I made this poem because I know people who still struggle with their identity and being accepted. Too many times, I’ve gotten in arguments to defend my friends and family. This is a very sensitive subject to me, and I feel I must stand up against hate because LGBTQ+ love is no different from any other love.
I was told this trip would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I never imagined it would make a huge impact on my life, allowing me find confidence in who I am and fueling me to become a champion for equal rights.
A couple of weeks ago, Iris Vang, 17, a youth leader with Faith in Merced's Leadership Academy, had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Sisterhood Rising Camp in Portola, Calif. Spending a week in nature connecting with her cultural and ancestral roots inspired her to write about her experience as a young Hmong-American woman. Her poem ‘My Body’ is full of vivid imagery and is an ode to her culture.