AAPIP Voices

We Are Everywhere: Connecting the Dots of Social Justice Movement


By Alice Y. Hom, Director, Queer Justice Fund
Catherine Eusebio, 2012 DREAM Summer Intern
Steve Li, 2012 DREAM Summer Intern

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) AAPI (Asian American/Pacific Islander) people have always participated in diverse social justice movements but we have not always been openly gay and/or visible as racialized and gendered people in these movements. While progress has been made, there still are conditions that keep this reality from being true for all people. Which is why the Queer Justice Fund (QJF) exists at AAPIP.

Working at these intersections is why the QJF supports autonomous LGBT AAPI groups as well as ally AAPI organizations that work on LGBT issues. As one illustration of this, QJF has supported API Equality-Los Angeles to participate in the 2012 DREAM Summer Program, providing opportunities for undocumented youth and students to work with social justice and community-based organizations.

AAPIP is also hosting two DREAM interns Catherine Eusebio and Steve Li from the DREAM Summer Program. As part of connecting the dots between social justice movements, they attended the recent NQAPIA (National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance) conference, Power, Presence, Progress, in Washington DC, July 19-22, to learn more about the overlapping connections between LGBT and AAPI movements.

In the posts below, Catherine and Steve share their thoughts about the experience and in engaging a cross-movement dialogue. We hope you’ll share your thoughts and observations about their experience with us in the comments section.

2012 DREAM Summer Intern: Catherine Eusebio
Identities Clashing

A clashing of identities was a common theme from the participants of the conference. Many people expressed that they had to fully leave behind their ethnic or religious self because it was at odds with their queer identity. As an undocumented person, I made the connection with compartmentalizing my own identity.

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2012 DREAM Summer Intern: Steve Li
I Know How It Feels to Be Judged For Being Different

Attending the 2012 NQAPIA conference was truly a privilege, being able to share a space with many individuals who identified themselves as LGBTQ API. Never have I seen so many come together from different generations to work for social change in the LQBTQ API community.

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