Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference: Tara’s Crossing

As part of our work to spread information about notable events that we are involved in, I am proud to announce a play that will be performed during the Trans-Health Conference. It is a story about a transgender asylee and her struggles. hotpot! will be attending and participating in the talkback afterward to share our work. Please check it out! All of the details are below.


8 pm on Friday, June 1, 2012
Philadelphia, PA
Free and Open to the Public

The 11th Annual Philadelphia Tran-Health Conference is proud to present TARA’S CROSSING, a play by Emmy nominated writer Jeffrey Solomon, in which a transgender woman flees Guyana for asylum in the United States, only to end up in a government detention center, where she faces an uphill battle to prove her claims of persecution. The performance is FREE and open to the public.




NEUVSA conference

On April 5th, hotpot! joined the NEUVSA (North East Union of Vietnamese Student Associations, their acronym is pronounced “new-V.S.A.”) at Drexel University for a day filled with inspiration and conversations. My jaded heart was actually warmed by the keynote speaker, Ethan Nguyen, who shared an engaging and participatory speech on the power of courage and the possibilities that come with building friendships and networks with others in a larger community–one of those amazing speeches where the speaker facilitated the audience to get to the theme. Ethan is seriously TEDx material, check out this presentation he did at TEDxphilly, here.

hotpot!’s very own Van presented a workshop on the topic of “being LGBTQ, Vietnamese, and Asian American.” It was great to be invited to share LGBTQ perspectives at a Vietnamese Student Association conference. We were also excited to see Nancy Nguyen from BPSOS¬†who led conversations around USA immigration history specifically concerning the Vietnamese diaspora across the hall.
hotpot! would love to attend more campus conversations!! please invite us.

Campus organizing is sooo refreshing. Check out NEUVSA’s website: and feel the organizational capacity of these amazing college activists. They have an amazing film-maker amongst their midst…talk about inspirational~ Also, their banh mi’s tasted really good too. yay food.

Mia Mingus talk at UPenn

On March 27th, 2012 at U Penn, Mia Mingus spoke on her intersecting identities and work in social justice. After Mia spoke, hotpot! was invited by the United Minorities Council to have dinner with Mia.

There are two ideas/themes that I took away from the event.

“social equity VS social justice”

For years I had advocated and fought for “equal rights” as a woman, person of color and lesbian. So when Mia was speaking and introduced this idea, I was blown away. The idea that maybe social equality is not what we should aim for, but instead aim for justice. The idea that instead of gaining equal access to a system that isn’t working, breaking it down and starting new.

“so much of our work begins in our own communities…”

As soon as the words left Mia’s mouth, I immediately thought of various conversations centering around the intersections of my identities with my loved ones. My communities. I thought of family members and friends using the word “gay” in a negative and not understanding why I was offended. I thought about the fact that for years I was terrified to come out to the Filipino community I grew up with. I remembered one of my straight best friends not understanding why I was scared to go to a predominantly white, straight bar because I feared for my safety as a butch lesbian of color. I find it so easy to walk away or argue with strangers but I can’t do that with my communities. I am glad that Mia addressed this reality.