Lieurene (Lilo) Tran #IamELLA
Lilo Tran, Blogger & Social Media Management, Los Angeles, California, USA
“Why do you make your life harder for yourself?”, a question I was often asked throughout my childhood. Ever since I was born, I’ve always knew I was different.
At the age of three, I was diagnosed profoundly deaf. Being the first Deaf person in my family, my parents were devastated in the beginning because they had no idea what to do. They feared that I would have such a hard life because I am different. The easy solution for anyone with a Deaf child was to put them in an institute or put them in special education.
My mother did the exact opposite. I received my first hearing aids and attended to an Oral school, where I would learn how to talk with speech therapy. It wasn’t until I was 13 when I attended middle school with the DHH program. That was the first time I was exposed to American Sign Language. However, that’s where I also learned I was even more different. I couldn’t fit in both worlds: Hearing and Deaf.
Determined, I did eventually learn Sign Language. When I entered High School, I made a promise to myself. I wasn’t going to let anything hold me back. I became the first Deaf person to join the Hearing Basketball team, a musical play (no I didn’t sing, I signed), Track and Field and so much more.
But the funny part is: out of all the challenges I had to faced in my life, the hardest thing I ever had to do was come out as a Lesbian.
At first, It was hard for my family – except for my brother who accepted it right away. For a while, they thought it was my choice to live that way and that I was just infatuated with my ex-girlfriend at the time. After a few years, and seeing the struggle I went through of not being fully happy, my mom finally accepted it.
So why did I make my life harder for myself?
I didn’t. I have accepted that being Deaf and Lesbian is a part of who I am. It doesn’t hinder my ability to do whatever I can achieve in my life.
So after graduating with my B.S. degree, I packed up everything and went backpacking for two months. It was hard for my mom because of her fear of me being a target since I am Deaf Lesbian. I didn’t let that stop me, instead I have hopes that I can help spread awareness and inspire others that it is okay to be different.
I am proud to be part of the #iamELLA movement because I am a proud Deaf Lesbian.
Random Facts about me
- There is a story behind my unique name. It has both my grandmothers’ names. My Vietnamese grandma’s name is Lieu and my Mexican grandma is Irene so my mother combined it to create the name Lieurene.
- My nickname is Lilo because I used to have long hair like the character Lilo from the Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch. I proudly donated my hair in January 2014 to Locks of Love.
- I ran 3 Disney half marathons with very little training within a year and got medals for them all. (I do recommend training though)
- I can be quite talkative and known to be quite a jokester
- The only man I would go straight for is Joseph Gordon Levitt haha
- My first ex girlfriend was the Pastor’s daughter 0_0
- I got smacked by a monkey in Japan when I accidently stole back my water bottle
- I have a strong coffee addiction- a cup of coffee a day keeps me sane!
- I am a big 80s movie fan- my favorite movie is Back to the Future
- Despite of being half Mexican/ Vietnamese, I can’t eat spicy food. I just can’t. Trust me, I tried