Be Yourself and Empower Others
– By Diane Nguyen
LIN Communication Volunteer
On September 9, along with two other LIN staff members, I got the opportunity to attend an LGBT Drama called “Được là chính mình” (Be yourself) performance at the Opera House.
The dancers’ graceful movements depicted the internal struggle of a member of the LGBT community. A woman is confronted by two distinct gender model types that we are familiar with in our society. The person is conflicted and confronted by two distinct gender role; one choice will bring them acceptance in society and the other is in fact who they are. As she violently toggles between both genders, she is reluctantly drawn to the male gender.
The show continues to depict the daily struggles of members in the LGBT community. At the end, you and the individual come to the end of the journey, seeing that only by being yourself can you achieve true happiness.
At the end of the performance, many sniffles could be heard echoed throughout the Opera House. The audience was asked to share thoughts and an awkward silence filled the Opera House until one courageous woman stood up share how the show made her feel and her own struggles being part of the LBGT community. I was extremely touched by her courage, and her words.
Then the show ended with an ending note from a representative who proceeded to share two anonymous stories. The first story was about a transgender who was dragged out in the middle of the night by their father who proceeded to cut away their hair. The second story was about a boy who remembers his mom smothering garlic all over him hoping to dispel him of impurity. He had no choice but to pack a small bag and run away. As he was being chased, he lost one of his shoes and bought a one way ticket to Ho Chi Minh City. When he arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, he “had two perfectly good feet but with only one lonely shoe.”
Then, the representative reached out to the audience and visually explains “when one is pulled up, he needs to let out the other arm and help support someone else.”
One Staff member said “Even with my poor level of Vietnamese language skills, I was deeply moved by the performance and the sharing. It really got to the core of the struggle for self-understanding and societal acceptance better than anything else I have ever experienced first-hand.”
Another Staff member said “The message of the performance was very powerful. It showed support to everybody in the society no matter who they are. On behalf of LIN, I would like to congratulate ICS and hope to have the opportunity to join in their activities in the future.”
The performance was beautiful and simple depiction of the struggles of members of the LGBT Community.