This is a difficult time for many of us. It’s hard to find support with the deluge of despicable declarations that have been coming from the White House. But, we have to support each other. And, there are several champions in our community who have supported the queer API community and efforts to keep or community safe and fight for immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and LGBT equality.
NQAPIA is working hard to keep our community safe and secure. You can help by making a donation.
Later this month, NQAPIA will be hosting our annual Community Catalyst Awards Celebrations in New York City and Washington, DC. They are celebrations of our community, reunions with old friends, and time to inspire a new generation of leaders. Join us!
For me, they are more than just fundraising banquets. They showcase the people who inspire me and have worked hard to defend our community. Let me tell you about them and why they are so special to me.
Community Catalyst Awards Banquet in Washington, DC on March 11
Gautam Raghavan is a first-generation immigrant from India and served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBT community and the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. Before, he was Deputy White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense and led efforts to undo the Pentagon’s anti-LGBT “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. He is now Vice President of Policy of the Gill Foundation where he drives federal and state efforts to ensure a level playing field for all LGBT Americans.
Miriam Yeung was most recently the Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) leading the country’s advocacy on behalf of AAPI women and girls. Miriam has brought fierce intersectional analysis, practical policy advocacy, and a deep belief in powerbuilding from the base up. I recognize her as a leader in reproductive justice, immigrant rights, economic justice, and racial justice movements.
For 20 years, Asian and Pacific Islander Queers United for Action (AQUA DC) has been promoting positive identity and advocating for the general welfare of the API GBTQ male-identified members of the of the Washington, DC metro area. I’ve know the “AQUA boys” for over 15 years and have always admired their advocacy, coalition building, education, networking, outreach, and support.
Community Catalyst Awards Banquet in New York City on March 25
Ongina (born Ryan Ong Palao) is flying in from Los Angeles and is originally from the Philippines. She was part of the 1st Cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race and was best known for her sweetness, fashionable runway presentations, and coming out to the world as HIV+. She now hosts Logo’s series “HIV and Me” to tell the stories of those living with HIV. Ongina inspires me with her views drag as artistic expression and an outlet for a woman stuck in a gay man’s body to come out and let loose and have fun. I can so relate.
The Ng Family is one where each member of the family has done so much for the LGBT API community (pictured left to right: Jonas, Virginia, Maxwell, and John).
Father John Ng, was educated in Hong Kong and came to the U.S. in 1974 looking to better his life and provide an opportunity for the next generation. He has spoken on several panels being the proud father of a transgender son. He has been married to his wife Virginia for 43 years.
Mother Virginia Lou Ng, has been involved in the Asian American community for over 35 years and is best known for her work at OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates (formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans) and Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. Virginia served as New Jersey Chapter President and OCA National Vice President.
Son Maxwell Ng chairs the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. Last summer, MTPC passed legislation to protect Trans people in public accommodations. Maxwell also serves on the Steering Committee for the Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance (QAPA). Founded in 1979, QAPA, is the oldest Asian queer organization in the US.
Brother Jonas Ng is a Vice President at Nationwide Bank. He has excelled as a member of the Bank’s executive leadership team and before was a Managing Director for Discover Card. He is a staunch LGBT ally and has promoted Diversity and Inclusion is at several Fortune 200 financial institutions.
I love that we are honoring a drag queen and a family.
It’s up to the community to support the work of NQAPIA in cultivating a new generation of LGBT API leaders, building local capacity, fighting for immigrants’ rights, and promoting family acceptance. We cannot rely on foundations, corporations, and the rich. So, at each of the dinners, Anish Tailor from KhushDC and Patrick Lee from GAPIMNY will share their personal stories and why they are supporting NQAPIA and the Queer Asian movement. All support at any level helps.
If you cannot come, please consider supporting someone else to come so that they can be in community with us. NQAPIA believes that money should never be a barrier to participating. You can donate a ticket by purchasing a ticket for either or both dinners in New York and Washington, DC.
And at the very least, a donation of any amount will help continue the critical work of these amazing honorees. Donate at bit.ly/supportcca.
I hope you can join us and be in community with us either in-person or as a donor. We need your support now more than ever.
In community and solidarity:
Glenn D. Magpantay
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
#NQAPIA bit.ly/supportcca #Catalyst2017
Earlier this week was National Coming Out Day, and during the delay of this email, we took time to reflect on the months since the Orlando tragedy. To us, the Orlando tragedy underlines how important it is to be out of the closet and to support and celebrate individualism and diversity, especially for our kids and youth.
Whether during LGBT Pride Month, LGBT History/Herstory/Theirstory Month, or any month, let’s show unity and have the biggest LGBTQ parades and parties ever! We dedicate our celebrations to those we lost in Orlando and before, and we must show support for the Muslim communities that face backlash and prejudice—just as we have as a community.
“There are no words to describe the sadness I felt when I heard about the tragedy and loss of our LGBTQ, Latinx and human family in Orlando. But I know that since then, as a queer, Pakistani, Muslim woman, I will hug tighter, love louder and voice even louder.”
— Comedian Fawzia Mirza
“Whatever they say about you, know that I love you.”
— Comedian/Writer Hari Kondabolu
“In the face of the Orlando tragedy, we must continue to come together to show unity and to express solidarity with the Muslim communities that are facing elevated prejudice, just as we have as a group. Love indeed conquers hate, and our rainbow flag will always represent diversity.”
— Celebrity Chef Anita Lo
Not everyone feels safe in coming out, and we still hurt from the Orlando tragedy.
If you need resources in coming out to your API Parents, watch commercials of API parents who love their LGBTQ children created by the Asian Pride Project and read translated leaflets that answer basic questions about being LGBTQ and dispel common misperceptions.
View the resources we shared after the Orlando tragedy, including counseling and support options and statements by 28 organizations.
Regardless of where you are at in your coming out journey, we send you love and support for National Coming Out Day.
Member of the Year Awards
Next week, NQAPIA will hold its triennial Leadership Summit, and on Saturday, August 13th, we will hold a Community Catalyst Awards Fundraiser Banquet. This year’s event will highlight something new and exciting.
Help Us Celebrate YOU!
Our Member of the Year awards will highlight the work you have done in six different areas:
- Membership Retention and/or Growth
- LGBTQ Visibility
- Community Education
- NQAPIA Partnership
- Community Building
Self-nominations are encouraged.
We also would like to recognize our Board Members by selecting an NQAPIA Board MVP. Help us recognize their impact on the LGBTQ AAPI community! bit.ly/cca_nominations
Applications are due by Sunday, August 7th by 11:59 p.m. ET.
Purchase a ticket for the Community Catalyst Awards Fundraiser Banquet in Louisiana.
When I was an ashamed, sad, and fearful mother, I found PFLAG. It was a place where I could get support as a mother. I am so grateful for them. But what I didn’t find at PFLAG were individuals that looked like our family and people who understood our cultural uniqueness. I found that support at NQAPIA. And so I give to NQAPIA because I know so many have given before me, so I could find a place to belong. I give to NQAPIA because I have two sons and at one time I feared I would only have one. And I give to NQAPIA because I wake up each morning with hope for Aiden’s future, where I once feared that he would not find happiness and love.
I am hoping that you will find your reasons to give as well. It feels so good to know that my donations are going towards helping families stay connected with love, or helping those whose families have not embraced them fully to find a chosen family to support them. It feels good to know that I am helping immigrant families, stop racial profiling and speak out for our Muslim community who could be discriminated against like my family was and put into concentration camps during World War II. I believe in NQAPIA’s work and I have seen what a wonderful steward of our dollars NQAPIA is. The Board and staff of NQAPIA work tirelessly and unselfishly to support our API LGBTQ community, but they can’t do the amazing work they are doing without our support.
In honor of the 39 organizations that are part of the NQAPIA alliance and also doing incredible work, I am donating $390. If you are able, can you please donate, $3,900 or $390 or $39, or any donation that you are able to make will help further their work? Thank you so much for all your have done for my family and so many others.
We are strong, we are resilient, and we are love.
Donate to NQAPIA today at bit.ly/GiveOUTDayNQAPIA
On August 2, people around the country will come together to raise critically needed funds for LGBTQ communities. Give OUT Day is a national day of giving for the LGBTQ community—a 24-hour online fundraising event. These funds translate directly into services, advocacy, and programs that help tens of thousands of LGBTQ people.
Now more than ever, the importance of NQAPIA’s work is crystal clear. Our community was rocked by the tragedy in Orlando, which was motivated by hate toward LGBTQ people. When reports emerged that the shooter, an Afghani-American, may have been gay himself, we could not help thinking about how desperately he and his family may have needed to know there is a whole community of people with similar backgrounds who love and accept LGBTQ people. It brought home how critical our work really is.
On August 2, we hope you will consider investing in Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander LGBTQ people and our families. We hope you will Give OUT and help us continue to send our message of love to people who need to hear it.
What’s Next for LGBTQ People of Color?
Join the Center for Black Equity, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), NQAPIA, and the Unión=Fuerza Latino Institute on Thursday, July 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a policy briefing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President and CEO of the Victory Fund, will moderate a dynamic panel that will address priority issues for LGBTQ People of Color.
Stay after the briefing to enjoy a mixer for the panelists and guests.
What Should We Ask the Candidates?
The Voter Guide will provide insight into the presidential candidates’ positions on various issues concerning LGBTQ equality, AAPI issues, racial justice, trans justice, and immigrants’ rights.
The top selected questions and answers will be translated into various Asian languages, including Chinese, Koream, Vietnamese, and Hindi.
There are many potential questions to ask, but space is limited. We will publish more questions and answers online in English.
Ready to learn about the candiates?
Take the 2016 Voter Guide Survey by Sunday, July 31.
A Different Closet
Undocumented LGBT Immigrants:
Harsh Realities Special Challenges
Available as a Live or Audiocast CLE Program
One of the hottest political issues of the current election cycle is that of immigration. Undocumented immigrants are being received by American society in a very different way than immigrants in the past. Undocumented LGBT immigrants in particular face unique legal and cultural issues. The goal of this program is delve into the legal and cultural issues faced by being an undocumented LGBT Asian immigrant in the United States in 2016.
Moderator David J. Alfini, Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
July 27, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Wine, beer and light
1 hour of CLE credit is pending for this program