I know that being Asian is more than being able to speak a language and more than outward appearance. While I've never been proud of it, I know my loss of language is just another narrative in the Great Asian-American Story, and that it's not a narrative exclusive to just me.
As this once war-ridden country rushes towards the future, Vietnamese-Americans like me are coming back with a desire to contribute to the nation building, through the lens of our American education, upbringing and culture.
It was my relationship with a former partner that finally prompted me, in my 30s, to come out to my parents. And it was that relationship that finally led me to bring a man home to meet my parents. It turns out that I did not give my mom and dad enough credit.
Today marks the anniversary of the evacuation of Vietnamese from what was once their home country: a moment that dispersed us to far flung places -- Paris and Berlin, Louisiana and Minnesota, Hong Kong and Manila.
As a Vietnamese refugee who became an American writer, I can tell you that you matter, that your sadness matters, the story of how you survived and triumphed matters. For every story that belongs to you, in time, belongs to America.