UNCOVERING OUR STORIES: THE VOICES OF LGBTQ AAPI IMMIGRANTS

Asian Americans are the fastest growing minority group in the nation, largely due to immigration. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) — a federation of LGBT Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations — has advocated for the rights of LGBT immigrants and aims to lift the voices of those who have often been overlooked.

These are our stories. We hope they illustrate the great need for immigration reform and the various ways in which immigration laws directly impact the everyday lives of LGBT people.

NQAPIA seeks:

  • legalization of undocumented immigrants
  • expanded visa programs for students and workers (both low-wage and professional)
  • legal protections to guard against racial profiling, detentions, and deportations
  • fewer restrictions in applying for political asylum
  • protection of family immigration, including extending family-sponsorship for adult children, siblings, and same-sex couples

This was made possible in partnership with Mia Nakano, the Director of the Visiblity Project, the Asian Pride Project, and the generous support of the Arcus Foundation, Walter and Evelyn Haas, Jr., Fund, and Four Freedoms Fund.

Uncovering Our Stories: Bupendra Ram

I came to the United States when I was two years old. Ethnically, I am Indian, but I was born in the Fiji Islands. Three years ago the United States Senate failed to pass the DREAM Act. I sat at home watching them play with my future. I sat in disbelief as they made me […]

UNCOVERING OUR STORIES Brings Forward Asian American LGBT Stories on Immigration

NQAPIA campaign highlights overlooked perspectives in immigration debate during Congressional recess   For Immediate Release August 7, 2013 Contact: Ben de Guzman NQAPIA Co-Director for Programs E-Mail: ben_deguzman@nqapia.org Phone: 202-422-4909 Washington, DC:  The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) unveiled its “Uncovering Our Stories” campaign today. The campaign highlights experiences of Asian American, South Asian, Southeast […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Sandy

I’m 16 years old. I am Laotian and Vietnamese, and I’m bisexual. I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods – shootings every week, police sirens every night. I grew up with really strict parents who raised me by how they were raised in Laos. I started to realize […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Erwin de Leon

I am married to an American citizen. I am highly educated, I have most of my family and friends in the US, and I have lived here legally for over two decades. Yet, I am still not a citizen. Not by choice, but by simply being an immigrant in America struggling with a broken immigration […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Alex Ong

In May 1998, incidents of mass violence occurred throughout Indonesia. In my city, Surabaya, the rioters targeted Chinese owned stores and homes, in particular, many Chinese Indonesian women, who were raped and killed. My parents feared that our family would be next and planned to flee to the United States where they thought they could […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Noel Bordador

When I was fourteen, I came from the Philippines to New York on a tourist visa where my parents intended for me to stay only for a year of school. To stay for a longer period of time, we tried to convert my tourist visa into a student visa but the Immigration and Naturalization Service […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Urooj Arshad

I grew up in Pakistan, a country with one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Unlike most Pakistani women, I had access to a great education, and supportive parents who treated me and my brothers equally. However, as I grew up I was troubled by the way women were treated in Pakistan, and […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Linda & Lundy Khoy

My parents are from Cambodia and fled to America to escape the genocide that took place in the 80s. They both legally arrived here with my older sister, who was barely one at the time. Lundy was born in a Thai refugee camp during the war. I came into their lives under a year later […]

Uncovering Our Stories: Sahar Shafqat

I came to the US in 1989 as an undergraduate student on an F-1 visa and remained on that visa status until completion of my Ph.D. in 2000. In 2000, I converted to H-1(b) status, sponsored by my employer. My job at the time was a 2-year position, so I was unable to be sponsored […]

Uncovering Our Stories: LGBT Asian/ South Asian/ Southeast Asian/ Pacific Islander Immigrants Speak OUT on Immigration

(Photo:  Jose Antonio Vargas, openly gay undocumented immigrant and founder of DefineAmerican.com, speaks at 2012 NQAPIA Conference)   As the debates around comprehensive immigration reform heat up, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) seeks to ensure that the real life concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Asian American, South Asian, […]