NQAPIA The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
WHAT’S NEW IN 2013 LEADERSHIP SUMMIT (P3-8) // IMMIGRATION REFORM (PG 9-11) DESIQ 2013 (PG12) // AAPIS AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE (P16)
About NQAPIA 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. NQAPIA is a project of the Tides Center in San Francisco, CA.
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 Honolulu (in 2013), San Jose (2011), Chicago (2010), Denver (2008) and Oakland (2005). In 2014 we will do a series of Regional Summits. National Conference This conference brings together grassroots LGBT AAPI activists from across the nation. Prior national conferences were in Washington, DC in 2012 (350 attendees) and Seattle in 2009 (250 attendees). New York’s 2004 conference (400 attendees) helped lay the groundwork for NQAPIA’s initial convening. The next national conference will be in 2015. LGBT Immigrants’ Rights We are spearheading an educational and advocacy campaign on immigrants’ rights that includes local community forums and press conferences featuring AAPI immigrants and a national postcard campaign. Multilingual Visibility Campaign NQAPIA aims to improve the visibility of LGBTs in the mainstream AAPI community and of AAPIs 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 includes a descriptive directory of all of the nation’s LGBT AAPI groups, sharing best practices and model documents, fiscal sponsorship, and special trainings/workshops. Participation in Current Issues NQAPIA raises the LGBT AAPI voice in current issues and we promote LGBT AAPI engagement. NQAPIA is a member of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, the coalition of national AAPI advocacy organizations and brings a racial justice lens to the LGBT policy agenda.
Cover Photo Credit: Mia Nakano
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Newsletter Design: Daniel Tomita
NQAPIA STAFF & CONTACT INFO: Glenn D. Magpantay Co-Director of Development
Fayzan Gowani Immigration Consultant
Julia Yang Database Consultant
NQAPIA 233 Fifth Avenue Suite 4A New York, NY 10016 email@example.com
Pabrita Benjamin Immigration Consultant
Luella Garies Volunteer
Roberta Sklar Media Consultant
Steven Cong OCA Intern
Ben de Guzman Co-Director of Programs
Mia Nakano Media Consultant
Elizabeth Duthinh DREAM Intern
NQAPIA 1322 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @nqapia; #nqapia
YouTube: youtube.com/user/nqapia LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups/National Queer-Asian-Pacific-Islander-4673352
NQAPIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Bex Ahuja The Management Center & Q-WAVE Brooklyn, NY Anj Chaudhry CAAAV Brooklyn, NY Vanessa Coe San Francisco, CA Vivian Chung Wharton School of Business UPenn Philadelphia, PA I Li Hsaio Invisible to Invincible (i2i) Chicago, IL
Michelle Lee Koreans United for Equality Los Angeles, CA Joy Messinger Invisible to Invincible (i2i) Chicago, IL Phillip Ozaki Lambda Legal New York, NY Alan Ratliff Gay-Straight Alliance Network Oakland, CA Ryan Shen Q-WAVE Flushing, NY
Mandy Hu San Francisco, CA
Aya Tasaki Audre Lorde Project New York, NY
Aries Liao Q-WAVE New York, NY
Monna Wong API Equality - Northern California San Francisco, CA
Alison Lin Oakland, CA
*Affiliations for identification purposes only.
NQAPIA SUPPORTERS Arcus Foundation Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Queer Justice Fund Ford Foundation Four Freedoms Fund Open Society Foundations Public Interest Projects Walter and Evelyn Haas, Jr. Fund Verizon Caesars Entertainment Hawaiian Airlines National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
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NQAPIA Leadership Summit // HONOLULU, HI
NQAPIA Summit 2013 participants in front of ‘Iolani Palace, the only house of royalty in the United States and where the Queen of the Kingdom of Hawai’i was illegally imprisoned. (Photo Credit: Mia Nakano)
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When someone from the mainland says “I’m going to Hawai`i for a conference,” invariably people’s stereotypes about the islands kicks in and one gets snarky comments about spending more time at the beach than at workshops. NQAPIA broke this stereotype down on July 25-28 when we came to Honolulu for our 2013 Leadership Summit: A Training and Issue Briefing. This time we reached new heights. NQAPIA trained an unprecedented 130 leaders of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. Participants came from over 70 organizations in 19 cities, and Washington, DC, and as far away as Guam and Saipan. It was a jam-packed program of activities, sharing, and growing. Committed to the proper spirit of aloha and mindful of our role as guests on native land, NQAPIA infused cultural practices and learning about the kanaka maoli, or Native Hawaiians, from the beginning protocols to enter local spaces as guests, to ritual chants and dances to celebrate local culture, to the “De Tour” that brought us to traditionally “tourist trap” sites such as the Pearl Harbor Memorial but provided a counter narrative that lifted up indigenous principles of sovereignty and history of militarization and colonization.
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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Fayzan Gowani opens the Leadership Summit; 2. The Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies Halau 3. Mark Keam of the Verizon Foundation welcomes NQAPIA; 4. Leadership Summit; 5. Glenn Magpantay gets laid; 6. Joee Truong of Viet Rainbow Orange County; Tran Le of APIELA and Bex Ahuja of the NQAPIA Board and Task Force; 7. Lee Kava and Nolu Ehu: A Queer Nesian Arts Collective serenades attendees; 8. Mono Ah Nee at Leadership Summit; 9. Jess Delegencia of the Network on Religion and Justice; 10. Native Hawaiian Opening Protocals led by Brad Lum; 11. Esera Tuaolo and Ben de Guzman duet at the Community Catalyst Awards; 12. Cade Watanabe, Local 5 organizer at the Community Catalyst Awards; (Photo Credit: Tricia Tolentino)
HIGHLIGHTS from the • Sessions on organizational development, briefings on local and national issues affecting the AAPI LGBT communities such as immigration, marriage equality and HIV/AIDS, and presentations of NQAPIA’s initiatives and programs.
• Critical learning led by Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders on issues of indigenous communities, the quest for sovereignty, the legacy of colonialism, and the implications on LGBT organizing for their communities on the islands and on the mainland.
• Two pre-Summit convenings. One for students from the different campuses in the University of Hawai`i system and another for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander LGBT leaders from the mainland, Hawai`ian islands and the Pacific Rim. Two dozen activists came together to share collective histories of resilience and struggle as indigenous, queer communities of color.
• With the help of organizers from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, we dispatched 70 attendees to canvass malls, bus stops, grocery stores and the zoo to talk one-on-one with people about immigration reform. We gathered 2,324 postcards calling on the Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform
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e Leadership Summit • The Fifth Annual Community Catalyst Awards had over 200 guests packed into the Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Waikiki. Local personality Moana Meyer emceed with a touch of sass. We honored labor union UNITE HERE Local 5 for their tireless efforts to integrate LGBT social justice with worker’s rights, as well as openly gay, Samoan former NFL player Esera Tuaolo.
We had frank and heart-felt discussions with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander LGBT communities about history and inclusion. And we hit the streets to engage voters in Honolulu about immigration reform. NQAPIA has learned new lessons and has new energy and new partners to work on the issues that matter for all of us.
• A “De-Tour” or demilitarization tour by Hawaii Peace and Justice (formerly AFSC-Hawaii), an educational tour to learn about the specific history of racism, colonization, and militarization of the Hawaiian Islands and NHPIs. This tour included sites such as the ‘Iolani Palace and the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
We are especially grateful to the staff at the University of Hawai`i- Manoa t(UH) who graciously hosted us at the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. NQAPIA is mixing it up for 2014, moving to Regional Summits to expand its work across local geographies around the country, but we’re committed to keeping the spirit of aloha and partnership we learned at the 2013 Summit.
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What People Had to Say “
I cannot say enough magical appreciation and gratitude for the NQAPIA team and board. Every step of the way I’ve felt your loving and committed intention to this work, your humble spirits doing the best you can to dance with changes and challenges, and the way you support and affirm each other and attendees. I know this is hard and heart work and I admire everything you’ve done to put this together.
The Summit was one of the most rewarding events I’ve attended since moving to Hawaii. I was able to take back skills and knowledge from the summit, especially the post carding action. I’ve never done that kind of advocacy work before, and the results turned out in my favor as I enjoyed speaking to [regular everyday non-LGBT] people about the issues affecting the LGBTQ Asian American community.
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For me it takes a lot of courage to ask for any kind of help, especially money. I learned how easy asking your friends for a donation to our organization. I have the tools to be a great fundraiser for my organization here in Honolulu. Much Aloha.
I work with young Queer People of Color in Seattle. I learned a lot about national organizing around HIV/AIDS in API communities which can be resources to our work locally, how to build successful campaigns, and the work being done to support LGBTQ Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians. It was also very helpful to network with similar organizations from across the U.S.
The postcarding action on immigration reform was AWESOME!!! Scary yet so EMPOWERING!
LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: 1. NQAPIA Honors UNITE HERE Local 5 at the Community Catalyst Awards; 2. NQAPIA Board Member Alison Lin speaks at the Community Catalyst Awards; 3. Board Member Alan Ratliff, Law Professor and Race Critical Theorist Mari Matsuda, and Emcee Moana Meyer at the Community Catalyst Awards; 4. Pacific Islanders honor and thank NQAPIA staff and board at the Community Catalyst Awards; (Photo Credit: Tricia Tolentino)
Thank You 2013 Summit Sponsors! DIAMOND SPONSORS • Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services • Ford Foundation JADE SPONSORS • Johnson Family Foundation
The LGBT Pacific Islanders convening was historical, providing a platform for us collectively to express the unique social, cultural and political issues we face and forge alliances that ultimately will impact the lives of LGBT Pacific Islanders. Thank you NQAPIA for bringing us together!
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other leaders in the LGBT leadership community and the emotional aspect of making others aware of how we, as Pacific Islanders, do not always have a voice in the process. NQAPIA allowed us that voice and listen to our concerns. This was the first step in building a stronger community and empower those that were never given the opportunity to be heard.
I want to thank NQAPIA with my core being for putting this together. You guys are wonderful and I aspire to be like all of you. NQAPIA has helped me to come out and be truthful to myself and my values.
LOTUS SPONSORS • Verizon Foundation • Imada Wong Group • Human Rights Campaign • David Bohnett Foundation JASMINE SPONSORS • Hawaiian Airlines • Equality Hawai‘i • Caesars Entertainment • Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement • Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team: Health Center • Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center • Ignatius Bau • Ken Ohashi AIRLINE SPONSOR • Hawaiian Airlines
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Fighting for Immigration Reform The results of the 2012 elections, as well as the strong support of AAPI and Latinos for the re-election for the President brought the prospects for immigration reform ever so close. NQAPIA has been pressing for: • a path to citizenship for the undocumented; • expanded visa programs for both low wage and professional (H1B) workers and students; • legal protections for immigrants; a streamlined process to apply for political asylum; and • protection of family immigration, including extending family sponsorship for adult children, siblings, and same-sex couples. Thanks to additional support from funders, NQAPIA was able to increase its capacity by hiring Fayzan Gowani, a former Congressional staffer and leader with local queer Desi organizations, to help execute a multi-pronged and expansive campaign around comprehensive immigration reform. Some of the facets of this campaign include:
The AAPI voice must be central in the national debate. With the help of media consultants Roberta Sklar and Spitfire, NQAPIA posted eight Op-Eds in HuffingtonPost.com (both the Political page as well as the Gay Voices page), the Rainbow Times (Boston, MA), MetroWeekly (Washington, DC), The Progressive, and India West highlighting LGBT South Asians and Immigration reform. Co-authors included renowned activists such as Rea Carey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Kate Kendall with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Maxwell Ng with QAPA, and Debasri Roy with MASALA, and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
NQAPIA partnered with local AAPI LGBT organizations to hold forums on immigration reform and immigrants’ rights with outreach to the Asian ethnic media in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Durham, NC, and Washington, DC. In Chicago, i2i cosponsored a panel as part of that city’s LGBT Immigration Coalition.
During the summer, over 100 volunteers, on-theground organizers, and staff canvassed local events, neighborhoods, and national conferences to get people to sign postcards in support of immigration reform. Our staff tabled at Pride festivals in Washington, DC, Portland, OR, and the Twin Cities, MN; and spoke at community events and conferences in Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. In partnership with NGLTF, we had organizers in shopping centers, malls, and parks in suburban and rural areas of Central New Jersey, Suburban Virginia, Staten Island, NY, and Portland OR, who collected v signed postcards. NQAPIA is committed to keep fighting for comprehensive immigration reform.
NQAPIA issued a comprehensive analysis of the US Senate’s immigrant bill, S744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act and its impact specifically on LGBT AAPIs.
LEFT TO RIGHT: 1. Moof Mayeda of the Task Force leads Immigration Postcarding Action; 2. Support comprehensive immigration reform!; 3. Laurent from hotpot! collects postcards to Congress to support of immigration reform; 4. Carol Mannion, API San Gabrielle Valley PFLAG campaigns for immigration reform
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Miriam Yeung of the NAPAWF and Ben de Guzman for immigration reform. (Photo Credit: Les Talusan)
5,403 QAPI Postcards to Congress for Immigration Reform On June 26, NQAPIA lead by Tony Choi, an undocumented queer young person from New Jersey, delivered 2,700 postcards to the United States Senate in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Constituents from 40 states sent postcards to press for improvements and passage of the Senate immigration reform bill, S744: The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. States with the largest number of postcards include NY (377 postcards), CA (304), PA (246), MA (212), GA (196), and TX (135). NQAPIA targeted influential Senators: Charles Schumer (D-NY), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Chinese (R-NJ), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). On November 21, 22, and 23, Pabitra Benjamin spearheaded NQAPIA’s delivery of 2,703 postcards to 316 members of the United States House of Representatives. Postcards went to 143 Republicans and 173 Democrats across 41 states. Members received as many as 150 to as few as one or two. But they all carried the same message of urgency. AAPIs comprise 11% of all undocumented immigrants in the United States, but represent 15% of undocumented LGBT immigrants. There are over 4 million people languishing in backlogs of family petitions, about half of whom are waiting to reunite with AAPI families. For these immigrants and the entire community, the time has come for immigration reform. Photo Credit: Tricia Tolentino
Uncovering Our Stories:
AAPI LGBTQ Immigrant Voices Two-thirds of all AAPIs are foreign-born but LGBT AAPI immigrants are often overlooked in the discussion and debate for immigration reform. NQAPIA’s “Uncovering Our Stories” campaign brought a broader diversity of voices to the national debate. We profiled nearly two dozen LGBT AAPIs who showed how immigration reform directly impacted them. They were young people, students, fundraisers, religious leaders, attorneys, partners, siblings, HIV+, undocumented, and asylees seeking freedom from persecution because of their sexual orientation/ gender identity. The stories are available in multiple formats, including a printed booklet, written stories on our website, and on-line videos. These narratives also fight the stereo-
type that immigration reform only affects immigrants and non-citizens. Linda Khoy, an Asian American and LGBT U.S. citizen, told how the current immigration laws threatens to tear her family apart while her sister Lundy awaits deportation. Noel Bordador was undocumented and legalized during the last amnesty program in 1986. He has since become a priest and social worker dedicating his life to the services of others in the U.S. Thanks to Fayzan Gowani, Mia Nakano, Elizabeth Duthinh, Suma Reddy, Elena Chang, and the Asian Pride Project, and Kat Rabbitt Productions.
DesiQ 2013 // By Monica Davis, Trikone Treasurer
At the beginning of this summer, my fiancée (now wife!) asked me, “What are you looking forward to this summer?” Without skipping a beat, I exclaimed, “DESIQ!!!” and then waited a few seconds before realizing I should have said, “our wedding!” (oops, well sort of).
Our programming included an advocacy track, an amazing arts component with panels exploring homoerotic elements in classical dance, poetry, and music, and a decompression space in which folks could express themselves through art, observation, or by chilling out.
Piggy-backing off San Francisco Pride weekend, Trikone hosted DesiQ 2013 at UC-SF from July 4-6. When I (wo)manned the check-in table, I was kept company by the sidled NQAPIA table, which donned informational pamphlets about immigration reform, compelling API LGBTQ statistics, and the opportunities for collaboration and co-creation.
NQAPIA presented on several panels, including an engaging plenary on immigration and what our community can do to mobilize and a workshop on fundraising. I worked with NQAPIA on a marriage equality panel where Glenn presented compelling opinion polls on South Asian views toward same-sex marriage.
Over 250 South Asian LGBTQ community members came together to socialize, learn, and experience. We funded and awarded 125 scholarships, including 14 international scholarships. Trikone has hosted similar conferences in the past: Pride Utsav in 1995; DesiQ 2000 and 2006. DesiQ 2013 was the fourth DesiQ ever.
A sea of South Asians queers is a beautiful sight to behold!– and I got to ogle for three days in a row. We wrapped up the conference with the fabulous DesiQ Gala celebration where nearly 300 folks celebrated hosted by D’Lo. The entire conference was derived by volunteer support.
The conference seeds were planted at the NQAPIA national conference in Washington DC in 2012. A special pre-conference South Asian convening was held to start talking about what DesiQ would look like. For me, it was the first time I was in a room filled with South Asian queer activists. We discussed our shared visions for the conference and when I returned to San Francisco, the real planning began.
NQAPIA’s engagement with the South Asian community was tremendous. At the Summit in Hawaii, South Asians re-grouped to develop a stronger national network. NQAPIA’s support has enabled us to discuss and articulate future goals as a group.
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Regional Roundup Local AAPI LGBT organizations have done cutting edge work in partnership with NQAPIA. To promote visibility, NQAPIA also provides financial assistance for local AAPI LGBT organizations to do outreach at non-LGBT AAPI cultural events and ethnic festivals. Here’s a brief snapshot: Boston, MA: Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (QAPA) and MASALA (Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Alliance) partnered with NQAPIA to host an LGBT Immigration Forum and co-authored an Op-Ed that ran in The Rainbow Times on immigration. QAPA also hosted a table at the Quincy Lunar New Year Festival. Philadelphia, PA: Hotpot! also hosted a table at the 7th Month Celebration in Franklin Square Park. Megumi Ellen Kanada said, “It was a good effort by our volunteers to interact and tell people about hotpot!. Most people where kind to us. People liked that we had candy and balloons to give away.”
Chicago, IL: i2i API Pride of Chicago gave out flyers as they marched in the Lunar New Year Parade. Carson, CA: Barangay- LA worked with NQAPIA to staff a table at the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture. New York, NY: For APA Heritage Month, local groups came together to host an LGBT Asian American/ South Asian Lawyers Networking Reception. Over 85 members of the bar “came out” and the event was jointly sponsored by LGBT and APA lawyers associations and law firms. San Francisco, CA: API Equality- Northern California’s work on comprehensive immigration included marching during the national day of action and a panel with New American Media.
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Trikone-Chicago // By Naomi Lahiri, Trikone-Chicago Board Member
This has been a pivotal year for Trikone-Chicago with wide and diverse programming and a growing Executive Board. In April, NQAPIA fiscally sponsored Trikone-Chicago for a fundraiser. We rented an Art Gallery in River North with a short lecture on cultural diversity in South Asia and classical Indian dance performances from South India. The money raised helped our members and allies represent the Queer South Asian community in Chicago’s Annual Pride Parade. In July, two Trikone-Chicago board members attended the NQAPIA summit. The summit reinforced the importance of the work that Trikone-Chicago was already doing to create a safer, inclusive and more comfortable space for minority sub-groups within the South Asian LGBT community. Trikone-Chicago started a collaboration with i2i (Invisible to Invincible: Asian and Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago) to create Transcend, a support group for trans* people of Asian descent. The summit also gave the board members inspiration on how to launch a sexual health awareness campaign. We are partnering with the Chicago Department of Public Health to put together safe sex kits and we are also planning a video campaign. Trikone-Chicago is continuing our Family & Friends Gathering (PFLAG), Jai Ho danceparties, potlucks, Ladies’ Night, and movie nights/screenings. We look forward to working together with NQAPIA on future initiatives. Keep up with us at www.trikonechicago.org
Stay Connected to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force! Hooray for Our Allies Many AAPI advocacy organizations made supportive statements around the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions striking down California’s Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which denied same-sex couples access to federal protections such as Social Security benefits, health insurance, and retirement benefits. Those allies who came out in support of LGBTs were:
• Advancing Justice • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) • Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) • OCA (formerly Organization of Chinese Americans) • South Asian American Leading Together (SAALT) NAPABA’s statement noted that “Anti-miscegenation laws, which denied Asian Pacific Americans the right to marry freely, have a shameful history in our country. Americans of all races, sex, color, creed, or sexual orientation should have the right to marry the person they love and be treated equally under the law.” NAPABA joined amicus briefs in both cases.
Task Force organizers have been reliving the excitement from the NQAPIA Leadership Summit because… we loved being with more than 135 queer Pacific Islanders, South Asians, Southeast Asians and Asian Americans! We want to stay connected to you and here are 3 fabulous ways to do just that: • The Online Organizing Academy: Want more skills training from real organizers working to build power for LGBT people and our allies? Want to boost your fundraising skills and lobbying skills? Enroll today and get free access to tools, script templates and full courses that will help you build grassroots power for your community! www.theTaskForce.org/onlineacademy • Creating Change: The Annual Conference on LGBT Equality: Registration is open for the Task Force’s 26th Annual gathering of more than 3,000 activists, happening Jan 29–Feb 2 in Houston, Texas. You definitely don’t want to miss this one! And, registering is the only way to attend the awesome AAPI Day-Long Institute and don’t forget to drop by the Academy for Leadership and Action’s annual family reunion! www. CreatingChange.org • Naming Our Destiny Project: Through Naming Our Destiny, we work to build the power of Q(T)POC organizations and networks by sharing resources and providing technical assistance to achieve systemic change that improves the lives of queer and transgender people of color through organizing. Partnerships last for 3 to 6 months and are co-designed to provide tailored capacity building, coaching, and side-by-side work that supports additional capacity building to reach the organization’s goals. This year we partnered with API Equality LA and NQAPIA. For more information, contact Causten Wollerman at email@example.com.
OCA’s statement was even more daring. “Although I am glad that the end result of the Supreme Court’s decision was a step forward for civil rights, I do not believe that they went far enough,” says Tom Hayashi, OCA Executive Director, “The Supreme Court should have paved the way to legalize same-sex marriage across all fifty states.”
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Strengthening the Infrastructure of the LGBT AAPI Community // By Alice Y. Hom, AAPIP’s Queer Justice Fund Director
Do you know how much foundation money went to LGBT organizations and programs in 2011? The answer is $123 million. Out of that, LGBT AAPI organizations and programs received a paltry $1.83 million, which is 1.49% of the total LGBT funding for that year. As a response to the lack of funding for LGBT AAPI communities and lack of support for AAPI community organizations to integrate a sexuality lens and LGBT issues into their social justice work, AAPIP (Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy) created the Queer Justice Fund (QJF).
To address the fragile infrastructure of LGBT AAPI organizations, the Queer Justice Fund began implementing the report’s recommendations by developing QJF BRIDGE, a two-year demonstration project for LGBT AAPI and ally organizations focused on organizational capacity building, leadership development, and strengthening networks. With a seed grant from the Ford Foundation, this capacity building program is co-created with five selected organizations: API Equality Los Angeles, API Equality Northern California, Freedom, Inc., NQAPIA, and PrYSM.
Last year, the Queer Justice Fund released the report Missed Opportunities: How Organized Philanthropy Can Help Meet the Needs of LGBTQ AAPI Communities. AAPIP’s research found that the capacity and infrastructure of LGBT AAPI groups varies widely with the level of engagement with their membership, their leadership and volunteer development, and program work. Many LGBT AAPI groups survive financially on individual donations, in-kind support, and fundraising events. Groups wishing to launch large-scale campaigns or programs may be hampered by the lack of support from organized philanthropy.
This QJF BRIDGE cohort has met three times and has dedicated time to think strategicallyon the state of movement building and to learn more about strengthening their organizations’ capacity to better serve LGBT AAPI communities. This cohort of 5 staffed organizations will be key in shifting public attitudes and policy debates on issues of LGBT equality and in building networks, capacity and resources among LGBT and ally organizations in communities of color.
Asian American Attitudes Towards Same Sex Marriage: Much Work Still Needed
FILIPINO ASIAN INDIAN
ALL ASIAN AMERICANS
ARAB 6% 9%
20% 25% 19%
41% 50% 50%
Most Americans now support the right of same-sex couples to legally marry. Yet, an exit poll by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) revealed a lack of support, if not outright opposition, to same-sex marriage among Asian Americans. AALDEF polled 9,096 Asian American voters in the November 2012 elections. The poll was conducted in 14 states in twelve Asian languages. It was the largest multilingual exit poll of its kind and it was the first time that Asian American support for same-sex marriage had been polled on such a national and representative scale. Unfortunately, Asian American voters did not support the right of same-sex couples to legally marry. Only 37% supported same-sex marriage. Almost half (48%) were opposed. 15% were undecided. This was consistent for each Asian ethnic group. The greatest opposition came from Asian Americans who were foreign-born, limited English proficient and older. Only 15% of Asian Americans who were limited English proficient supported same-sex marriage. Majority support did not break by gender, college education, or Democratic Party affiliation either. There was little variation in support/opposition among men and women, those with a college education, or party enrollment. Support for same-sex marriage was higher among Asian American Democrats at 43%, than Republicans at 21% and those not enrolled in any political party at 34%. But there are some positive signs. The greatest support came from Asian American voters who were native-born, younger, and fully English proficient. For example, 75% of Asian Americans born in the U.S. and 65% of 18-29 year olds supported same-sex marriage. Political Scientist Ken Sherrill who ran the post-Prop 8 survey observed that “These numbers are even higher than the overall population’s support for same-sex marriage.” Finally, there is a large movable middle that can be swayed on this issue. For example one in five (18%) of Chinese and Indians were undecided. These are the two largest Asian ethnic groups. Prior to AALDEF’s exit poll, there was very little data on Asian American voter support for same-sex marriage. The findings underscores that more education on same-sex marriage, particularly in Asian languages and in Asian ethnic media outlets is needed.
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AAPI Parents of LGBTs Faith Corner are Empowered!
// By Jess Delegencia, Network on Religion and Justice and Center of Lesbian and Gay Studies for Religion and Ministry.
// By Clara Yoon, API Project Founder and PFLAG NYC Board Member
Since the Parents Convening at NQAPIA’s National Conference in 2012, API parents and NQAPIA have developed strong partnership to build resources and expand outreach. One such project includes creation of a multi-lingual, one page pamphlet for parents, family and community members to better understand API LGBTQ individuals. This year several parents attended NQAPIA’s Leadership Summit. They include Harold & Ellen Kameya, long time activists from LA, Marsha Aizumi, PFLAG National Board Member, Lori Hawkins, PFLAG Regional Director, Carol Mannion, Chapter President of SGV API PFLAG, and Clara Yoon, Founder of API Project in PFLAG NYC. We held a Parent’s Caucus to share best practices and we ran a survey to help shape the content of this one-page pamphlet. Survey data collected reaffirmed the importance of addressing the stigma and shame factor in the API community as well as family’s fear and misconception on LGBTQ individuals. We left the Summit inspired and empowered with renewed determination to grow a supportive parent base and foster acceptance.
There are wide gaps between the API LGBT and the LGBT faith communities. The Asian Pacific Islander Roundtable (a project of the Center of Lesbian and Gay Studies for Religion and Ministry (CLGS)) and the Network on Religion and Justice for API LGBTQ People (NRJ) are changing this. NQAPIA has ensured that the faith community has a place at the table in its conferences and convenings. At the NQAPIA Summit, Lauren Quock and Jess Delegencia of NRJ shared resources including NRJ’s “In God’s House,” a breakthrough film about Asian American LGBT families in the church, and CLGS’ “Valuing Families: Christian Education for the household of God,” a bible study training curriculum designed to move API faith communities forward towards full inclusion of LGBT peoples. Lauren, Jess, and Tracy Nguyen of API Equality-NC led a session “Radical Welcome.” We encouraged people to recover indigenous API practices of hospitality and inclusion and translate them towards membership retention and organizational growth. This continued in the San Francisco Bay Area where our three organizations launched the Pink Elephant Project. It’s a one-of-a-kind storytelling and education project that brings together a cohort of API LGBTQ people of faith and allies to build community, record their stories, and develop skills to promote greater understanding of LGBTQ people in API faith communities. We are grateful to NQAPIA for their role in facilitating collaborations and helping bridge the gap between racial and religious identities.
NQAPIANEWS | 2013
Photo Credit: Tricia Tolentino
What’s Keeping The NQAPIA Board Busy // By Joy Messinger, NQAPIA Board Co-Chair and i2i Core Member Alison Lin, began in 2011 and immediately became Co-Chair. As I move into the new Board Co-Chair, I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and Alison’s leadership and vision. We also welcomed three new board members - I Li Hsiao, Michelle Lee, and Alan Ratliff. 2014 is already shaping up to be a packed year for the Board. We will be wrapping up a year-long strategic planning process, convening activists at Creating Change in Houston, and embarking on a series of Regional Summits. 2015 will bring another National Conference, with even more opportunities to bring additional activists, leaders, organizations, and Board Members into NQAPIA’s work. 2013 was an exciting year for NQAPIA, and through it all, NQAPIA’s Board has remained busy. Board members devote time and talents, donate, fundraise, and guide the organization’s strategy and direction. We meet quarterly, serve on committees, support NQAPIA’s summits and conferences, and represent NQAPIA in the community in between. Three Board Members transitioned in their leadership. Mala Nagarajan has been a part of NQAPIA before we had a name or a mission and in addition to serving on the Board since 2010, was one our first paid staff. Rekha Bachwani joined the Board in 2012, served as our Treasurer and provided technology and website support. NQAPIA is grateful to Mala and Rekha as they leave the Board.
Serving on the Board remains rewarding, despite the challenges that we sometimes face in not only guiding the work of a nonprofit organization in today’s economic and political landscape but also in ensuring that the NQAPIA umbrella remains broad, inclusive, and mindful of everyone in our LGBTQ AAPI communities. NQAPIA is currently accepting applications for Board members starting in 2014. If you are interested, please visit our website to learn more.
NQAPIANEWS | 2013
LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER ORGANIZATIONS Pacific Northwest • Shades of Yellow (SOY), Minneapolis, MN • Invisible-to-Invincible: API Pride of Chicago • Trikone, Chicago, IL
• API Queers United for Action Washington, DC • Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters, Washington, DC • hotpot!, Philadelphia, PA • Khush-DC, Washington, DC • NAPAWF-DC LGBTQ Committee Washington, DC
Mid-Atlantic/Metro DC Area
• Dari Project • Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York • QWAVE • South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) • Barangay – NY
Greater New York City Area
• API Pride, Portland, OR • Trikone-Northwest, Seattle, WA • UTOPIA-Seattle • Project Q of APIFWSC-Chaya, Seattle, WA
• • • •
• Asian Queers and Allies (AQUA), Durham, NC Queer & Asian, Houston, TX Trikone- Atlanta, GA Khush Texas, Austin, TX VAYLA- New Orleans
• Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (MASALA) Boston, MA • Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance (QAPA), Boston, MA • Southeast Asian Queers United for Empowerment & Leadership (seaQuel), Providence, RI
Northern California • API Equality-Northern California • Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community Gay Asian Pacific Alliance South Bay Queer and Asian, San Jose Trikone UTOPIA-San Francisco • • • •
API Pride Council API Equality, Los Angeles Asian American Queer Women Activists Barangay-Los Angeles Satrang Gay Asian Pacific Support Network Koreans United for Equality (KUE) UTOPIA-San Diego Viet Rainbow, Orange County
Southern California • • • • • • • • •
Save the Dates in 2014: NQAPIA Regional Leadership Summits
Trainings and issue-briefings for leaders of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations. • California in Fresno hosted by NQAPIA – July 25-27 (tentative) • The South in Atlanta, hosted by local activists – April 4-6 • Midwest in Minneapolis hosted by Shades of Yellow – Aug. 8-10 • Pacific Northwest in Portland, hosted by API Pride – April 11-13 • Northeast / Mid-Atlantic in Philadelphia hosted by hotpot! – July 11-13 or 18-20
National LGBT Asian / South Asian Newseltter-2013