Category Archives: news
Thanks for looking through our archives! I have since updated this posting about Trans Awareness Week. You can find the post here.
So once upon a time, I was a bully.
What can I say, except, the high school food chain was, and is, very hierarchical. There was always someone above you, and if you were me, you were desperate to also have someone under you. I thought that hazing and bullying were a weird societal right of passage. In fact, because I played sports, I expected to be hazed as part of the ritualistic team bonding experience. Older students would talk about getting kidnapped in the middle of the night by the upper classmen and laugh with glee over the shared tomfoolery. I saw those teammates who were all so close, and longed to be part of the group. I *longed* to be bullied. This misguided impression also made me think that as I got older, it was my job to haze those who were younger than me- so that they could also share in the misery.
I didn’t know until after graduation that the actions I initiated and participated in were bullying. My mother conveyed to me that those same underclassmen, would cross the street if they saw me coming, and had been so afraid of me, that they needed to warn their parents about me.
I was shocked. I was horrified. I had become that person. To add further insult, I was under the dubious perception that those people were my friends and that we were sharing in an experience that was fun and funny.
I am an adult now. I am a fully functioning member of society. And in my pursuit of my manhood, I have faced obstacles and oppression and real, real hatred. As a transman, I know what it means to be afraid: afraid of the world around you, of not fitting in, and always being the outcast. And as proud as I am now of the man I am, I am still deeply embarrassed about the actions that I participated in as a teenager.
I am no longer in touch with those that I bullied in high school. And as much as I would like to apologize to them, I can’t assume that they want to communicate with me. I want to believe that they are all doing well, having grown past the awkward years and are now confident and stable adults. So instead of burdening them with my guilt, I shall toss my apology into the sea of the internet, and hope it does some good.
I am sorry for being a bully.
We’re Queer. And we stand against Bullying.
In recognition of National Coming Out Day, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) has issued a statement on LGBT equality and justice.
The following is an excerpt from that statement. For the full statement, please visit http://www.ncapaonline.org/
The Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in the United States has always been made up of a diversity of people from different ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, religions, languages spoken, and more. The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), as a coalition of organizations that represent these diverse constituencies and provides a national voice on policy issues and priorities, celebrates that diversity in all its forms, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT).
NCAPA recognizes the unique needs and concerns LGBT people and families have within the AANHPI community and many of its member organizations have played critical roles in advocating LGBT policy issues. The Japanese American Citizens League was the first non-LGBT organization after the ACLU to support marriage equality in the state of Hawai’i, almost 10 years before the issue reached the mainland.
NCAPA remembers this history, and strongly affirms its support for members within the AANHPI community who are LGBT. NCAPA members individually support a number of LGBT policy issues and the NCAPA 2012 Policy Platform includes policy positions on LGBT issues as well. NCAPA knows the sting of discrimination based on religion, and supports religious freedom, and knows that LGBT people’s rights can and must be protected in ways that are consistent with freedom of religious expression.
QAPA is proud to bring the “Wall of Pride” to Boston. API Family Pride is a San Francisco based organization which honors Asian families from across the United States who “courageously defied their community’s homophobia, risked isolation, and supported their LGBT children thereby reclaiming the strong family ties and proud sense of interdependence characteristic of API families.” http://www.apifamilypride.org/programs/wall-of-pride
The Wall of Pride will be on display in the common space of The Meeting Point at 3464 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, from August 29th through September 7th. Please join us for a small reception with the founders of API Family Pride on the evening of Friday, September 7th from 7 to 10pm.
Parents and youth are strongly encouraged to attend.
This event is co-sponsored by QAPA, API Family Pride and The Meeting Point.
The rumors are true, QAPA is phasing out its Yahoo! Group listserv and going to the shiny, minty fresh, Web 2.0-ey Meetup.com. Despite there now being some overhead costs (annual fee) associated with Meetup, we thought it was the best move to make because it shifts the focus to QAPA’s next upcoming event while still allowing members to talk among themselves (discussion boards). Also it makes it easy as Sunday morning to view and RSVP to events. One of the coolest features introduced is that now members can suggest their own events. As soon as 3 others mark that they are interested, it becomes a full fledged event. Power to the people!
We encourage our members to start switching over to the Meetup as there are already events posted that are just waiting for you to RSVP to :) Come to one of our events or stay and chat a little on our Discussion Board (there’s not much there right now, but we’re looking to our members to get the ball rolling!) If you like the new system, please let us know, and if you really like the system or just want to show your support, you can donate any amount by clicking the link on the left under “Recommended Donation.”
So here’s the big ol’ link to the new location, it’ll be circulated on the Yahoo! Group several times before the Group is turned off for good:
FYI,the new Meetup is just replacing the old clunky Yahoo! listserv. This blog remains alive and well, just like our Facebook group and Twitter Account.
See ya at the next Meetup!
- QAPA Steering
Thank you Sarav!
Our dear steering committee member Sarav Chidambaram recently stepped down from the steering committee. After more than four years of service, he will be sorely missed. Sarav is a fierce community activist involved in MassEquality, the Cambridge GLBT commission, and many more initiatives. We know he will continue to be a part of the QAPA community and we wish him the best!
Welcome Hung and Kathy!
QAPA welcomes two new steering committee member and community coordinators, Kathy and Hung Dinh! Kathy will be leading “QAPA Connect” - plugging you in to all the fun activities in Boston.
Hung is going to be our group facilitator extraodinaire, and will be leading the charge on “QAPA Speaks Out,” our latest discussion and safe space initiative.
Thanks guys for signing on for a year of craziness and lending us your time and passion. Welcome!
In his own words:
Hung Dinh was born in Vietnam and immigrated to The United States of America with his parents and brother at the age of 3. He came out at the age of 17 and never looked back. He identifies as a gay male who considers himself genderqueer in the sense that his gender identity and expression transcends the gender binary of the social construct of what defines a male or a female. He grew up in Connecticut, has recently relocated to Boston, and currently looking for employment in the social services/non-profit sector.Hung Dinh is an alumnus of the University of Connecticut, School of Social Work, receiving a Master’s in Social Work. His concentration is in Groupwork with a substantive area of focus in Social Work with Women and Children in Families. During his time there he was the chair of the PRIDE committee where he advocated and brought awareness to LGBT issues to the school. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut, majoring in Urban and Community Studies with a minor in Sociology.Hung draws influence for QAPA’s upcoming Speak Out discussion group from his experiences growing up a gay Asian and having a gender identity that does not conform to social norms and experiencing a lack of community within the Queer Asian community. There is potential to bring about mutual support and empowerment when marginalized and disenfranchised groups can come together to discuss issues and topics that are relevant to our lives and experiences and work through this as a community.
As a prelude to the upcoming Fenway event for queer women of color (4/30, Thursday, 1340 Boylston, Boston, 7-9pm), we want to hear your ideas and thoughts on health needs, challenges, or ideas, for the API LGBT community. This is a very informal survey, we’re hoping to use the blog to generate some dialogue with the community and get a sense of main issues and needs.
Please add your comments to the blog! Here are some general questions for discussion, feel free to address them or add your own. We welcome all opinions and ideas!
- As a queer API, what kind of questions do you have regarding your health as LGBT person?
- Have you personally faced certain health obstacles stemming from the fact that you’re queer and/or API?
- What kind of resources, and information would you like to see?
- What do you think are some of the challenges we face as API LGBT patients?
- Any advice/strategies on empowering our community on the issue of health?
- Any interesting health research or data that you know of that you can share?
Also, I forgot to mention that our own Kathy was featured on the front page of Bay Windows as she marched with QAPA in Boston Pride. She made it to both the homepage of BW and also the print version!
Most exciting, MAP won second place for their adaptation of this year’s green theme with a carbon neutral presence (I’m pretty sure U-Hauls burn gasoline, but who’s counting?) MASALA was pretty green, though, with their leg powered rickshaw as was QAPA who was hoofin’ it the whole way. Any way you slice, it, congratulations to us! Second place! Here’s the blurb:
With so few parade participants embracing this year’s theme, the Pride Committee offered just one runner up award for best theme adaptation instead of its usual two. The second place award went to the joint contingent from Massachusetts Asian and Pacific Islanders (MAP) for Health and the Massachusetts Area South Asian Lambda Association (MASALA). MAP and MASALA had a carbon neutral presence in this year’s parade, combining a virtual float — a group of marchers surrounded by four poles connected with hanging strips of fabric — and a rickshaw.