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NQAPIA

news

summer 2010

Queer Immigrants’ Rights Transgress Transform Transcend “Queer, Asian & Proud” in Many Languages Queer Asian Compass Being Counted in 2010 At the Table & 8 Reasons


Who is The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism.

www.NQAPIA.org

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NQAPIA NQAPIA hosts community forums across the US NQAPIA’s national conference of LGBT AAPI activists in Seattle Multilingual anti-homophobia LGBT AAPI visibility campaign New directory of LGBT AAPI orgs Census 2010 partners with NQAPIA to reach LGBT AAPI communities Working with Capitol Hill and the White House Why we march for America

Queer Immigrants’ Rights Transgress Transform Transcend “Queer, Asian & Proud” in Many Languages Queer Asian Compass Being Counted in 2010 At the Table & 8 Reasons


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Queer AAPI Speak Out Immigrants Across the US NQAPIA hosts Forums on Queer Immigrants’ Rights in up to twelve cities NQAPIA in collaboration with several local LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations and allies hosted a series of community forums on immigrants’ rights in various cities.

Many more people attended than expected, pointing to the urgency and interest of the issue. Immigrant speakers put a real face on the campaign and told their stories of being undocumented, denied asylum, or separated from their partners or families. The forums also featured experts and advocates who reviewed various immigration reform issues. Some particular successes:

Boston, MA NQAPIA hosted a forum at Northeastern Law School in conjunction with NQAPIA federation members MASALA, QAPA, as well as Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. Over 120 people attended and the panelists led a great discussion. The very diverse audience included allies and partners.

Providence, RI The youth at PrYSM and seaQUEL really stepped forward. The forum attracted two Rhode Island State Legislators, Frank Ferri (D-Warwick) and Scott Slater (D-Providence). PrYSM members have continued to engage immigration issues, including sending a contingent to Arizona in response to the anti-immigrant SB 1070 bill.

Cover & Title pages:  Panel members at New York City Queer immigrant Rights Forum at the Asian American Writers Workshop / Above:  Audience at New York City Left:  Philadelphia Queer Immigrants’ Rights forum

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Queers Asians took over the Asian American Arts Alliance for a remarkable evening. Some organizers were only thinking that 20 people would show up, but 115 people came out to hear from queer immigrants, the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizen Coalition, and Philadelphia Queer Asians. Philadelphia Gay News ran a photo of the event.

Chicago, IL I2I, Trikone–Chicago and Akabaka productions put on a great discussion in Congressman Luis Gutierrez’s (D-IL) backyard. It was a perfect backdrop to discuss the bill he introduced on immigration reform. The Windy City Times covered the event, and organizers announced two buses of LGBT “Rainbow Riders” headed to the national March for America in Washington, DC.

Atlanta, GA The Georgia Voice LGBT newspaper ran a story previewing the Atlanta LGBT Immigration Forum, the Phillip Rush Center was filled to capacity as leading voices in Atlanta’s Asian American and Latino communities spoke about both national politics on reform, as well as current local and state initiatives.

Recognizing NQAPIA’s work, The White House invited NQAPIA and several national LGBT organizations for an LGBT Immigration Meeting on March 19. They met with key policy and outreach staff, including White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz and Office of Public Engagement Director Tina Tchen. NQAPIA began the discussion around family immigration and the need to ensure family immigration fixes. For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May, NQAPIA held a national press conference to raise the voices of AAPI LGBT undocumented immigrants as part of its recognition of AAPI Heritage Month. Coverage of the event was featured on www.365gay.com

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The packed house listened to narratives from undocumented immigrants and a panel of experts, including: NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens), the openly gay Chair of the City Council’s Immigration Committee; Miriam Yeung of NAPAWF and Trishala Deb from Arcus. The Forum was recorded and uploaded in its entirety by the program OutFM, and was also covered by media outlets such as the WBAI Asia Pacific Forum, Sing Tao and Asian Journal.

Additional forums are planned for cities such as: Washington, DC; Houston; Minneapolis; Seattle; Portland; and Honolulu.

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Philadelphia, PA

We need a path to citizenship for all immigrants including those who are LGBT

New York, NY

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Se attl e , WA

Transgress was the theme of NQAPI Transform conference, held on Augu The three-day conference Transcend for 250 LGBT AAPI activi

come together, recharge,

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Ninety workshops and speakers increased awareness on current issues confronting LGBT AAPIs. Topics covered civil rights, skills building, health and wellness, culture, identity, and organizing. Caucuses based on geography, ethnicity, and for women, youth, bisexual, transgender, and multiracial Asians helped people to connect.

The keynote speakers included Dakota, a youth spoken word performer, Mala and Vega, South Asian activists and plaintiffs in Washington’s marriage equality lawsuit, Mia Mingus, a disabled Korean adoptee leading a major reproductive justice organization in The South, and a panel of leaders from allied national organizations, including the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Al-Fatiha Foundation, and Audre Lorde Project.

We need [immigration reform] for those LGBT people who have been in the U.S. since childhood and know no other home

Participants raved about the empowering, safe, culturally affirming, and politically progressive space. Just being together was transformative.


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We need the DREAM Act to allow LGBT immigrant youth access to higher education

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IA’s national LGBT AAPI activist ust 14–16, 2009 in Seattle, WA. e was a remarkable opportunity ists across the country to , learn, and strategize.

On Saturday night, API Equality‑SF & API Equality-LA were awarded the NQAPIA Community Catalyst Award for their cutting edge work and campaign to vote No on Proposition 8 in California. That evening, participants also heard from Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado and their two sons, Jashley and Jorrien. Shirley Tan was arrested and faces deportation. The family was profiled in People Maga-

zine and testified before Congress in support of allowing citizens to petition for their same-sex immigrant partners for residency and visas. The conference networked LGBT AAPI activists and organizations across the country. NQAPIA was able to provide support to recently founded groups, and gave space and resources for other national networks to grow, such as APLBTN who hosted a women and trans convening, and PrYSM in Rhode Island who coordinated a national Southeast Asian gathering. These opportunities will help us all achieve much more in the future.

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“Queer, Asian & Proud” in Many Multilingual anti-homophobia Languages LGBT AAPI visibility campaign Notwithstanding the gay pride slogan “We’re Here! We’re Queer! We’re everywhere!” LGBT AAPIs are often invisible in the mainstream Asian American community and overlooked in the LGBT community.

ties. We will translate pieces into various Asian languages, including Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hmong, Khmer, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bangla, Urdu, and Tagalog.

This invisibility has allowed bias to fester. For example, multilingual exit polls by APALC in California found that the majority of older, foreign-born, and limited English proficient Asian Americans voted in support of Proposition 8, to ban same-sex marriage. 80% of all Asian Americans speak a language other than English in their homes.

Some ideas include basic educational materials about being LGBT, postcards, posters and stickers. The postcards may have images of LGBT AAPIs with a translated message, “I support same-sex marriage. I support immigrants’ rights. I am Queer Asian and proud.” This allows for some expression of the intersectionality of our community and can build awareness. We must engage the community on its own terms and in the language/s it speaks.

NQAPIA is planning a multilingual campaign to increase the visibility of LGBT AAPIs and to counter homophobia in immigrant communi-

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We need better understanding of the homophobic mores and laws around the world in light of LGBT asylum seekers

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Above:  NQAPIA has created multilingual public-education documents, such as this statement of principles on comprehensive

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immigration reform in languages

N Q A P IA N e ws summer 2010

including Urdu, Bangla, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.


The new descriptive directory of LGBT AAPI organizations in the US

Queer Asian Compass

A Descriptive Directory of Lesbian, Gay, Asian Ameri Bisexual, and can, South Transgender Asian, and (LGBTQ) Pacific Island er (AAPI) Organ izations

NQAPIA published “Queer Asian Compass: A Descriptive Directory of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Asian American, South Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations.” It is a first-ever comprehensive overview of the 35 LGBT AAPI community organizations across the nation.

The profile book describes the social, support, educational, outreach, and political activities of the groups. It showcases local campaigns to counter anti-gay bias and how local activists have organized around media defamation, immigrants’ rights, and marriage equality. It provides comparative information about the infrastructure, capacity, memberships, finances and challenges of the organizations. Some are well established; others are just starting out.

NQAPIA is proud to present this first-ever snapshot into the state of the LGBT AAPI community. Copies can be downloaded at: www.nqapia.org/publications.html

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The diverse array of activities of LGBT AAPI organizations have built community for a group that has often been marginalized. “Queer Asian Compass” tells of organizations’ efforts to challenge racism in the gay community and homophobia in AAPI communities. The groups have done very much with very little resources.

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Queer Asian Compass

We need to stop the deportation of undocumented LGBT immigrants to hostile environments.

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v isibility

Being Counted in 2010 Census 2010 partners with NQAPIA to reach LGBT AAPI communities

NQAPIA launched a multilingual education campaign about Census 2010. NQAPIA educated LGBT AAPIs about the importance of the census; its impact on community resources, civil rights enforcement, and political representation; and the unique issues for same-sex couples, immigrants, and Asian Americans. We developed brochures on the Census in Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Hindi We participated in community, funder, and congressional briefings about the importance of the Census for the LGBT community. NQAPIA joined the “Our Families Count” campaign, a national LGBT Census Complete Committee. We were the only AAPI group involved in the campaign and one of the few organizations directly representing communities of color. NQAPIA’s work highlighted the intersection of race and sexual orientation. LGBT AAPIs are an emerging, but often marginalized, segment of the both the mainstream gay and Asian American communities. With this work, we hope to turn back the tide.

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N Q A P I A N e ws summer 2010

Top:  Robert Groves, U.S Census Bureau Director, with Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA staff


In a short amount of time, NQAPIA has emerged as a voice for AAPI LGBT communities. NQAPIA is often invited to discuss issues of concern in both AAPI and LGBT communities with national policymakers in Washington, DC. Some of these include:

The Urgency for Immigration Reform: Shortly after the March for America, NQAPIA joined a panel discussion on comprehensive immigration reform on Capitol Hill cosponsored by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and Campus Progress. The panel included Members of Congress such as Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. Eni Faleomaveaga (D-American Samoa), and Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY), along with other community advocates and leaders.

The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE): On February 24, 2010, NQAPIA Co-Director Ben de Guzman met with key staff including Brian Bond, OPE Deputy Director, and Kalpen Modi, OPE Associate Director and Liaison to AAPI constituencies. The meeting identified opportunities for improved communication between NQAPIA and the White House’s policy and community outreach efforts.

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Working with Capitol Hill and the White House

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At the Table

We need relief for those in our communities who have fallen into the currently untenable system of enforcement that is focused on border enforcement and deportation at the expense of basic protections of due process and livable conditions in detention centers

participation

U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS): On April 6, 2010, NQAPIA was invited to a special discussion about the unique needs of LGBT communities of color in the implementation of the newly passed Matthew Shepherd/James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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We need a policy that keeps families together, but it should not be solely reliant on marital status, which itself is denied to LGBT American citizens.

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M WE AMER FOR

About NQAPIA Current Programs Annual Training and Issue Briefing for Leaders of LGBT AAPI organizations This weekend long summit focuses on networking, learning about current issues, sharing strategies, building local organizational infrastructure, and building national collaborative programs. Prior convenings were held in Denver in 2008 and Oakland, CA in 2005. Our next training will be held in Chicago in 2010 and California in 2011.

National Conference

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Multilingual Visibility Campaign NQAPIA aims to improve the visibility of LGBTs in the mainstream Asian American community and of Asian Americans in the broader LGBT community. This multilingual education campaign includes outreach to the Asian ethnic media and educational pieces translated into several Asian languages.

Capacity Building Resources, Workshops, and Trainings

This conference brings together grassroots LGBT AAPI activists from across the nation. Prior national conferences were in Seattle in 2009 (250 attendees) and New York in 2004 (400 attendees). Washington, DC is proposed for the next conference in 2012.

This includes a descriptive directory of all of the nation’s LGBT AAPI groups, organizational tool kit with best practices and model documents, fiscal sponsorship, and special trainings/workshops. This past year, NQAPIA staff presented at the following conferences: NGLTF Creating Change, ECAASU, OCA, Advancing Justice, and FIND.

LGBT Immigrants’ Rights and Immigration Reform

Participation in Current Issues

We are engaged in an educational and advocacy campaign that includes a series of local community forums on LGBT immigrants’ rights featuring immigration attorneys, advocates, and immigrants and a national postcard campaign.

NQAPIA raises the LGBT AAPI voice in current issues and we promote LGBT AAPI engagement. Some examples include the Equality March on Washington in 2009, the Immigrants’ Rights March on Washington in 2010, and Census 2010.


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Glenn D. Magpantay

Co-Director of Programs

Co-Director of Development

www.nqapia.org nqapia@gmail.com

NQAPIA P.O. Box 65238 Washington, DC 20035-5238

NQAPIA 233 Fifth Avenue Suite 4A New York, NY 10016

NQAPIA is a project of the Tides Center in San Francisco, CA

Board of directors as o f J uly 2010 / Aff iliations for identification p u rp os e s on ly

Becca Ahuja

Karl Kimpo

Tawal Panyacosit

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, New York, NY

Chicago, IL

API Equality Northern California

Jun-Fung Chueh

QWAVE, Queens, NY

Community Health Awareness Council, Mountain View, CA

Asha Leong

Alain Dang API Equality Northern California

Aries Liao

Ryan Shen QWAVE, Brooklyn, NY

COLAGE, Atlanta, GA

Liz Thomson

Rakesh Modi

I2I Chicago, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Trikone, San Francisco, CA

Kit Yan

Lance Dwyer

Mala Nagarajan

API Wellness Center, San Francisco, CA

Creative Collaborations, Rockville, MD

Sel Hwahng

Phil Ozaki

IGLHRC, Brooklyn, NY

Japanese American Citizens League, Washington, DC

Loren Javier

Good Asian Drivers, QAPA, New York, NY

Tom Yang Pacific Northwest Queer API Alliance, Seattle, WA

Lambda Legal, Los Angeles, CA

Supporters Arcus Foundation Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Asian Americans/Pacific Islander in Philanthropy

Harrah’s Entertainment National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Resist Fund

Boof: Becca Ahuja & Moof Mayeda

Seattle Pride Foundation

Glenn D. Magpantay

U.S. Census Bureau

Haas, Jr. Foundation

United Airlines

Thank You!

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Ben de Guzman

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Staff & Contact Information

We need the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) that would allow bi-national LGBT couples to petition for each other in the same way that straight married spouses can

WE AMER FOR

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leaders, advocates, and families converge on Washington, DC to March for America. We bring with us diverse perspectives, and divergent viewpoints to talk about comprehensive immigration reform. For those of us who are both Asian American and LGBT, we proudly claim the mantle of activism. We refuse to succumb to the idea that one has to suffer at the expense of the other. We know what it means to live at the intersections of these different movements. Some within the LGBT movement only embrace what they consider to be a “gay issue,” but for LGBT people who are immigrants these are issues of our very survival. We also know that some of the most hate filled words and deeds committed against us have unfortunately come from our own churches, communities and even our families- often forcing us to “choose” between being a part of our ethnic community and being LGBT. We know this and this is why we march.

hy e March or merica

reasons

On Sunday, March 21, thousands of community

We take part in the March for America and bring our entire selves and the full scope of our experience to this movement. We stand on the principle that comprehensive immigration reform must be truly comprehensive and include ALL our families, straight and gay alike. Immigration reform, as well as LGBT equality, is a controversial issue on Capitol Hill and the intersection between them even more so. We know this and this is why we march.

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We need a path to citizenship for all immigrants, including those who are LGBT.

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We need a policy that keeps families together, but it should not be solely reliant on marital status, which itself is denied to LGBT American citizens.

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We need the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) that would allow bi-national LGBT couples to petition for each other in the same way that straight married spouses can.

We need this for those LGBT people who have been in the U.S. since childhood and know no other home. We need the DREAM Act to allow LGBT immigrant youth access to higher education. We need better understanding of the homophobic mores and laws around the world in light of LGBT asylum seekers. We need to stop the deportation of undocumented LGBT immigrants to hostile environments. We need relief for those in our communities who have fallen into the currently untenable system of enforcement that is focused on border enforcement and deportation at the expense of basic protections of due process and livable conditions in detention centers.

We know this and this is why we march.

These are the issues at stake for us as both immigrants and LGBT families. We know they are, in fact, all “gay issues.” As the debate in Congress continues, what is required of us is not simple they inclusion of LGBT issues in immigration reform, but an LGBT analysis OF immigration reform. By seeing what is at stake for us in all the provisions, we can articulate a social justice movement that really does include all of us. As a matter of principle, inclusiveness is the right thing to do. As a matter of coalition politics, it is also the smart thing to do. We know this and this is why we march. N QAPIA N ews summer 2010

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A Federation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Asian Pacific Islander Organizations

Northern California

Greater New York Area

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA), San Francisco

Barangay–NY

Trikone, San Francisco Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Coalition (APIQWTC), Bay Area Asian Pacific Islander Equality, San Francisco South Bay Queer and Asian, San Jose Vietnamese Gay Alliance, San Jose

Southern California

Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) Q-Wave South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA)

Mid-Atlantic/ Metro DC Area API Queers United for Action (AQUA) Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS)

API Pride Council, Los Angeles

Khush-DC

API Equality-Los Angeles

Queer Philadelphia Asians (QPA)

Gay Asian Pacific Support Network (GAPSN), Los Angeles Barangay – The Gay Filipino Organization of Los Angeles Satrang, Southern California Chinese Rainbow Association, La Habra Asian American Queer Women Activists (AQWA), Los Angeles

Midwest Invisible-to-Invincible, API Pride of Chicago Shades of Yellow (SOY), Minneapolis, MN Trikone-Chicago

Pacific Northwest

South and Southeast

Trikone-Northwest, Seattle, WA

Trikone Atlanta, GA

API Pride, Portland, OR

Queer & Asian, Houston, TX

New England

National

Southeast Asian Queers United for Empowerment & Leadership (seaQuel), Providence, RI

Al-Fatiha Foundation

Queer Asian Pacific Alliance (QAPA), Boston, MA Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (MASALA)

Asian Pacific Lesbian Bisexual Women and Transgender Network (APLBTN)


NQAPIA newsletter 2010  
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