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A Love Letter to our People

To our trans and gender non-conforming fam:

To all of us. It’s been a rough year. It’s been a rough few years. Hell, it’s been rough for as long as we can remember.

Last week, our trans and GNC communities became the latest political pawn in Trump’s hellish games. We’re writing to say that we feel this pain, as you do too, and we are here for you, in whatever ways you need. We reject militarism and imperialism and neocolonialism, always. And we refuse to stay silent as Trump comes for you, for us, for our people again and again and again.

This isn’t a statement. We aren’t drawing from a well of political analysis to find the perfect theories to explain this moment. This isn’t perfect. This is a proclamation of our love for our trans and GNC communities. This is for us. This is simply to say: We see you. We see ourselves, in all of our nuances and hxstories and complexities. We see all of us as brilliant beings, each of us far more than political pawns to be used to distract attention. Our dreams, desires, and livelihoods are so often overshadowed by the public’s obsession with our pain and our deaths. And so, we commit to continue building spaces and communities and movements with our lives in the center.

Shit’s tough – as it always has been for our people – but we are still here, still fighting, still laughing, still mobilizing, still loving. We are still here in all of our multiplicity and our fucked-up-ness and our magic and our brilliance. We are still here, carrying with us our loved ones and our communities and our ancestors and our transcestors, past, future, and present, as we move together towards liberation.

We are still here, and we love you.

We love you.

We love you.

And if you need anything, please feel free to reach out. Hit us up. Check in on one another. Hold space to grieve, to celebrate, to heal, and to live fully — experiencing all of the chaos and beauty and magic that is part of our legacy. And know that we have your back, now and always.

With love,

Bryan Chen, Audrey Kuo, Sasha W.
Trans Justice Working Group
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)

NQAPIA and APALA Condemn Administration’s Rollback on Transgender Protections

For immediate release: February 24, 2017

Media contacts: Sasha W., 909-343-2219, sasha@nqapia.org
Marian Manapsal, 202-508-3733, mmanapsal@apalanet.org

NQAPIA and APALA Condemn Administration’s Rollback on Transgender Protections

Washington, DC – This week, the Trump Administration issued rollbacks on guidance provided under the Obama Administration that allowed transgender students to use the restrooms matching their gender identity. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA) condemn these rollbacks that signal the administration’s betrayal of transgender and gender non-conforming students who deserve to go to school free from bullying and hate.
“Implementing policies that make our kids in public schools even less safe is reprehensible,” declared NQAPIA Organizing Director Sasha W. “Every child deserves to attend school without fear of discrimination, no matter where they are in the country. This a continuation of the administration’s attack on trans people – trans and gender nonconforming people were affected by the Muslim ban, by the escalation of this country’s deportation machine, and by the increase of power in the hands of police. This administration shamelessly continues to enact policies that simply do not work and that make our communities feel more unsafe in this country.”

“Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos did nothing to stop this rollback from happening,” added Monica Thammarath, APALA 1st Vice President and Senior Liaison at the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union advancing public education. “Now more than ever, we are calling on all states, school districts, and educators to support their students and double down on their own efforts to reject hate and discrimination. With DeVos at the head of the U.S. Department of Education, our organizing and advocacy becomes that much more important.”

Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930, stated: “Though this is a devastating blow to our public schools, NQAPIA and APALA will continue to fight for AAPI- and all transgender and nonconforming people because it’s evident that the federal government sure as hell won’t. An attack on one of us is an attack on all, and we will resist all policies and attempts that heighten transphobia, xenophobia, white nationalism, and hate.”

Gregory A. Cendana, APALA Executive Director, concluded: “A little more than a month into his administration, we have already seen LGBTQ, Muslim, immigrant and refugee communities under attack by the administration. This is fascism at work, and we will do everything in our power to resist, organize and fight back against policies that undermine and endanger the margins of our communities.”

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Creating Change 2017

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.

Thursday, 1/19

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Queer API Institute: Building a Queer Asian American & Pacific Islander Movement

Friday, 1/20

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

Saturday, 1/21

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
QPOC Caucus

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM • Caucus 2
South Asian LGBTQ Caucus

Sunday, 1/22

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
Glenn 917-439-3158
Sasha 909-343-2219
Tia 224-280-2236

We’re Thankful for these Precautions before Trump Takes Office

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

Apply or Update Passport

passportPresident 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.

Apply for Passport from the U.S. State Department


Young Undocumented Immigrants

Renew DACA

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

Apply Now


www.healthcare.gov
Apply for Obamacare
Update your Obamacare Plan

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

Apply Now

Green Card ExampleIf 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

Apply Now

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

Graphic of the White House in Rainbow ColorsThe 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.


Personal Protections

last will and testamentTrump 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?

Ask Us

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.No Human is Illegal

View this message as an email

Media Release: NQAPIA Applauds DOJ’s Federal Lawsuit Against North Carolina’s HB2

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release: Monday, May 16, 2016
For More Information, Contact: Glenn D. Magpantay, glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org

New York, NY (May 16, 2016) — Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education released a historic letter confirming that Title IX protects transgender students from discrimination in educational settings. The U.S. Department of Justice also announced a federal lawsuit against North Carolina’s law HB2, which requires public schools and offices to refuse transgender people access to restroom facilities that match their gender identity. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) applauds these actions.

“The passage and implementation of HB2 in North Carolina is an outrageous insult, not only to transgender people, but to the values of equality and freedom that our country stands for. We are pleased the federal government has heeded the calls of grassroots activists and advocates and taken this important action,” said Glenn Magpantay, NQAPIA’s Executive Director.

“Not so long ago, we saw the very treatment occurring in North Carolina be used against people for the color of their skin. Although there is much more work to be done, as an organization serving LGBTQ people of color, we are happy to see trans people beginning to receive the same protections as all other Americans.”

NQAPIA seeks to build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias.

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Why Queer APIs Want to #EndLGBTQDetention

As queer Asian American Pacific Islander communities who have an investment in abolishing immigration detention and deportation, this has been quite a week. On Monday, Jeb Bush explained that anchor babies are not a Latino phenomenon—but rather an Asian one. Through his comments, Bush again posits Asian Americans as “forever foreigners,” coming to the U.S. to stage a takeover of the country by the simple act of having children. This is an old trope and one that paints Asian Americans as less than full people in this country.

Queer APIs are dehumanized as “forever foreigners,” immigrants who can never become fully part of the U.S. or fully human.

On the same day, Joseph Pemberton admitted to strangling Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transwoman, to death. He used a ‘trans panic’ defense in court, citing his shock at discovering Jennifer was trans* as justification for murdering her. Transwomen of color are routinely targets of harassment, violence, and murder. Last Tuesday, Black Transwomen led a national day of action to say that Black Transwomen’s Lives Matter. For API transwomen like Jennifer Laude, the combination of transphobia and racism is too often deadly.

Queer APIs are dehumanized as transwomen, seen as less than human and then blamed for transphobic violence.

 

#EndTransDetention Transgender women who are locked up are 10 times more likely to be sexually assaulted

Next month, ICE is threatening to move detained immigrant transwomen to Adelanto, a facility known for the abuse and death of its inmates. We can’t pretend that these occurrences aren’t all connected. Asian immigrants are seen as foreigners, not true Americans, not real people in this country. Transwomen are seen as freaks, as deceivers, as less than human. We stand at the intersection of various forms of dehumanization, which allow immigration officials to play dominoes with the lives of detained transwomen.

Queer APIs say #EndLGBTQDetention because we are sick of being dehumanized as “forever foreigners,” as trans deceivers, as immigrants.

We stand with those most marginalized in our communities, and commit ourselves to fighting for liberation, together. Nobody should be in immigration detention, and especially not at Adelanto. As queer APIs, we cannot remain silent as members of our community are subjected to incredible acts of violence by the U.S. state.

That’s why, as NQAPIA, we refuse to be a political stunt and derided as “anchor babies.” We demand that Joseph Pemberton be held accountable for his transphobic and racist murder. We demand that the transfer of transwomen to Adelanto be stopped.

These issues are all connected—and yes, they are killing us.