Hunny is a second-generation Cambodian-American who was born in San Diego, California and raised in Long Beach. Known to many by her stage name, Dj Hunny, she is a local artist who is also an active member of the Cambodian community. Hunny has dj’d at many venues from Hollywood, LA, Orange County, and Cambodia. Long Beach locals know Hunny as a DJ and entrepreneur when she opened and operated a family restaurant. Her other notable accomplishment includes receiving her medical diploma from Kaplan College in 2012 and working as a certified phlebotomist at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. Through her civic engagement she has worked with many grassroots organizations both locally and internationally to bridge the generation gap and to preserve Cambodian arts, culture, and history.
Hunny got involved in community work in her teenage years when she participated in an all-Asian girl group named, Vice Versa & Dj Hunny. As she traveled to perform at various shows she met and worked alongside fellow artists who eventually became community leaders and introduced her to many local organizations. In addition to her academic and professional achievements, Hunny has an unrelenting passion for community work. Throughout the years, she has been involved in Project Angkor, Cambodia Town Film Festival, Cambodian Youth Institute, Hearts Without Boundaries, Cambodian Music Festival, Khmer Alumni Association, and United Cambodian Community. Her humble attitude, versatile personality and skills enable her to take on roles and responsibilities based on the needs of the organization’s and community’s needs.
Hunny created Qhmer as a platform to promote positive representation of LGBTQ+ Khmers in both the Cambodian and queer community. She is a strong believer in drawing from her experiences and applying all her knowledge and skills towards effecting positive social change and building her community.
In her hometown of Long Beach, Marian attended California State University, Long Beach where she earned her bachelor's degree in Finance, with a concentration in Investments in May 2013. Prior to graduation, one of her professional career goals was to work for an established aerospace company. The following winter, 6 months after graduation, Marian started her career in Finance/Accounting with Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, in Hawthorne, California.
Marian's involvement within the Cambodian community began during her undergraduate years. As a freshman, she joined Cambodian Student Society (CSS), the longest running Khmer Student Organization, as a member. For the first time in her life, Marian was able to connect with her Cambodian roots. As she embraced her Cambodian-American identity, she realized that many young second generation Cambodian-Americans like herself were underserved and under represented, and lacked the resources and network that many Cambodian-American youths often needed to succeed. This fostered Marian to take action and join the CSS board as Treasurer in 2011-2012. The following year, Marian returned as the president of Cambodian Student Society, and was also linked to many other Cambodian organizations serving Long Beach.
Marian has served with Khmer Alumni Association (KAA) from 2014 to early 2018, and was the Director of Alumni Relations from 2015-2017. Her proudest achievements with KAA includes the Leadership Award, an annual award that honors one individual for their outstanding work with the Cambodian community, and the monthly Alumni Spotlight, a monthly highlight of an outstanding individual who represents the Cambodian-American community professionally or academically.
Treasurer, Committee Member
Aaryanna was born and raised in Long Beach, California and grew up with two families who were refugees from Cambodia. She attended Lakewood High School and graduated as a distinguished scholar with highest honors. During her high school years, she participated in fine arts from dance to choir. Aaryanna is currently a full time student at California State University, Long Beach under the Honors Program and earning her degree in Finance. She is a hard working student who also maintains a part-time job as a supervisor in the food industry.
Growing up with two moms for half of her life, she has learned the importance of Cambodian culture and how it ties with the American culture she lives in today. In addition, she is open to a brighter understanding of equal rights for all folks. She has volunteered her time to the community on different occasions and continues to learn about what the Cambodian community has to offer.
Aaryanna joined Qhmer to grow her academic career in finance by volunteering for an organization she believes in. She also advocates for younger folks who have been raised in LGBTQ families.
Brand Ambassador, Committee Member
Sam's parents were both refugees from Cambodia and first arrived in the Bronx, New York in the late 1980s where he would be their first child born in the United States. His parents moved and resettled in Long Beach, CA where Sam has remained and currently calls home. He graduated from Millikan High School where he was an active student with plenty of school spirit and would excel in both academics and sports. He would later attend California State University, Long Beach and currently works as a phlebotomist at a major hospital.
In the International Imperial Court of Long Beach, Sam has won King of Hearts 2016, Crown Prince 2017, and the 2018-2019 Long Beach Imperial Crown Prince Royal. His journey started for one particular reason, to help a friend that was hungry, right then and there he wanted to make a difference. As he continues to fundraise for local non-profits he realized he would like to continue to move forward and do the same for the Long Beach Cambodian community. Growing up American it was easy to lose some of his connection with his Cambodian community and as he moves forward with his community work he would like to re-learn and bridge the gap about his Cambodian heritage.
After many years of being involved with the International Court of Long Beach, he is ready to take the next step to become the Emperor of Reign 49. Sam decided to join Qhmer in order to move Khmer LGBTQ forward and to learn as much as he can about his Cambodian-American culture.
Kiry was born in a refugee camp in Thailand to Cambodian parents who had survived the killing fields. When they immigrated to Tacoma, Washington, Kiry’s family pioneered the first Cambodian community in Tacoma to do local events within the city and state. From the Dragon Boat Race festival to Cambodian New Years and Summer Khmer language classes to even a Miss Cambodian Washington pageant, Kiry’s family trail blazed the way for other Cambodians to help connect and give back to the community. Kiry’s parents instilled that he keeps his Cambodian culture alive here in the US by preserving the customs and language and bring culture awareness wherever he goes. This is why community work is so important to him and why he has dedicated over 20 years of civic engagement and community service wherever he resides. He believes in equal rights regardless of gender, ethnic group, or sexual orientation. At a young age, he championed for same sex marriage in the state of Washington by canvassing, educating, and advocating marriage for all. At both intersections of his life, he is passionate about growing and developing the Cambodian and LGBT community. He hopes to help build the bridge to both communities so that future Cambodians who identify as LGBTQ can feel safe coming out and feeling accepted in the Cambodian Community. Furthermore, he hopes to make strides to bring progression and inclusion to all communities here in Southern California.
Since education is very important to his mother, she encouraged him to pursue and obtained a degree in higher education. That is why he went to school at the University of Hawai’i in Manoa and received his Bachelor of Science degree in business and fashion. He hopes to start a business one day where he would be able to give back to local communities and help youth and families. Kiry currently resides in Long Beach and works as a community developer and Board of Director of local non-profits.
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Founded August 2018 - Long Beach, CA