As we dive into the month of June, summer is in full swing and our national conference is getting closer!  Exciting things are continuing to develop, so we want to make sure everyone stays updates.

First, a reminder that Early Bird Registration Deadline is on June 19th!  Be sure to register by then here for a discounted rate.

We’re proud to announce that Tamlyn Tomita, actor and activist right now known as Mike Chang’s mom on the TV show “Glee,” will be emceeing our Saturday, July 21 Community Catalyst Awards Gala.

We are excited to honor “community catalysts” that have sparked positive change for Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) communities:

  • Representative Mike Honda (D-CA), Chair Emeritus for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus
  • Asian American Justice Center, Asian American civil rights organization and longstanding advocate and partner for LGBT equality
  • Urooj Arshad, Washington, DC- based activist and leader in the LGBT Muslim community.

Also, be sure to check out our Conference portion of our web site for updates.  We’ll be providing information about special guests and performers, as well as information about workshops and sessions in the coming weeks heading into July.


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Facebook Event and follow us on twitter for more helpful information and fun facts!

We’ll see you in Washington, DC!


Looking forward,

NQAPIA National Conference Planning Committee


PS. If you want to support the conference, please donate here. You can help us ensure that more voices are present by providing registration scholarships for those with fewer financial resources.

NQAPIA Briefing: AAPI Heritage and LGBT Pride

You are invited to join NQAPIA’s quarterly briefing on issues and updates in Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) lesbian/ gay/ bisexual/ transgender (LGBT) communities. This is our opportunity to connect and share information about local and national work.

For this briefing, we are happy to open up our usual format beyond the members of our network to everyone interested in hearing more information. As we gear up for our national Conference- Presence, Power, Progress, we want to make sure we’re getting the word out!

We are also proud to welcome Gautam Raghavan as a special guest to our call. As Associate Director at the White House Office of Public Engagement, he is the official liaison to President Obama for both LGBT and AAPI communities. Before joining the White House, he played a critical role in the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as an official in the Department of Defense.

Dial 712-432-3900 (access code: 9156628#) in order to join the call at the designated time. Please RSVP either by e-mail at nqapia@gmail.com or on Facebook and tell your friends!

Joint Statement on Manny Pacquiao’s Comments on President Obama and Marriage Equality

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)

Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress



Web:  http://www.nqapia.org

E-mail:  nqapia@gmail.com

Phone: 202-422-4909

Manny Pacquiao is the most famous Filipino living today.  He is a person who rose from humble beginnings to be the best in his field anywhere in the world.  He has transcended that field to become a household name not just for boxing enthusiasts but for us all- from Batangas to Belleville to Berlin.   He has shaken hands with world leaders and serenaded global television audiences.  He has become a fighter not only in the boxing arena, but in the political arena as well.

But on the issue of marriage equality, he is wrong.  To rely on religious scripture to justify ongoing discrimination against the LGBT community is wrong.  And with all due respect to a man who has done much to raise the profile of Filipinos and who cares deeply about our kababayan (fellow Filipinos) across the globe, we, as organizations serving Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, and Filipino American lesbian/ gay/ bisexual/ transgender (LGBT) communities in the United States, call on him to begin a dialogue with his LGBT kababayan about how we are unique, AND how we are the same.

In an interview with Granville Ampong published online, he expressed his opposition to President Obama’s recent statement in support of marriage equality.  News reports of that interview directly attributed quotes from the book of Leviticus in the Bible to him, but seem to be taken out of context.  He has since denied, as some news accounts have accused him, of calling for “gays to be put to death,” and has apologized to the gay community in an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra TV.

Regardless of who dealt the blows, they have landed.  As he himself can tell you, once a punch is thrown, it cannot be unthrown.

His decision to come out publicly on this issue and to dip his foot in the political waters surrounding it is wrong.  Not because, as some in the LGBT community in the United States would say, because of convenient geopolitical categories that place him outside of the United States’ political context.  As an elected official in the Philippine Congress, but one who lives in Los Angeles, CA, he embodies the term “citizen of the world” and reflects the globalized nature of Filipinos and the diasporic communities we build.

The sloppy journalism and over-sensationalized pitting him against the LGBT community is also wrong.  Granville Ampong’s article supplied quotes from Leviticus and the Old Testament in a way that suggested that they came from Manny Pacquiao himself, but the internet bandwagon set up an “us v. them” dichotomy and took it to its “execute the gays” conclusion far too quickly as well.  Responding to violence with violence, even in parody is also wrong, especially when it deals in condescending language like “puny” and “pipsqueak.”   Jumping to the worst possible conclusions when some people make inflammatory statements, but leaving uncontested the institutional players like many in the conservative movement that keep open the political space that allows and justifies real violence against LGBT people is wrong.

We call for a more open and transparent dialogue with Manny Pacquiao, and all our Filipino and United States kababayan, about our lives as Filipinos AND as LGBT.  We call for more civil discourse that does not simply focus on how we are different and where we disagree, but can instead move us beyond to an understanding of the experiences and values we do share.   We call for moving beyond judgments about how we live our lives and whom we choose to love, and getting to the profound problems these tough times present to us all.




National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA):  A federation of Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) organizations.

Lance Dwyer, NQAPIA Board Member

Phillip Ozaki, NQAPIA Board Co-Chair


Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO:  Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American (APA) union members.

Gregory Cendana, Executive Director


Kaya: Filipino Americans for Progress:  Kaya’s mission is to mobilize the Filipino American community and build partnerships to increase their electoral power, advocate policies that affect their community, and develop leaders to represent them at every level of government.

Jason Lagria and Genevieve Jopanda, National Co-Chairs


Join us at Presence, Power, Progress! The NQAPIA National Conference

We want your Presence and Power to help us make Progress at the NQAPIA National Conference! We’ll be in Washington DC from July 19-22 and we’re hoping you’ll join us!

See our Facebook Event. Register: here.

Add your voice to over 300 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders activists and attendees across the United States.

Together we’ll network, organize, agitate, educate, and build the capacity of the nation’s LGBT AAPI community.  We have in store:

  • Amazing workshops
  • Exciting presentations, discussions, and forums
  • Networking caucuses
  • Inspirational speakers
  • Moving performance arts
  • And more!

Phillip reflects:

“When I went to NQAPIA’s last conference in August 2009, I didn’t know what to expect. I discovered a community of people who faced similar issues and shared my passions. I left the conference with new friends, a greater understanding of who I am, and commitment to our community.”

Alison exclaims:

I know that this year’s conference will catalyze leadership in local queer and trans API movements, connect participants into a network of support, and invigorate our collective power. I can’t wait to see you there!

We’re preparing to host you for a transformative weekend that celebrates our diverse and complex communities. Join us to connect with new friends, create fond memories and strengthen your ability to fight for the rights and dignity of our communities.

You can register here: NQAPIA Conference Registration.

In community,

Alison Lin & Phillip Ozaki
NQAPIA Board Co-Chairs

PS. If you want to support the conference, please donate here . You can help us ensure that more voices are present by providing registration scholarships for those with fewer financial resources.

Statement by National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance & Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance on President Obama’s Support of Marriage Equality

by Gregory A. Cendana on Wednesday, May 9, 2012

For Immediate Release


Gregory Cendana, (202) 508-3733, gcendana@apalanet.org

Ben de Guzman, (202) 422-4909, ben_deguzman@nqapia.org
Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) & the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) welcome President Barack Obama’s historic statement of support for marriage equality, becoming the first sitting President to publically announce their support.

This comes one day after the passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina, which formally defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. Despite this outcome, we are proud of the work that was done by Asian Queers & Allies-North Carolina, an NQAPIA partner, to raise awareness on the impact Amendment 1 would have on the Asian Pacific American community.

Many Asian Pacific Americans, especially those who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), already face numerous inequalities at home, in schools and at the workplace. Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), over 1,700 benefits that straight couples have through marriage are denied to same sex couples including family immigration.

NQAPIA & APALA believe that allowing same sex couples to marry means they can join other couples in upholding the commitment and responsibility of marriage. Marriage is about committed couples who want to make a lifelong promise to take care of one another and President Obama’s support is a major step forward in having this become a reality.

It heartens us to know that we have a leader who is willing to ensure fairness for all including Asian Pacific Americans who are in same sex relationships. We recognize there is still much work to do and look forward to working with President Obama on advancing a LGBT agenda that addresses all the issues impacting our community.



The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander organizations.  NQAPIA seeks to build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias.

 Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights.

NQAPIA and Chicago i2i’s Spring “Coming Out” Social

You’re invited to:
NQAPIA and Chicago i2i’s Spring “Coming Out” Social
Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 7 p.m.

Come meet the NQAPIA Co-Directors and National Board Members when we are in Chicago to plan and strategize for our upcoming year!

- Learn about NQAPIA exciting initiatives on immigration, visibility, and awareness raising
- Connect with Board Members and activists from all over the country
- Find out more about our 2012 National Conference in Washington, DC!

When: Saturday, April 21st at 7pm
Where: Jak’s Tap, 901 W. Jackson St. (near Halsted)

Getting there: Blue Line to UIC-Halsted, #126 Jackson and #8 Halsted buses. Metered street parking available.

$20 suggested donation | $10 students & low-income
Cash Bar and Hors d’Oeuvres
All ages welcome.

Funds raised will support scholarships for our upcoming National Conference in July.

Friends, family and allies welcome! -We have a  private party room with gender-neutral restrooms.

Want to RSVP and donate ahead of time by credit card?
Want to RSVP, but pay at the door?
That’s cool- email Joy at joy.messinger@gmail.com.

In Community,
Joy Messinger & Liz Thomson, Chicago-based NQAPIA Board Members

NQAPIA on West Coast Swing!

Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs, is in the middle of a West Coast swing!  From Seattle to Portland, he is meeting with local AAPI LGBT groups, our partners and allies to share information about NQAPIA work, updates from Washington, DC and the latest about our upcoming conference!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area on Saturday, March 31, join him for a “Worlds Collide” meetup in downtown Los Angeles at Pizza Urbano (630 W. 6th Street) on Saturday, March 31 at 5pm.

On his trip, he’s met and/ or talked with the following organizations:


Trikone- NW

Asian Counseling and Referral Services (Thanks for hosting our meeting!)

UTOPIA- Seattle

Pacific Asians in the NW Doing Allied Queer Organizing Realness (PANDAQORN)

Asian & Pacific Islander Safety Center/ Chaya



API Pride- Portland (Thanks for lunch!)

Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon


Los Angeles:

GAPSN (Thanks for hosting Ben at Game Night!)

API Pride Council (Thanks for the NQAPIA shout-out at the Queer Auction and Mixer!)



API Equality- Los Angeles (Thursday Mixer with LGBT Lawyers group!)

Asian Pacific Islander AIDS Intervention Team (Thanks for hosting Ben at your staff meeting!)

Asian Pacific American Legal Center


San Diego:

UTOPIA- San Diego

San Diego LGBT Center


For more information about his trip, e-mail: <ben_deguzman@nqapia.org>

Much thanks to everyone he’s met along the way!

Chicago LGBT Asian American/ South Asian Lawyers Reception: April 19, 2012

RSVP Here:  https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/7100/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=47796


National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

Asian American Bar Association of Chicago

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)

National LGBT Bar Association


Invite you to an: 

LGBT Asian American/South Asian Lawyers Cocktail Reception

This networking reception recognizes the diversity within the LGBT and AAPI communities and also provides support to LGBT attorneys in corporate, commercial, government, and public interest practice.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

6:00 to 8:00 PM

Hosted by McDermott Will & Emery

227 W. Monroe Street

Chicago, Il 60606


Welcoming Remarks by U.S. District Court Judge Edmond Chang.  Keynote Address by Peter S. Ohr, Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board.

Event is free but donated proceeds will support scholarships for student to attend the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance conference in Washington, DC in July 2012.


To RSVP:  https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/7100/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=47796

For more information: E-mail nqapia@gmail.com

Summer Internships- Apply Now! March 31 Priority Deadline

Summer 2012 Internships

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 seeking talented young people for internships in the following:

National Conference Planning

Interns will assist in administration, programming, communications, and outreach for a national, pan-ethnic, multi-gender conference for LGBT AAPIs and their networks.  The conference will be held in the Washington, DC area July 2012.

National Advocacy for LGBT AAPIs

Interns will attend high level national policy meetings, congressional briefings, and other events to raise the concerns of LGBTs in mainstream civil rights issues, and of AAPIs in LGBT rights issues.  Interns will assist in coordinating a national conference of grassroots LGBT AAPI activists from across the nation to educate the community on policy matters.

LGBT Immigrants’ Rights and Immigration Reform

The intern will work directly with queer Asian immigrants and media professionals to develop testimonials and personal narratives that can be posted on websites, printed for publication, and developed for audio and video distribution.  The goal is to bring the real lives of queer Asian immigrants to the fore and to inspire others to come out and take action.  The intern will also assist in coordinating community press conferences and other community meetings.

Federation of AAPI LGBT Organizations

NQAPIA serves as a national convenor for LGBT AAPI communities and organizations.  Interns will support national efforts to reach out to LGBT AAPI organizations and initiatives to coordinate activity to build capacity and to amplify their voice.

Capacity Building Resources, Workshops, and Trainings

Interns will also have an opportunity to participate in developing an organizational tool kit with best practices and model documents; special trainings/workshops; being a voice for LGBT AAPI on current issues, and explore ways to promote LGBT AAPI engagement.

Description of Internships

The intern will learn strategies in using public policy, grassroots organizing, and the media to advance social justice.  Interns are supervised by NQAPIA professional staff.  Interns work primarily on research and writing, policy advocacy, community outreach and organizing.

Currently, these internships are not paid positions, but academic credit can be arranged.  Interns will be expected to work full time during the summer, and internships are usually about ten weeks.


To Apply:

Any bilingual ability should be stated in the resume.  Bilingual ability is helpful but not required. Applications should also state their dates of availability.  Applications received by March 31 will receive priority consideration.  Send a resume and cover letter to:

NQAPIA Intern Search

1322 18th Street, NW Washington, DC

Email: nqapia@gmail.com

Electronic submissions strongly preferred.  Please write: “Intern Applicant” in the Subject.


For more information, contact Ben de Guzman at ben_deguzman@nqapia.org or 202-422-4909.

NQAPIA Jointly Releases Report on LGBT Families of Color

Children Living in LGBT Families of Color Face Double Jeopardy

Archaic family laws, LGBT social stigma, and racial/ethnic discrimination combine to create disparate impact

February 28, 2012


Steve Majors | Communications Director

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — A new report released today shows how children living in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) families of color have become collateral damage of antiquated laws, social stigma, and discrimination.

LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance offers a snapshot of how racial and ethnic discrimination, anti-LGBT social stigma and outdated family laws intersect to hurt children living in LGBT families of color. Driven by the need to shed light on the double jeopardy faced by these children and families, the report brings together acoalition of public policy and family advocacy organizations: The National Black Justice Coalition, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, UNID@S, the Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality (FIRE) initiative, the Family Equality Council, the Movement Advancement Project and the Center for American Progress.

LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance is available online at www.children-matter.org.


“Contrary to popular stereotypes, both black and Latino gay and lesbian couples are morelikely to raise children than their white counterparts,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, executive director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition. “Gay and lesbian couples of color are also more likely to become foster parents.”

The report finds that:

  • LGBT families are more racially and ethnically diverse than families headed by married heterosexual couples. Of same-sex couples with children, 41% are people of color, compared to 34% of married different-sex couples with children.
  • LGBT families of color face greater poverty. For example, 32% of children raised by black same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to 13% of children raised by black married different-sex couples and 7% of children raised by white married different-sex couples.



“Asian/Pacific Islander and Latino families are disproportionately foreign-born,” said Ben de Guzman, from the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. “Children in these LGBT families of color face the triple burden of race-based discrimination,homophobia, and xenophobia. LGBT families where the parents or children areimmigrants are particularly vulnerable.”

Children being raised in LGBT families ofcolor also face:

  • Decreased access to health insurance.  While 74% of white workers receive health insurance coverage through work, only 42% of Latino workers, 50% of black workers, and 69% of Asian/Pacific Islander workers receive such coverage through their employers. LGBT families also face reduced access because most employers are not required to cover either the same-sex partners of their workers or that partner’s children.
  • Bullying and harassment impeding their ability to learn.  Children may be bullied or harassed based on their own race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity—or that of their parents. For example, a survey of LGBT parents and their school-age children found that 40% of students with LGBT parents reported being verbally harassed because of their families, and 43% of students of color with LGBT parents said that they had experienced harassment because of their race and ethnicity.

“In addition to racial/ethnic stereotypes and discrimination, LGBT families of color also face invisibility within the broader communities to which they belong and may have difficulty accessing appropriate services,” said Lisbeth Melendez Rivera, executive director of UNID@S.  “For instance, LGBT organizations are often based in LGBT neighborhoods, but many Latina/o LGBT families do not live in these areas. On the other hand, Latina/o organizations may not have created safe spaces for LGBT families.”


LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance is a companion to the All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families report released in October 2011. It summarizes 12 common-sense legal, policy and cultural solutions that, taken together, could virtually eliminate the legal inequities that hurt children living in LGBT families of color. Some of those solutions include:

  • Legally recognizing LGBT families of color via parental recognition laws at the state level; marriage for gay and lesbian couples; and pathways to immigration and citizenship for binational and immigrant LGBT families.
  • Providing LGBT families of color with equal access to government-based economic protections such as safety net programs. Consistent, broad definitions of family within these programs should include domestic partners and other de facto parents.
  • Providing LGBT families of color and their children with equal access to health care and health insurance, as well as medical decision-making ability.
  • Protecting LGBT families of color and their children with non-discrimination laws and anti-bullying policies.
  • Provide LGBT families of color with accessible and culturally competent programs, services and support.


The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. NBJC’s mission is to end racism andhomophobia. Learn more at www.nbjc.org.

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of LGBTQ Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations seeking to build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias. Learn more at www.nqapia.org.

The mission of Unid@s, the National Latina/oLesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Human Rights Organization is to create a multi-issue approach for advocacy, education and convening of and for ourcommunities. Guided by economic justice, feminist, environmental and pro-peace values, UNID@S joins a global effort to transform systems and policies to create the just and equitable world we know possible. Learn more at www.unidoslgbt.com.

Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Learn more at www.lgbtmap.org.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents the one million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents in this country and the two million children they are raising. Learn more atwww.familyequality.org.

The Center for American Progress (CAP) is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. The Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality Initiative (FIRE) atCAP explores the intersections of race, sexual orientation, economics, and public policy.Learn more at www.americanprogress.org