommend you visit their Facebook page and website and read through the personal stories people have submitted in the notes section. Some will make you cry tears of joy and others will make you weep in sorrow. Please read with an open mind and have tissue paper ready to blow your nose.
This chapter of my life is a long one that will consist of a prologue and 5 parts. I will post them up during June, so if you’re interested, stay tuned. I will not answer questions or reply back to comments until the very end.