QAPA is excited to partner with NQAPIA, MAP for Health, PRYSM, MASALA and GLAD to address the policies that substantially impact LGBT Asian lives.
Please join us for an evening focused on Comprehensive Immigration Reform and how it impacts LGBT Asian Americans. Share your/your family’s story or come to listen. Refreshments and refreshing conversation will be provided. You bring the networking and community. We’ll bring the latest information locally and nationally about the national debate around immigrants’ rights and how YOU can get involved!
Thursday, March 21st, 6:30pm
Held at MAP for Health, 324 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 35,000 same sex bi-national couples where one partner is a US citizen or legal permanent resident and the other is a foreign national. There are over 400,000 Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, over 60% of them are immigrants.
With President Obama passing the Dream Act, the time is NOW for comprehensive immigration reform.
A few weeks ago, our friends John and Belinda at API Famnily Pride poised the question, “How Do We Make The Transgender Community Part Of Our Conversation?
It’s kind of a funny question to ask, since Trans* people are and have been the backbone of the Queer Civil Rights movement.
During Barack Obama’s speech during his inauguration, he passionately linked three locations together: Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement, Selma, the birthplace of the black civil rights movement, and Stonewall, the bar that is often cited as the birthplace of the LGBT civil rights movement.
Note that I said the birthplace of L-G-B-T civil rights. I did not say gay civil rights.
NPR, has since graciously offered a quick history lesson to any who didn’t understand the President’s three references. But in all the synopses of the Stonewall Riots, the “historic” voice was so narrowly presented that anyone reading/listening can easily deny the richness that sparked the next 40 years of civil rights activism. The people who rioted for FIVE DAYS were transvestites and bull daggers and drag queens and cross dressers and nancy boys and fags and faeries and butches and femmes and people like you and people like me. Some of them were on the fringes of society, and yes, it can be argued that some of them were on the fringes of queer society. But they were there and they were the reason why City Hall plaza flies a rainbow flag, and why Pride is celebrated in June.
People often like to separate out the T from the LGB community. I understand. I am a self identified transman, and I can tell you that my own personal journey of identity has been focused around gender and NOT sexuality; a key distinctive difference. However gender expression is such a crucial and HISTORIC piece of the queer rights movement, and safeguarding gender identity is not just protection for Trans* people. It’s protection for everyone who does not fit the image of Suzy Homemaker of John Q. Public. It protects butch lesbians and effeminate men and everyone who isn’t David or Victoria Beckham.
So as we go forward and divide up among our respective Ls, Gs, Bs and Ts, let’s try to remember that it was once “us” verse “them”. And as I sit here wrapped in the comfortable blanket that those brave souls fought to provide for me, I ask you to remember the cataclysmic movement where we defined our spirit of unity and defiance TOGETHER in the face of opposition.
Having a snake in your house is a good omen, because it means you’ll never starve.
Come celebrate with QAPA at Chow Chau City at our annual Lunar New Year Dinner! We’ll eat, drink, and be merry together.
For the first time, QAPA will have a presence at the Quincy Lunar New Year festival on Sunday, Feb 24th. We would love some volunteers to help us table, give out information and be out!
Both of these events are listed on QAPA’s Meetup, your source for all events, good times and Gaysians in New England.
Our hearts and condolensces to his family.
Senator Inouye was the highest ranking Asian American member of the US Government.
It’s Trans Awareness Week (TAW) across the country; that means communities everywhere are busy holding educational and social events. This week of events culminates with an event called Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR): a candlelight vigil where we remember and memorialize people around the world who have died for being Trans or gender non-conforming. TDOR started here in Boston, after a woman by the name of Rita Hester was murdered in Allston just for being who she is: a Trans woman of color.
Rita Hester was murdered in Allston
just for being who she is
When I was still a baby queer, I like so many others trying to figure out identity, searched high and low for community. I had been exposed to the lesbian and gay community; a community that has become it’s own culture, complete with genre music, media icons and cruise ships. As compelling and as shiny as this world of unicorns and rainbows is, it was not where I belonged.
What I found instead, was TDOR, and let me say, it was a stark difference. TDOR is not a glitter clad parade down Main Street USA. There are no Dykes on Bikes or Go-Go boys. It is NOT a celebration. It is a somber, solemn event, where the names of murder victims are read from a frighteningly long list. And as dark as this event can be (there is often weeping involved) it continues to be one of the largest events for the Trans community: a time to be with friends and loved ones, and time to recognize our fallen.
TDOR is not a glitter clad parade down Main Street USA.
I like to remind people that gay pride in the USA was catalyzed by the Stonewall Riots in NYC. On that fateful night in June of 1969, a group of drag queens and butch dykes had the gall to fight back. They took a stand and said they would not be targeted any longer for their gender presentation or identity. The modern gay civil rights movement owes it’s start to Trans and gender non conforming people who were getting abused, killed and persecuted.
They took a stand and said they would not be targeted any longer for their gender presentation or identity.
TDOR is in all our roots. Please remember. To find a TDOR event in your neighborhood, please visit http://www.transgenderdor.org/.
Maxwell N. is an American Asian transman who has lived in Boston for almost 15 years. He is the Vice-Chair of the Massachusetts Trans Political Coalition (MTPC), a founding member of the Trailblazers, the Boston based softball team for trans and gender variant people, and serves on the Steering Committee for QAPA (Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance). He is passionate about visibility for Queer Asians, and strives to bring the issues that impact our enriched communities to the forefront. In his professional life, he works as an architect.
So once upon a time, I was a bully.
What can I say, except, the high school food chain was, and is, very hierarchical. There was always someone above you, and if you were me, you were desperate to also have someone under you. I thought that hazing and bullying were a weird societal right of passage. In fact, because I played sports, I expected to be hazed as part of the ritualistic team bonding experience. Older students would talk about getting kidnapped in the middle of the night by the upper classmen and laugh with glee over the shared tomfoolery. I saw those teammates who were all so close, and longed to be part of the group. I *longed* to be bullied. This misguided impression also made me think that as I got older, it was my job to haze those who were younger than me- so that they could also share in the misery.
I didn’t know until after graduation that the actions I initiated and participated in were bullying. My mother conveyed to me that those same underclassmen, would cross the street if they saw me coming, and had been so afraid of me, that they needed to warn their parents about me.
I was shocked. I was horrified. I had become that person. To add further insult, I was under the dubious perception that those people were my friends and that we were sharing in an experience that was fun and funny.
I am an adult now. I am a fully functioning member of society. And in my pursuit of my manhood, I have faced obstacles and oppression and real, real hatred. As a transman, I know what it means to be afraid: afraid of the world around you, of not fitting in, and always being the outcast. And as proud as I am now of the man I am, I am still deeply embarrassed about the actions that I participated in as a teenager.
I am no longer in touch with those that I bullied in high school. And as much as I would like to apologize to them, I can’t assume that they want to communicate with me. I want to believe that they are all doing well, having grown past the awkward years and are now confident and stable adults. So instead of burdening them with my guilt, I shall toss my apology into the sea of the internet, and hope it does some good.
I am sorry for being a bully.
We’re Queer. And we stand against Bullying.
In recognition of National Coming Out Day, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) has issued a statement on LGBT equality and justice.
The following is an excerpt from that statement. For the full statement, please visit http://www.ncapaonline.org/
The Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in the United States has always been made up of a diversity of people from different ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, languages spoken, and more. The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), as a coalition of organizations that represent these diverse constituencies and provides a national voice on policy issues and priorities, celebrates that diversity in all its forms, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).
NCAPA recognizes the unique needs and concerns LGBT people and families have within the AANHPI community and many of its member organizations have played critical roles in advocating LGBT policy issues. The Japanese American Citizens League was the first non-LGBT organization after the ACLU to support marriage equality in the state of Hawai’i, almost 10 years before the issue reached the mainland.
NCAPA remembers this history, and strongly affirms its support for members within the AANHPI community who are LGBT. NCAPA members individually support a number of LGBT policy issues and the NCAPA 2012 Policy Platform includes policy positions on LGBT issues as well. NCAPA knows the sting of discrimination based on religion, and supports religious freedom, and knows that LGBT people’s rights can and must be protected in ways that are consistent with freedom of religious expression.
QAPA is proud to bring the “Wall of Pride” to Boston. API Family Pride is a San Francisco based organization which honors Asian families from across the United States who “courageously defied their community’s homophobia, risked isolation, and supported their LGBT children thereby reclaiming the strong family ties and proud sense of interdependence characteristic of API families.” http://www.apifamilypride.org/programs/wall-of-pride
The Wall of Pride will be on display in the common space of The Meeting Point at 3464 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, from August 29th through September 7th. Please join us for a small reception with the founders of API Family Pride on the evening of Friday, September 7th from 7 to 10pm.
Parents and youth are strongly encouraged to attend.
This event is co-sponsored by QAPA, API Family Pride and The Meeting Point.
Summer is here!!!
Last year, the only complaint about our fundraiser BBQ was that it was too cold! This year, we’ve moved our Pride BBQ to July AND we’ve challenged MASALA to an epic battle of Asian basketball awesomeness. Bring it ON!
Saturday, July 14th, Noon
Arsenal Park, Watertown
For more information about our Summer BBQ and other events we have planned, please join our Meetup Group!