Vote Today! GAPIMNY 2015 Elections

We’re close to the end of an eventful year.

Now it’s time to vote for the 2015 GAPIMNY Steering Committee (SC). The SC manages the day-to-day operations of GAPIMNY and steers the programming of the organization.

Here is the 2015 GAPIMNY SC slate:

Co-Chair: Jason Kwong
Co-Chair: Ryan Shen
Administration Chair: Jason Tseng
Communication Chair: Clement Chan
DowneTime Chairs: Kevin Du and Kevin Park
Finance Chair: Richard Lou
Fundraising Chair: Rafael Flores
Membership Chair: Dennis Chin
Political Chair: John Cheng
Social Chair: Danny Taing
Social Media Chair: Taimour Chaudri

Members-at-Large: Jason Wu, YG Lee, Khanh Le, and Patrick Lin

Only GAPIMNY members can vote. If you have a question about your membership status, email us at gapimny@gapimny.org.

Click here to vote by December 28th 12PM EDT.

Elixir / Holiday Party, Fri 12/12

GAPIMNY’s holiday party will be with the last Elixir of the year!  We will have some appetizers.  Let us know if you would like to join us for dinner after at RSVP@gapimny.org.

2 for 1 drinks until 9pm

Friday, December 12, 2014, 7pm – 9pm
Boxers HK
742 9th Ave by 50th St

TALA
[Message from Kyoung, a GAPIMNY member and former SC member]
Come watch the World Premiere of TALA, a multicultural play about the immigrant experience written and directed by Kyoung H. Park. TALA blends the semi-autobiographical story of a gay, Korean-Chilean playwright living in America with the tale of Pepe and Lupe, two lovers inspired by Chilean poets Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral. This surreal tragicomedy delves deep into the absurdities of being an artist while trying to write within the margins of so many broken systems.

TALA runs January 8 – 23, 2015 Thursday – Saturday at 8pm.
The University Settlement
184 Eldridge St

For GAPIMNY, $15 tickets are available before December 15th with the code artforall.  Tickets at www.kyoungspacificbeat.org or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Screening of Kumu Hina

Please join API Project at PFLAG NYC for a special free screening of Kumu Hina, an intimate yet unflinching portrait of a native Hawaiian māhū, or transgender, teacher who inspires a young girl to pursue her dream of leading the school’s all-male hula troupe as she searches for love and a fulfilling romantic relationship in her own life.  Trailer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
5:30pm – 6:30pm Reception
6:30pm – 9pm Screening, Musical Performance, and Discussion
Ford Foundation
320 E 43rd St

RSVP at KumuHinaRSVP.eventbrite.com

“So you think you can dance” Workshop, 11/23

We are back with our “So you think you can dance” workshop!

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We will start with a little bit of stretching and a tutorial on basic street dance moves. We’ll then teach you 1-2 short pieces of choreography.  The workshop will be taught by GAPIMNY Co-Chair Dennis Chin.  Other teachers may be joining so stay tuned.  Absolute beginners are welcome and encouraged to come!

We have a suggested donation of $5 to help pay for the space.

Afterwards, join us for dinner in the area.

Sunday, November 23rd, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM
DANY (Dance Art New York) Studios, Studio 3
305 West 38th Street (between Eight and Ninth Avenues)
New York, NY 10018

$5 suggested donation. Please RSVP by sending an email to gapimny@gapimny.org with the subject “Dance Workshop” and your name in the body of the email.

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GAPIMNY Logo Contest – $300 prize

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GAPIMNY is turning 25 next year and we need a new logo that matches the organization that we are now.  We are launching a logo design contest, with the winner being chosen by GAPIMNY members, for a $300 prize.

Click here for GAPIMNY’s logo brief for the contest.

Submission:

Please provide a vector image version and a standard jpg or png version to gapimny@gapimny.org by December 15, 2014

Questions?  Email us at gapimny@gapimny.org

 

GAPIMNY Elections 2015

[From Ryan Shen, Co-Chair]

As the end of the year approaches, the GAPIMNY steering committee (SC) is starting to focus on our annual election. This is an exciting opportunity for all our members to become more involved in GAPIMNY, by joining the steering committee. As a SC member, you have the opportunity to:

  • Meet activists in the LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander community in NYC, in the US and abroad.
  • Build community with a dedicated group of volunteers.
  • Learn the ins and outs of running a small, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people in our community.
  • Gain/practice skills in facilitation, fundraising and event/action planning.

The SC is a yearly commitment. (We encourage at least two years of involvement.) We meet on the first Monday of every month for two hours and SC members are expected to attend these regularly. Each SC member also determines the role they want to play. These roles include, but not limited to:

  • Co-Chairs
  • Administration Chair
  • Communications Chair
  • Social Media Chair
  • DowneTime Chair
  • Finance Chair
  • Fundraising Chair
  • General Meeting Chair
  • Membership Chairs or Volunteer Chairs

If interested, please contact me at rytshen@gmail.com for more details

Elixir, Fri 10/24

Elixir

Casual Happy Hour for Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Asian-Pacific Islander Men in the NYC area!  Elixir Happy Hours began on April 4 and take place every 2nd and 4th Friday of each month.

We reserved the whole lower floor of Boxers HK’s for drinks, bonding, and festivities! Hang out with fellow GAPIMNY members or come meet new friends!

2 for 1 Drinks until 9pm

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Friday, October 24, 7pm – 9pm
Boxers HK, Lower Level
742 9th Ave by 50th St
Facebook Event

Kit Yan Presents Queer Heartache

Our friend Kit Yan, a queer, transgender, and Asian American Brooklyn based slam poet from Hawaii has an upcoming two night show. Check it out! Tickets will sell out fast!

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November 1, 9pm and November 2, 4:30pm.
IRT Theater
154 Christopher Street #3B, is accessible with ramps and elevators
Cheap beer for sale
Limited seating, no tickets available at the door.
Sliding scale tickets $10 – 20 available at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/892582

Not All of Us Can Be Fully “Out” – Family and Coming Out as a Gay Asian

This National Coming Out Day, we believe it’s important to share our personal stories of coming out to friends and family.  But, these aren’t the only stories that matter.  For many folks in the LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander community, coming out to family seems like an insurmountable task.  It’s important for us to share these stories too so that folks know that they aren’t alone and that support is available.

Below is a story from a GAPIMNY member:

Being Asian in the United States is tough. You’re caught in a constant struggle to find your identity. In my family, I am the first-born son, and my family’s expectations for me are to succeed financially and carry on the family name. I think for some Asian people, it’s tough to figure out your identity because of how connected our community can be.  It seems like anything could potentially make its way back to your family. This is why when I finally said, “I am gay” to myself, I was terrified and downcast.

I am a Chook Sing Zai; an American Born Chinese (ABC). My mother is also an ABC as she was born in New York. My mother grew up very poor. She would help my grandmother make clothes and belts after school and weekends to make money. All of her clothes were sewn by my grandmother. When my mother became a teenager, she spent her weekends and free time helping out at the store my grandpa owned. Since then, my mother works in an accounting firm, a 9-5 job, but still spends the weekends working for my grandparents’ store helping them out anyway she can.

It’s this hard work and sacrifice that hangs on me like a second skin.  On top of my mother’s sacrifices, our family has endured a lot of medical emergencies, which has put more pressure on me to become the provider in the family. It’s these experiences that taught me that family is everything. At the end of the day no matter what, family sticks together. I lived and breathed this until I entered high school, when I realized I am gay.

When I found out, I hated myself so much. I began to withdraw more and more. I was afraid I would be kicked out of the house. I felt like I cheated my parents who worked so hard to give me what they never had. I loathed myself so much.  I even contemplated suicide. I was lost and afraid. My family was my entire world. Ever since then I’ve begun to distance myself from the family.

In 2011, I had learned to crochet and had made one of my first gay friends a pink and white scarf. I gave it to him on the corner of Canal and Elizabeth Street. I told him I had to go and I gave him a hug. I felt so weird about hugging him because it felt as if all eyes were on me in Chinatown. In reality, I bet no one cared at all. I felt so sad and ashamed that I began crossing Canal Street as the red light was blinking. I was one step away from the pavement when I felt a large force ram into me.

A car hit me.

The force was strong enough to knock me, a big two hundred sixty pound guy, off my feet, landing three feet away and rolling a little bit further. I got up, got my hat, and got onto the sidewalk with stabbing pains in my legs and back. I then checked to see if there were any bones broken or internal bleeding. The driver and a few bystanders asked if I was all right. I said I was fine and continued walking. I walked all the way to my aunt’s house about ten blocks away.

I kept the pain inside because I was afraid of being found out I was gay. I laughed painfully during my trek to my aunt’s house because I would rather get hurt and nearly die than to tell my parents I was associating with a gay person and got hit by a car. I realized how little I valued my life and how I really hurt myself.

Eventually, my parents found out about me being hit by a car when they received the bill after I decided to go to the ER. My parents felt that I had betrayed and hurt them. I hurt them because I did not tell them sooner. They were so angry with me they felt that I had no trust or faith in them to even tell them that I had been hit by a car. Their words hit harder than that car did and I realized they were right.

I kept my parents at a distance because I fear they will reject me.  To this day, I still do.

Every year when we visit the ancestors at their gravesites and offer food and incense I always say a prayer. I say a prayer to my deceased grandparents that they don’t hate me for who I am and that I wish for them to accept me and decisions I make in life. Each year I pray hoping that they approve of me doing the things that make me happy.

Each year I hope the distance between me and my family can shrink. I wish so badly with all my heart I could tell them and for them to accept me. This is why I am grateful that groups like the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) and the Asian Pride Project exist.  I was able to share my story with people that could really understand where I was coming from.  The Asian Pride Project has launched PSAs targeted at folks like my parents to get them to understand that family is family and that LGBT folks in their family deserve their love and acceptance. After watching some of the videos and reading the stories I cried a bit. They showed me that families and people can change. Most importantly the Asian Pride Project and GAPIMNY gave me hope that one day me and my family can have a healthier relationship full of love, respect, and understanding.

Gay & Asian