Unpacking the Linguistic Legacies of Colonization

By Erika Del Cid

Coming out to loved ones can be difficult, but imagine that the language used to communicate the message carries biases inherited from colonization. In the first issue of the zine Vănguard, Aiden Nguyen explores the history of the word "bê Ðê”, a word that traces its roots to the French word “pédérastre”, which equates homosexuality to pedophilia, and continues to shape the view of homosexuality in Vietnam.

Aiden, along with his friend Nu, created Vănguard in an effort to "empower and endorse the visibility and individuality of self identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/trans* & queer (LGBTQ) Vietnamese artists and writers.” Their zine is a collection of essays and photographs that are both in English and Vietnamese.  

We invite you to read his piece and check out the issues of Vănguard at http://www.vanguardzine.com/zine