Being Gay in Hanoi, Vietnam


All packed, and waiting at CCCP Coffee for my ride to the airport, I’m reflecting on being gay in Hanoi, Vietnam…

While here, I was teaching how to write argumentative essays. Every day, when students had to come up with arguments, at least one argued in favor of LGBT rights. This was well before they knew anything about me.

One gay Vietnamese guy who I met broke down crying, scared that he’ll have to come out one day and what that’ll mean. “I think,” he said, “I wish I could choose women. But I think… It’s undeniable.”

A city ten times the size of Seattle has only ONE gay bar, that my first Uber driver refused to take me to.

My students yesterday, after an AWESOME day together, while saying goodbye, told me to come back and, “bring your boyfriend!”

My supervisor at the school just gave me a beautiful pop-up card. It’s hand made. They know all about my being gay, and we’ve talked about what it’s like here. This city, being the capitol, is old and conservative, but they say that Vietnam is the first country in Asia to make gay marriage NOT illegal. That may sound odd, but it’s a big deal.

While looking at the card, they said, “You see? It’s symbolizm. Two bears… Sitting together… Under a tree… So happy… You get it?”

I do get it. In all, it seems like Hanoi is about like most places in the US. Even better than many, actually. I’m spoiled in so many ways, living on the West coast, and so happy I got to experience this.


Playing Live Action Frogger in Hanoi, Vietnam

Spending two weeks teaching in Hanoi, one of the strangest things to me was the roads! They were packed with scooters and cars, all flowing without following lines, or patterns, sometimes even in opposite directions in the same lane!

Here’s what crossing the street was like. This is when the crosswalk light was green!

Pretty crazy, right? One of my students gave me a ride on his scooter – I was scared to have my phone out, but took this quick recording:

So that’s what it was like! The strangest thing of all? How quickly this didn’t seem all that dangerous… by the end of the two weeks, I was stomping across busy streets with no real concern at all!

Keeping Momentum on Kickstarter in your Final Days

My game funded about 1/3rd of the way through the month it ran. Once funded, it can be tricky to keep momentum going – I pushed my game’s stretch goals, and that helped, but my buddy Tommi gave me another idea – a themed series of advertisement images winding it all down. So, I grabbed a buddy (who has since become my boyfriend), and took a few pics! They were really well received, so I figured I’d show em all here on my blog!



wrap up banner 3

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There’s no “right” way to run a Kickstarter, but there are lots of great ideas out there that are simple to copy and easy to steal. This is one of them! Steal away!!

Fleeing the Country With Your Money


Hey everyone! Well, I hate to go quiet on the last day of my Kickstarter, but I’m on a plane, and about to head to Vietnam for two weeks to teach English for City U! The timing sucks, BUT, they have the My Little Pony movie on the flight so everything will be okay…

I want to say thank you to so many people who helped make this Kickstarter so damn successful. Tommi, thank you for working with Tristan on the huge video, and making all three of these amazing other videos, for free, just cuz you’re awesome!!! If you love my videos, he’s the guy! Thank you to ALL the game testers who have helped over the years! Thank you to my friends who have put up with me the last few months! Thank you to Craig for being the most supportive boyfriend in the world. Thank you Katie and Ralph and Steve and Tony… Shoot the plane is taking off. Thank you everyone!!!!

We’re shockingly close to the fifth stretch goal, and I think we can make it! All of you who have shared this project and helped out – I am in awe at how many wonderful people I know.

EDIT – we did in fact reach that fifth stretch goal while I hurdled across the Pacific! In the end, 239 backers pledged $14,735 to help bring my project to life. That’s almost double the goal of $7,500 that I’d set!

Dead ’til Dawn Gameplay Video

I gathered together a pile of friends, forced them to enjoy a play-through of Dead ’til Dawn, and recorded it! You might recognize one of these people from the awesomely campy and fun Dead ’til Dawn promo video (and the hilarious behind the scenes video), two others were playtesters, and Craig is brand new to the game. It’s a good sampling of what gameplay feels like, and how the game works! Also, it’s been edited by Tommi Thor, whose touch turns every video to gold! Take a look!

For any of you reading this blog, for hints and tips for running a kickstarter – I should have made this LONG before launching my Kickstarter! Oops!

CNF Piece Picked Up by Hawai’i Review

Woke up to an email about a Creative Non-Fiction piece I wrote called Smiles Like Sharks! For those who don’t know writer-jargon, Creative Non-Fiction (CNF) is a fancy way to say, “it’s all true.” Not just inspired by true events, no names are changed to protect the innocent – the whole thing has to be as true as the author is able to write it!

I’m pretty excited about the story finally getting some traction – it’s one of the best things I’ve written, but it’s pretty gritty and personal. By the title of the collection it’ll end up in, you can imagine it’s got some queer sexuality in it. Shocking, I know. I’ve been worried that it might not find a home, but here it goes!

I’ll certainly post about it when it finally ends up in print, so you all can check it out!