Linh Hoang is a 28-year-old consultant who splits his time between Tokyo and his native Washington. He’s also lived in Vietnam, Italy and Australia. He attended Georgetown University. He enjoys running, biking and exercising in his free time. (Blade photos by Michael Key)
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve always been out so to speak, it was a matter of confirmation. I think it is very important to be whole and authentic to the best of my ability and that we continue to practice coming out everyday. I believe in the journey and that my personal journey with my own family has been a thrill; I think the most intense conversations will be with my parents.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Frank Kameny for his leadership and courage to envision a more just society for all LGBT people. All the women and men in uniform overcoming “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And Asian-Pacific Islander queer leaders, especially my friends in AQUA (Asian/pacific islander Queers United for Action), for their gift of stories and memories.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Velvet Nation! I know Town is trying to recreate/improve the old atmosphere, but there was just a certain ‘it’ factor that Velvet Nation (despite the shady venue and activities) had that these new places have not been able to replicate. Cobalt and Nellie’s are good options to reconnect with friends when back in town.
Describe your dream wedding.
Along the California coast, above the Pacific Ocean and fog saying my vow to the person I love in the presence of the universe, ancestors, families and friends and have that be affirmed.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Immigration. Leadership development in the API communities and definitely earthquake relief effort in Japan. I had firsthand experience of the earthquake and its impact.
What historical outcome would you change?
Welcome to the human race, we make mistakes and hopefully we’ll listen, learn and grow from it. Who killed off the electric car?
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Not sure if the presidency is immediately associated with pop culture, but the election and the inauguration of Obama was an extraordinary experience. I want to create that same energy and enthusiasm again.
On what do you insist?
An invitation to dialogue; we need each other and cannot write one another off or walk away from the table.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, please donate $5 today. http://bit.ly/gLdZB2
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
This would be so unnatural, a disorder and an abomination, why would I change who I was called to be?
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
I believe that we are all invited to live in hope that at the end of all time, creation will be healed and that the divisions that caused us so much suffering in the current moment will be resolved.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Be not afraid, of what must we be afraid? Be courageous and have a good fight.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
Somehow we are all great at interior decorating; we might be good but not great.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
That marriage should only be between a man and a woman. If custom does change it will die.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Gold medals from dragon boating. The out2paddle team is one of the most beloved teams in the annual Washington, D.C. Dragon Boat Festival.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
To create Facebook.
Because of the people, we are blessed with many gifted individuals who feel they can bend reality and change the shape of the world. This is very inspirational and at the same time pompously intoxicating. At the end of the day, Washington is home for its charms and international features.