“It’s going to be one of the most personal things I’ve done in my life – and it seems like I will be doing that in front of a lot of people.”
Viet Vu is a fourth-year honours Economics student at the Vancouver School of Economics. Born in Japan, he has also lived in Vietnam before moving to Canada to attend UBC in 2011. Viet’s TEDx Talk will focus on the complexities of coming out as bisexual and the positive and negative reactions he received from both his family and friends.
Focusing on both his personal experience, and his work with Equaldex, a global database of LGBTQ+ laws that he helped create, he hopes to put a spotlight on a group that is usually ignored.
“It almost seems as if the ‘B’ is forgotten from the LGBTQ+, and I want to change that,” Vu says.
According to Vu, his own experience of coming out made him question the kind of environment that facilitates coming out. This was a question that also led him to get involved with Equaldex, where he conducted research on the legal structure of the LGBTQ+ community around the world.
Through his research, he was able to examine more than 200 laws in about 100 countries and contributed to creating a comprehensive LGBTQ+ rights knowledge base.
His interest in economics also influenced his desire to chart and examine the status of the LGBTQ+ community in different countries and regions. Vu, who is aiming to become an academic economist, hopes to continue working in the field of queer economics – a subset of labor economics that examines the economics of the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s a really a growing field in the sense that there’s still a lot of work to be done – and it’s definitely something that I’m also trying to use Equaldex as a venue to explore” says Vu.
Ultimately, through his talk, Viet Vu hopes to emphasize the fact that anyone can have a really tangible impact in someone’s life:
“It could be honestly be as simple as just sitting down and stopping for a moment and just listening to what other people saying and feeling – because if you do that, you can save a life.”
Be sure to check out Viet’s talk at the TEDx Terry Talks on October 25th at the Life Sciences Centre. For ticket information, please visit: http://ow.ly/D0lV2