Valentine’s Day Spotlight: Jason & Ken

Jason and Ken

How did you meet?

We first met through mutual gaysian friends at a house party in Brooklyn-we barely spoke and Ken did not even remember meeting. It wasn’t until months later when we were both dancing across the room from each other at The Ritz that we actually took notice of each other and the rest is history.

What is one thing that you appreciate about each other?

Jason: To be really specific, I appreciate when Ken brings me breakfast in bed. I appreciate how sweet and thoughtful he is, not only with me but with everyone. He has a natural optimism that is uplifting to be around.

Ken: Jason has the biggest heart and a tender soul. He is always willing to listen and lend a hand whatever the situation may be. I know I will always get good pillow-side chat at the end of every day.

What’s one of the most challenging issues you faced as a couple?

Most recently we moved in together which is now great, but the moving process was at times stressful-we both had to make various arrangements and get everything in order, in addition to balancing work, family obligations and so forth.

Overall, the challenges we face are more so external to our relationship. There may be external dynamics that may come up for each of us individually, but we try to be supportive of each other and we both try to be mindful of how those dynamics may impact how we are with each other.

How does your family react to your relationship?

Our families are generally very supportive. We spend a lot of time with each other’s respective families on a regular basis. Early on in our relationship, Jason went to a family wedding of Ken’s and met a large part of his family very early on. As for the night at The Ritz that sparked our relationship, Jason’s siblings were all present and approvingly witnessed the blossoming of our romance. For now, Jason’s parents are having a difficult time with acceptance.

Jason and Ken 2

What traditions do you have as a couple that sustain the relationship?

Friday is our official date night. Eating spicy Szechuan food is another tradition.

What other issues do you think queer API couples face?

Unfortunately, there’s a real lack of visibility and representation of what our relationships as queer APIs look like.

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Check out last year’s couple, Kyoung & Danny.

Looking for love?  Come out to GAPIMNY’s Elixir Happy Hour tonight at Boxers Hell’s Kitchen from 7-9 PM.

Help our families understand what it means to be LGBTQ and API.  Join us this month to queer the Lunar New Year.

Support Group for Gay Asian Mandarin Speakers

Chinese language

In order for there to be a private space for our Asian friends to discuss issues touching on gay sexual orientation, GAPIMNY will be setting up a support group (language of communication will be Mandarin). This support group will be open to all gay, bisexual, queer men of Asian descent. If you are interested, you are welcome to send an email to gapimny@gapimny.org (with the email subject ‘Chinese support group’). We will be in touch as soon as we can!

为了让亚洲朋友有一个专属空间能够自由的讨论一些关于男同志性取向的话题, GAPIMNY 将会建立一个小组 (沟通语言将会是中文). 这个小组将开放给所有同性或双性恋(或非异性恋)的亚裔男性. 如果你想参与, 欢迎你发电邮到gapimny@gapimny.org (题目标签-”中文小组”)。我们将会尽快和你联络!

Immigration Executive Action & LGBT Asian Americans / South Asians

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance presents:

Immigration Executive Action & LGBT Asian Americans / South Asians
What’s Left Out, And Our Next Steps

Immigration attorneys and advocates will explain President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Presenters will highlight the special concerns and impact of administrative relief on the LGBT Asian American / South Asian immigrants. Specific emphasis will be on visas for professional workers, student visa OPTS, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Childhood Arrivals (DAPA).

Speakers:

  • Cyrus Mehta attorney representing corporations and individuals in business and employment immigration, family immigration and asylum.
  • Sin Yen Ling, attorney at QLA, the public defender office in Queens focusing on a criminal immigration issues.
  • Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together

Thursday, February 12, 2015, 6pm – 8pm
Project Reach in Chinatown, 39 Eldridge Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10002
Individual attorney consultations and reception with light refreshments to follow.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

2015 Planning Retreat

GAPIMNY SC Planning Retreat 2015

Two weekends ago, the 2015 Steering Committee gathered in midtown Manhattan for a very productive two-day planning retreat. We’ve streamlined our mission statement and planned an exciting line-up of events for the rest of 2015!

To recap, here’s the 2015 GAPIMNY SC slate:

GAPIMNY SC 2015

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

2014 Annual Report

In 2014, GAPIMNY had…

  • 53 events (see below)
  • 6 stories in the news
  • 14 Steering Committee Members
  • Dozens of volunteers
  • $5,300 spent
  • $7,600 raised (membership dues, donations, fundraising)
  • And countless queer Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) reached!

As an all volunteer group, we are proud of our involvement in the community.

You can support the queer API community by becoming a

For 2015, the new 16-member GAPIMNY Steering Committee met for two days to plan the next two years.  We look forward to another exciting year!

Review of 2014

January General Meeting (GM): Queering the Lunar New Year
Online elections
February Manhattan Chinatown Lunar New Year (LNY) Parade & Post-Parade Lunch
Flushing LNY Parade
Steering Committee Planning Meeting
Online Survey
Online:  Profile of a GAPIMNY Couple
March DowneTime Serve the People Exhibit
NQAPIA Community Catalyst Awards
Film Screening: Front Cover
April GAPIMNY 35+ Brunch
API PFLAG:   Asian American Parents Who Love Their Queer Kids
DowneTime Body Image Discussion
GM:  Gearing Up for API & Pride Months
2 Elixirs, Friday Happy Hours
May May Day March
GAPIMNY 35+ Brunch
Exhibit:  Graffiti Art
DowneTime Community Dinner
GAPIMNY in DC for Immigration Reform
3 Elixirs
June GAPIMNY 35+ Brunch
Queens Pride Lunch
Post Queens Pride Party
Manhattan Pride Sign Making & Karaoke Party
Trans Day of Action
Manhattan Pride March
Post-Pride Party:  Color Me Queer
2 Elixirs
July GM:  History of QAPI in NYC
Film Screening:  Gay Korean Documentary
DowneTime Summer BBQ (closed event)
GAPIMNY 35+ Brunch
Asian Pride Project Exhibit Kickoff
NQAPIA Summit in Philly
2 Elixirs
August 2 Elixirs w/ Gay Int’l Happy Hour Meetup Group
September Youth Group from Japan
Show:  Draw the Circle
Film Screening:  Our Marriages
DowneTime Fall Hike
2 Elixirs
October Fall Upstate Retreat
Elixir
Elixir / Fantasia
November Dance Workshop
Elixir
December Queens Pride House 17th Anniversary
Elixir / Holiday Party
     Total 53 Events in 2014
Holy Kao!: An Evening of Celebration and Laughter

Holy Kao: 30 Years

Project Reach, an organization that serves many queer youth, has graciously provided its community space for innumerable GAPIMNY events for many years. Don Kao, a co-founder of GAPIMNY (pictured above), has been with Project Reach in all of its 30 years. They will honor and tenderly roast Don Kao. They are fundraising $60,000 for a new initiative: Social Justice Freedom School.

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Thursday, February 5, 2015, 6pm – 9pm
Holy Kao!: An Evening of Celebration and Laughter
Steelcase Showroom
Corner of W 58th St and 8th Ave
RSVP form. Donations.

PATH: Paid Research Study for HIV+ Men

PATH research study flyerHave you or someone else close to you been diagnosed with HIV in the last 12 months?

Then you might be eligible to participate in PATH. PATH is a research study for HIV positive gay and bisexual men diagnosed in the last 12 months.

All participants will receive up to $225.

For more information, contact the PATH study at (212) 271-7203.

Call for Volunteers: Lunar New Year for All 2015

Lunar New Year for All

We’re gearing up for the Year of the Sheep. Help GAPIMNY co-organize the LGBT contingent for the Manhattan and Flushing Lunar New Year Parades. We rely on volunteers like you to continue the tradition of LGBT visibility in our Asian immigrant communities. All are welcome to volunteer.

Event dates:
Flushing: Saturday, February 21, 2015 starting approximately at 11am
Manhattan: Sunday, February 22, 2015 starting at 1pm

If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at gapimny@gapimny.org with the subject line “Lunar New Year 2015″.

Designer Wanted: Community Catalyst Award

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is seeking a designer to develop an invitation and program book for NQAPIA’s Community Catalyst Awards fundraising dinner to be held in March 2015.

The invitation: simple fold open card in full color.
The program book: multi-page booklet (5.5×8.5) with the program, co-sponsors, speaker bios, and several advertisements in various sizes. Full color front and back cover, black and white inside pages.

Deadlines:
Draft of invitation design due by Jan 5, 2015.
Final invitation by Jan 20, 2015.
Draft of program book design (only program and bios, no ads) by Feb 13, 2015.
2nd draft of program book design with ads by Feb 27, 2015.
Final program book by Mar 13, 2015.

The designer will be recognized in all material and will receive complementary tickets to the dinner.

If interested, please send a portfolio of works to glenn_magpantay@nqapia.org. A committee will select the designer. For more information, call 917-439-3158.

GAPIMNY Donates Funds to 3 Organizations

The 2014 GAPIMNY Steering Committee has voted to donate extra funds to three organizations doing amazing work in the community.

GAPIMNY is proud to support:

Pride 2013 Poongmul Movement Builders
Poongmul Movement Builders’ mission is to create a safe space for Queer Trans Gender Non-Conforming Asian and Pacific Islander identified community members and allies in which to celebrate our Visibility, Pride, and Empowerment through Poongmul-nori.  Members of Poongmul Movement Builders, some of whom are also members of GAPIMNY  have accompanied GAPIMNY during Lunar New Year parades and Pride Parades.

 

RAISERAISE! Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast
RAISE is a pan-Asian undocumented youth-led group on the East Coast. RAISE aims to create safe spaces in our communities while advocating for humane immigration policies. Through political activism, leadership development, community education, and coalition building, we work to reclaim our dignity as pan-Asian undocumented peoples. RAISE organizes on the grassroots level to reimagine justice and demand liberation for immigrants in America.  Some members of RAISE are also members of GAPIMNY.

 

QDEP Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), is an alternative to detention program (ATD) for queer/trans/HIV+ immigrant detainees, undocumented folks, and asylums seekers and their families in New York City. QDEP assists folks in securing structural, health/wellness, legal, and emotional support and services. QDEP works to advocate around the barriers that our members face as well around limitations due to immigration status, race, sexuality, and gender identity.  QDEP is committed to assisting folks in building lives outside of the detention system, to keeping queer families together by demanding an end to deportations, and to queering dialogue and work on immigration justice. Historically, GAPIMNY has worked on immigration as an LGBT issue.  QDEP is doing cutting edge work providing support for the most vulnerable in the immigrant detention system.