GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

Amazin LêThi

Photo by Alina Oswald.

“I understand what it feels like to be marginalized — and what many LGBTQ youth are going through — because I have experienced it myself,” says Amazin LêThi, Vietnamese LGBTQ+ sports and human rights advocate. “I don’t want anyone else to go through [it].” Suffering a great amount of discrimination and bullying as a child and teenager, LêThi has faced homelessness, poverty, and deep depression. But rather than succumb to the difficulty, she decided to work to help others avoid falling into similar positions. She created the Amazin LêThi Foundation to support homeless LGBTQ+ youth through leadership, development, and sports as a platform for change, and in 2019, she launched the first-ever Asian LGBTQ Southern Voice event in Georgia. LêThi’s work extends outside of the US, too. She was the first international activist working in Vietnam to give scholarships to transgender youth, and she piloted the Leadership Sports and Education Program in Vietnam, which fast-tracks homeless LGBTQ+ youth into career development and is set to launch in the US in 2021. Being an author, athlete ally, Stonewall sports champion ambassador, and advocate has allowed LêThi to share her personal story, live freely as an openly out Asian woman, and connect to audiences on a deeper level with shared experiences — something she hopes to pass on through her work. “Sharing my story and living authentically and unapologetically gives me the freedom to realize that my emotions are real, that how I feel inside matters, and that I’m worthy of owning the space that I’m in,” she says. —IL


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