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
The National LGBTQ Task Force sponsors and organizes the Creating Change. The 29th Creating Change will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia from January 18-22, 2017.
Many of these events are open to all, and we encourage active participation. If you do not identify with the event, please respect requests for safe spaces.
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Queer API Institute: Building a Queer Asian American & Pacific Islander Movement
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM • Workshop Session 1
Jeh Johnson, Can You Hear Us Now? Organizing Against Islamophobia & Legalized Profiling
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM • Workshop Session 2
Faith and Family Acceptance in the API Community
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 1
Asian/South Asian/Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander Caucus
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM • Workshop Session 5
Building Queer Asian/South Asian Community and Movement
4:45 PM – 6:15 PM • Workshop Session 8
Loving with Our Whole Hearts: A Mother and Transgender Son
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
South Asian LGBTQ Caucus
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Bunch and Closing Plenary
Glenn D. Magpantay Receives the Haas, Jr. Award for Outstanding LGBTQ Leadership for Immigrant Rights
In Case of Emergency
There are a number of measures that LGBTQ APIs should do to protect themselves and their families under a Trump Administration. NQAPIA has consulted with immigration lawyers, public policy experts, and other attorneys to identify issues of particular importance to LGBTQ Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.
Many of these applications will not be granted until after Trump takes office. But, even if Trump tries to eliminate everything that we have won, it is virtually impossible for changes to be retroactive. Applications filed today will be decided and granted on the basis of the laws and rules while Obama is in office. So, take care of these soon.
Transgender LGBTQ APIs
President Obama’s administration allowed for people to change and update their federally-issued identity documents, including gender-marker on passport and names on social security cards. Trump has vowed to eliminate all of Obama’s executive directives on January 20. You must apply and make and changes now. Adult passports last 10 years, so they will outlive a Trump presidency.
Young Undocumented Immigrants
President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by executive order so that undocumented young people could be free from deportation and gain work authorization. Trump has given mixed messages on DACA, and at one point, he stated he has “no problem” with it.
If you are fearful about what Trump will do with current DACA enrollees, know that NQAPIA, countless advocacy organizations, and high powered lawyers will do everything that we can to protect you and your family.
If you have DACA now but it will expire in the next 6 months, file a mandatory renewal now. Not filing a renewal could subject you to noncompliance and makes you a higher priority for investigation. Those who follow the rules, as they are now, are less likely to be gone after.
If you have never applied for DACA, you should consult with an immigration attorney before filing a new application. Click here to find an attorney.
Health Insurance through Obamacare
If you do not have health insurance, you should apply for Obamacare through the federal system or one of your state health exchanges. Open Enrollment is now. Although Trump and Congressional leaders have promised to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, that will not happen at least for another year. The more people who are in the system now, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the system. Efforts to repeal may also “grandfather” current enrollees and allow them to maintain their health insurance while declining to take any new people.
Immigrants Eligible for Green Cards or Naturalization
If you are eligible for a green card or eligible to become a U.S. citizen, you should file your application now. They take several months to process, but becoming a permanent resident or a citizen substantially increases your security to live in America. If you have any criminal history or entered the U.S. without permission, consult an attorney before filing any paperwork.
LGBTQ Immigrants Seeking Asylum
LGBTQ people are persecuted in many countries in Asia and the Pacific. Foreign nationals may seek political asylum in the United States based on the sexual orientation or gender-identity. But, federal law has a strict one-year time limitation for people to file an application from the date of entry. This cannot be undone by Trump. If you are seeking political asylum you should consult with an attorney, and apply now.
Same-Sex Marriage is Safe
Don’t Get Married if You Don’t Want To
The right for same-sex couples to legally marry was decided by the US Supreme Court and is based on the US Constitution. Trump cannot undo marriages or take the right away. Even if he appoints an anti-marriage Supreme Court Justice, the majority of justices that ruled twice in favor of marriage equality will remain on the Court. There is no need to rush to get married now.
LGBTQ APIs with Children
Protect Your Relationship with Them
If you have a child, you should apply for a second-parent adoption or a joint adoption if you do not have a legally recognized relationship to the child, like birth. Even if your name is listed on the child’s birth certificate, that may not be enough.
Trump may eliminate the Obama Administration’s hospital visitation policy. So, it is prudent to have family planning protections in the event of a tragedy. This includes a Last Will and Testament, Health Care Proxies, Medical and Financial Powers of Attorney, designation of guardians, and Living Wills. It is not limited to couples but includes single people and people in more dynamic relationship and family structures.
Need a Lawyer?
The above are prudent steps to take, but everyone’s legal situation is different.
To speak with an attorney for a legal consultation, complete NQAPIA’s Legal Intake Form, or find an attorney from this list.
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.
Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) will kick off its outreach program in New York City with a film screening and community discussion, to be followed by a day-long seminar in Washington, D.C., for parents, activists, and allies from across the U.S. and Korea.
NEW YORK CITY, September 5, 2016 – Today, Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) announced the start of a national program of outreach and education for family members and allies of LGBTQ Korean Americans.
The initiative starts in New York City, with a film screening and community discussion on September 11, 2016, co-hosted by The Least of These Church in downtown Manhattan, the only LGBTQ-affirming Korean church in the Greater New York area. LGBTQ Korean Americans will share their stories and experiences of living with LGBTQ identities while being part of a community often known to be homophobic and transphobic. The event will also feature a screening of “Dol (First Birthday),” a short film by a Korean American director, Andrew Ahn, who made the film as a way of coming out to his parents as gay.
KARP’s outreach and education series will continue with a national seminar in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 2016, which is expected to bring dozens of Korean American parents and allies from across the country and from South Korea together for the first time. This watershed event will be the first chance for parents from across the country to build community with one another and start a conversation around how to support their LGBTQ family members’ struggle for rights and acceptance. Professor Namsoon Kang from Brite Divinity School will give a keynote address on acceptance of LGBTQ people in Christian communities.
The goal of KARP’s initiative is to provide Korean American families, especially those with LGBTQ-identifying members, with tools and strategies to see beyond their initial feelings of guilt, shame, and fear – and to instead celebrate their loved ones and help make the world safer and more accepting for them.
The need for KARP’s national effort is tremendous: Even within the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community, LGBTQ Korean Americans face some of the strongest homophobic and transphobic pushback from their families and friends. Many cultural and historical forces drive Korean anti-LGBTQ sentiment. This has torn families apart, forced many Korean Americans to leave the community as they came out. And so far, there have been no known efforts by Korean American parents and allies to visibly support the LGBTQ community.
KARP – a coalition of accepting parents who openly support their LGBTQ kids – aims to change that. With the continued struggles of LGBTQ people in both South Korea and the U.S., it’s a crucial time for closeted parents and family members to come out in full solidarity with their LGBTQ loved ones.
Members of the media interested in learning more and/or attending both the New York City and Washington, D.C. events may contact Clara Yoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews with Korean American parents and their LGBTQ loved ones may also be arranged by request.
NEW YORK CITY EVENT:
September 11, 2016
The Least of These Church (Judson Memorial Church, Garden Room) , New York, NY 10012
WASHINGTON D.C. ALL-DAY SEMINAR:
October 15, 2016
Holy Cross Korean Episcopal Church
These events are being sponsored or supported by following Korean American LGBTQ and Ally organizations:
Nabi USA – Washington DC (Butterfly for Hope Fund)
Coalition of Korean American (National and DC Chapter)
D.C. Korean Methodist Church
Holy Cross Korean Episcopal Church, Fairfax, Virginia
AAPI LGBTQ Parent Support Group of Greater Washington DC
API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG New York City (ARP PFLAG NYC)
The Least of These Church, New York, NY
National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)*
*NQAPIA is our fiscal sponsor.
Clara Yoon – Korean American Rainbow Parents
Phone Number: 917.716.6705
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
We invite you to join NQAPIA & Project by Project for…
This LGBTQ Allyship Panel Workshop is aimed for the general public to generate awareness of the underlying issues of the AAPI LGBTQ community and how to be better allies.
Our panelists will provide a wide range of perspectives, situations and ways allies can support the AAPI LGBTQ community.
MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth Executive Director
Arcus Foundation Communications Manager
NQAPIA Executive Director
API Rainbow Parent of PFLAG-NYC Founder
At this workshop, the panelists will discuss a corporate perspective, a Family Acceptance Campaign called Family is Still Family, struggles of coming out and the need for allies, and other LGBTQ AAPI issues like immigration and racial justice after-Orlando.
|Tuesday, July 19th
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Networking reception to follow
| Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AAARI)
25 West 43rd Street, #1000
New York, NY 10036
|RSVP on Eventbrite.
This event is free, but a suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.
Learn more about NQAPIA’s Family Acceptance Campaign by watching our nine multilingual commercials created by the Asian Pride Project, by reading one of our leaflets available in 19 languages, and by attending our Family Acceptance Workshops.
#FamilyisStillFamily #LoveisStillLove #FamilyPride #AAPI #Pride
This panel was featured in News M, Korean online newspaper: 성소수자 차별받지 않는 세상을 꿈꾼다성소수자 지지를 위한 패널 워크숍(LGBTQ Allyship Panel Workshop).