Berlin remains the ultimate heaven for anyone searching for their place in this world. Our new, Berlin-focused series puts the spotlight on pioneers, freedom fighters and the bravest of lovers who – at some point in their lives – made this great city their home. To start off Container Talks right, we sat down with Son, our fabulous friend with roots in Vietnam. Visiting us in the studio for a photoshoot, Son was kind enough to tell us about his upbringing and the way Berlin helped him to become the person he is today.
Tell us who you are and what do you do!
My name is Son, I’m 30 and I am an entrepreneur.
What do you identify as? What are your pronouns?
I’m a cis male. Pronouns he/him.
Can you tell us where you and your family are originally from?
I was born and raised in Germany. My parents are from Vietnam.
Having roots in Vietnam culture, has your culture influenced your identity?
Not really. Growing up in Germany and being exposed to both Western and Vietnamese media and culture, I didn’t see any significant difference in the way queerness was addressed or talked about. In both worlds, toxic masculinity was prevalent. There was always a strong emphasis on how a boy should behave, dress and look like.
As someone with such unique intersectional identities, how do you choose to consolidate all of them?
I don’t choose. I have stopped consciously thinking about what kind of behavior is considered appropriate in which setting. It’s not like I have sorted my traits, my behavior and my identities into different drawers ready to pull them out depending on the situation. Now it’s just a big mixture which can sometimes be confusing for people who have just met me.
If there was one word you would choose that represents all that you are, what would it be?
Water. The ocean! I think of myself as an ever-changing body. Highly adaptable. Fluid in one moment but solid and unmovable in the next. You’re forced to learn how to do that in order to embrace all influences, all cultures. You need to be flexible in some situations but also stay solid and true to yourself in other moments. Otherwise you will drown and lose yourself with all the different inputs. Sometimes, I stand still while other times I move and flow to different places. It’s an ongoing process.
If you could achieve anything in this world what would that be?
Inspire people like me with the things I do. Achieving everything my younger self would have never dared to dream of.
Thank you, Son.