Despite hysterical calls for the community to boycott the annual Tet parade in Orange County's Little Saigon if gay Vietnamese Americans were allowed to participate, gay Vietnamese Americans not only marched today but were welcomed as one of many groups involved in the festivities.
This is according to Hao-Nhien Vu, the acclaimed veteran journalist at Bolsavik.com.
"With the religious leaders' boycott in the balance, the Vietnamese gay contingent marched in the Tet Parade and was just as well received and well applauded as everybody else, ending the controversy on an up note," he observed. "The [gay and lesbian] contingent came in at number 70, right after the former South Vietnamese armed forces peoples, and the audience was applauding too. Reportedly there were about three or four boo-ing at some point."
I'm not willing to move on so fast. The attempted boycott was, in part, the brainchild of Westminster Republican councilman Andy Quach, a Chapman University graduate who always makes a big deal about his own family's flight from persecution after the Vietnam War. In a letter to his "compatriots," he called gay Vietnamese Americans "these people" and assured folks that if it was up to him he would openly discriminate.
A few religious leaders like Hoi Dong Lien Ton, Tran Thanh Van and Catholic Rev. Si Nguyen held a pre-parade press conference to support Quach. There, Nguyen admitted he's a deceitful propagandist and bigot. "During Tet, we don't bring up ugly matters. Anything unseemly in the family we hide it away. We only bring out what's good," he said, according to Bolsavik.com
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The last time I saw Quach was several year ago. He was eating dinner with KCAL's Leyna Nguyen at table next to me. The last time I wrote about him was in August when I first obtained his mug shot after he got extremely drunk late one night, crashed his car into several other vehicles and then slammed into an electrical pole. The incident sparked a 12-hour electrical outage for more than 300 houses. After weeks of unsuccessfully plotting a way out of his crimes, he eventually pleaded guilty.
So was Quach's weird, out-of-the-blue anti-gay stunt an attempt to divert attention away from his own character problems? Who knows? But what has emerged is a picture of a juvenile politician who can't handle his liquor and isn't secure in his own sexuality.
As Bolsavik.com points out, Quach--who based his anti-gay stance on the assertion that the parade should be a "traditional" family affair--himself participated in the parade and was driven in a vehicle that carried semi-pornographic images on the rear hood: three, young barely-clothed Asian girls pulling their underwear down and exposing breasts in a strip joint. One girl in the artwork is even massaging her vagina on a steel pole for the audience. Go to Bolsavik.com to see the images.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly