Who We Are

Founded in 2016, QTViệt Cafe provides holistic healing by (re)connecting with ancestral foodways, storytelling, cultural arts//traditions and intergenerational dialogue.

Our vision is to nourish a cultural hub of queer and trans Vietnamese by donating a percentage of all our proceeds back to community artists. We create products that are rooted in ingredients passed down from our ancestors, mixed with a fusion of American flavors.

 
  Trang Tran, co-founder & manager   Trang identifies as a queer, gender-nonconforming, 1.5 Vietnamese immigrant who aspires to live their truth as bright and powerful as the full moon. Born in Saigon and growing up in the East Bay, Trang's work is focused on building within the Vietnamese community to heal trauma and uplift power. Through their social enterprise QTViet Cafe, they strive to build a cultural healing hub that centers intergenerational nourishment of traditional food and drink. In their free time, they dance, write poetry, bond with their siblings, breathe, and spread love and compassion.

Trang Tran, co-founder & manager

Trang identifies as a queer, gender-nonconforming, 1.5 Vietnamese immigrant who aspires to live their truth as bright and powerful as the full moon. Born in Saigon and growing up in the East Bay, Trang's work is focused on building within the Vietnamese community to heal trauma and uplift power. Through their social enterprise QTViet Cafe, they strive to build a cultural healing hub that centers intergenerational nourishment of traditional food and drink. In their free time, they dance, write poetry, bond with their siblings, breathe, and spread love and compassion.

  Tracy Nguyen, event planner   Tracy Nguyen was born and raised in San Jose, California. Growing up with refugee parents from Vietnam largely defines who she is today: a driven community organizer with a creative, entrepreneurial spirit. She received a BA in Media Studies and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, which seeded her activist journey. Since graduating, she has worked within the nonprofit sector to uplift the voices and power of refugees, immigrants, workers, women, youth, the LGBTQ community, and incarcerated individuals. With her passion for visual storytelling, she recently started freelancing in film making and graphic facilitation.

Tracy Nguyen, event planner

Tracy Nguyen was born and raised in San Jose, California. Growing up with refugee parents from Vietnam largely defines who she is today: a driven community organizer with a creative, entrepreneurial spirit. She received a BA in Media Studies and Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, which seeded her activist journey. Since graduating, she has worked within the nonprofit sector to uplift the voices and power of refugees, immigrants, workers, women, youth, the LGBTQ community, and incarcerated individuals. With her passion for visual storytelling, she recently started freelancing in film making and graphic facilitation.

  Võ Hải   Growing up in a Vietnamese immigrant family of gardeners, farmers, and cooks, I learned the proverb, “Một cây làm chẳng nên non, ba cây chụm lại nên hòn núi cao”. In English, it roughly translates to one tree provides little strength, three trees in strength together allows us to reach high mountains. This proverb has been a guiding light in my commitment toward justice, visioning organizing, and food and ecological sovereignty – that when we come together collectively, we can achieve anything and change the world.  Hải là người Mỹ gốc Việt. I was raised in California (s/o to LA, OC, and the SF Bay area!), by way of birth sponsorship in Iowa, by way of refugee camps in the Philippines and Malaysia, and by wayof two villages in southern Viet Nam - Mỹ Tho và (and) Chợ Gạo. I identify as queer second-generation Vietnamese of the diaspora and am passionate about traditional food(ways), self- and group-liberation, and home(land) and soulful adventures with good people and good food.

Võ Hải

Growing up in a Vietnamese immigrant family of gardeners, farmers, and cooks, I learned the proverb, “Một cây làm chẳng nên non, ba cây chụm lại nên hòn núi cao”. In English, it roughly translates to one tree provides little strength, three trees in strength together allows us to reach high mountains. This proverb has been a guiding light in my commitment toward justice, visioning organizing, and food and ecological sovereignty – that when we come together collectively, we can achieve anything and change the world.

Hải là người Mỹ gốc Việt. I was raised in California (s/o to LA, OC, and the SF Bay area!), by way of birth sponsorship in Iowa, by way of refugee camps in the Philippines and Malaysia, and by wayof two villages in southern Viet Nam - Mỹ Tho và (and) Chợ Gạo. I identify as queer second-generation Vietnamese of the diaspora and am passionate about traditional food(ways), self- and group-liberation, and home(land) and soulful adventures with good people and good food.

our artists // contributors

 (Top)  Jaq Nguyen Victor   “Vietnamese may be my first language and English my second, but play is definitely my third.” What else might you expect a queer, trans, neurodivergent, Vietnamese unicorn to say? Jaq is the Founder & Director of a radical healing justice program called Dig & Demand at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI). They are also a Drama Therapist at an elementary school and finishing their graduate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).

(Top) Jaq Nguyen Victor

“Vietnamese may be my first language and English my second, but play is definitely my third.” What else might you expect a queer, trans, neurodivergent, Vietnamese unicorn to say? Jaq is the Founder & Director of a radical healing justice program called Dig & Demand at the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI). They are also a Drama Therapist at an elementary school and finishing their graduate program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).

  Total/Tố Tồ  (They/Them) is a genderqueer 2nd generation Vietnamese Bae Area Queer Trans Asian Pacific Islander (QTAPI) leadership developer/ organizer (techie... and MORE). They’re honored and ready to bring the love, healing, and laughter to the QTViệt showcase again this year!

Total/Tố Tồ (They/Them) is a genderqueer 2nd generation Vietnamese Bae Area Queer Trans Asian Pacific Islander (QTAPI) leadership developer/ organizer (techie... and MORE). They’re honored and ready to bring the love, healing, and laughter to the QTViệt showcase again this year!

  Tố Như (Lotus) Đào aka dj mình là   Lotus is a spirit fueled by faith. He is also a full-time therapist and organizer for poor and undocumented people seeking gender-services, part-time trans health disparities researcher, and co-founder of bloom: transgender community healing project, a collective of trans, two-spirit and non binary providers and healers. He believes in the in nite power of ancestral wisdom and lives with love, truth, and freedom as core values.

Tố Như (Lotus) Đào aka dj mình là

Lotus is a spirit fueled by faith. He is also a full-time therapist and organizer for poor and undocumented people seeking gender-services, part-time trans health disparities researcher, and co-founder of bloom: transgender community healing project, a collective of trans, two-spirit and non binary providers and healers. He believes in the in nite power of ancestral wisdom and lives with love, truth, and freedom as core values.

  SAL TRAN   Sal Tran is a queer Vietnamese filmmaker and social justice activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They recently directed a short film called XANH. Sal's work is rooted within the power of story telling in film and performative art. They focus on mental health advocacy work within QTAPI communities. Their work has been featured in National Alliance for Mental Illness, Oakland Pride Film Festival, Center for Asian-American Film Festival, As[I]Am Magazine, and many more

SAL TRAN

Sal Tran is a queer Vietnamese filmmaker and social justice activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They recently directed a short film called XANH. Sal's work is rooted within the power of story telling in film and performative art. They focus on mental health advocacy work within QTAPI communities. Their work has been featured in National Alliance for Mental Illness, Oakland Pride Film Festival, Center for Asian-American Film Festival, As[I]Am Magazine, and many more

  TRACY MENDEZ  is a visual artist from Berkeley, California. They are currently a senior studying economics at UC Berkeley. Additionally, they are an aspiring model and musician.

TRACY MENDEZ is a visual artist from Berkeley, California. They are currently a senior studying economics at UC Berkeley. Additionally, they are an aspiring model and musician.

  LINDA NGUYEN   Queer Chinese Vietnamese Womxn  PRAYER She is on her knees  Desperate   For my queerness to disappear For my lover to never exist For all to be a lie  For all the wrong reasons.   How do I even begin to love myself  When my most loved one Doesn't love all of me?

LINDA NGUYEN

Queer Chinese Vietnamese Womxn

PRAYER
She is on her knees

Desperate

For my queerness to disappear
For my lover to never exist
For all to be a lie

For all the wrong reasons.

How do I even begin to love myself
When my most loved one
Doesn't love all of me?

  Neola  is a 2nd generatation Vietnamese American singer/ songwriter from Vallejo,  CA. Her music focuses on combining r&b nuances with an alternative indie spin.

Neola is a 2nd generatation Vietnamese American singer/ songwriter from Vallejo,
CA. Her music focuses on combining r&b nuances with an alternative indie spin.

  LIEN DO  is a viet music  person originally from Sacramento now chillin in the bay. They do a lot of music stuff and play a lot of music sometimes. They are attempting to relate drumming to queerness and how there are a lot of similarities between the two.

LIEN DO is a viet music
person originally from Sacramento now chillin in the bay. They do a lot of music stuff and play a lot of music sometimes. They are attempting to relate drumming to queerness and how there are a lot of similarities between the two.

  PATTY DO   Made in Vietnam Printed in America   When I'm not rummaging through trash cans and getting into trouble. I'm looking for ways to hack through life and learn how to do it myself.   Patty Do lived a free life, bicycle backpacking along the California coast and East Coast. After o 6 thang Bụi đời they returned Quierd as hell and is learning how to re socialize into society properly while maintaining a sense of independence and their self identity.

PATTY DO

Made in Vietnam Printed in America

When I'm not rummaging through trash cans and getting into trouble. I'm looking for ways to hack through life and learn how to do it myself.

Patty Do lived a free life, bicycle backpacking along the California coast and East Coast. After o 6 thang Bụi đời they returned Quierd as hell and is learning how to re socialize into society properly while maintaining a sense of independence and their self identity.


  Van Sam  (they/them) is a queer, non-binary person who loves and struggles to write and perform spoken words as they believe writing require radical honesty and vulnerability that they are not ready for sometimes! They are trying to grow and challenge that with QTViet cafe this year with their performance with their homies, Trang and Irene. Van also organizes with VietUnity, love dogs and sweets.

Van Sam (they/them) is a queer, non-binary person who loves and struggles to write and perform spoken words as they believe writing require radical honesty and vulnerability that they are not ready for sometimes! They are trying to grow and challenge that with QTViet cafe this year with their performance with their homies, Trang and Irene. Van also organizes with VietUnity, love dogs and sweets.

  Irene Van  is currently training to become a Drama Therapist at CIIS while interning at Oakland High School as a mental health clinician trainee. Irene also has extensive experience serving youth of color as an academic advisor and is excited to make that transition into healing work through a social justice lens. Most times, you can find Irene getting down on the dance floor, writing poems, cooking sexy Viet food, or having tender conversations with friends.

Irene Van is currently training to become a Drama Therapist at CIIS while interning at Oakland High School as a mental health clinician trainee. Irene also has extensive experience serving youth of color as an academic advisor and is excited to make that transition into healing work through a social justice lens. Most times, you can find Irene getting down on the dance floor, writing poems, cooking sexy Viet food, or having tender conversations with friends.

  Mers Tran  (They/She) has been an urban choreography dancer for 9 years. They recently graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Environmental Chemistry. During their undergraduate career, they were a director of an all-womxn dance team called 4N01 (4NO1) that focuses on the physical, mental, and emotional empowerment of womxn through dance. “My favorite thing about dance is that you can use the lessons you learn from it and directly tie it to a lesson in your life. Dance gave me the confidence to be my authentic self.”

Mers Tran (They/She) has been an urban choreography dancer for 9 years. They recently graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Environmental Chemistry. During their undergraduate career, they were a director of an all-womxn dance team called 4N01 (4NO1) that focuses on the physical, mental, and emotional empowerment of womxn through dance. “My favorite thing about dance is that you can use the lessons you learn from it and directly tie it to a lesson in your life. Dance gave me the confidence to be my authentic self.”

mom/elder panel

  CO DIEM  spends her night and day whipping up authentic Vietnamese food in the kitchen. She raised six kids from Vietnam to LA to Vallejo and is not afraid to wake up at 2AM in the morning to cook Pho for a whole production crew (XANH the movie). She comes from Hue (central Vietnam) where a lot of the central cuisines are hard to find in America. She is mother of Sal Tran and Nancy Tran (Neola).

CO DIEM spends her night and day whipping up authentic Vietnamese food in the kitchen. She raised six kids from Vietnam to LA to Vallejo and is not afraid to wake up at 2AM in the morning to cook Pho for a whole production crew (XANH the movie). She comes from Hue (central Vietnam) where a lot of the central cuisines are hard to find in America. She is mother of Sal Tran and Nancy Tran (Neola).

  Co Thu// Aunty Thu  is a nail salon worker and community advocate who loves her hometown Oakland. You can find her marching in rallies, speaking in Sacramento for worker rights, and standing up in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. She plays the mother in XANH the movie.

Co Thu// Aunty Thu is a nail salon worker and community advocate who loves her hometown Oakland. You can find her marching in rallies, speaking in Sacramento for worker rights, and standing up in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. She plays the mother in XANH the movie.