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

http://www.redtube40.info
http://www.redtube41.info
http://www.redtube42.info
http://www.redtube43.info
http://www.redtube44.info

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!

http://www.xnxx40.info
http://www.xnxx41.info
http://www.xnxx42.info
http://www.xnxx43.info
http://www.xnxx44.info

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

Petition for Trans Health Care Coverage in NY

Basic health care coverage for trans and gender non-conforming people has always been an issue in New York State, especially for those who are low-income and qualify for Medicaid. Most health insurance policies and programs, including New York State Medicaid, routinely refused coverage for necessary care for trans people, even though it is recommended by American Medical Association.

The following is a petition for a letter to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah to repeal New York State Medicaid’s regulation excluding trans people from accessing care. Sign the petition and make your voice heard!

Sign Online Petition

Elixir & Fantasia

Fantasia

Our joint happy hours with Gay International Happy Hour were so successful that we are continuing the trend with a joint event with Fantasia by Michael Snider. More details to come next week!
The Wednesday, October 8 Elixir/Fantasia Event will take place of the Friday, October 10 Happy Hour at Boxers HK. Our next Friday Happy Hour will resume on Friday, October 24!

GAPIMNY & Michael Snider Presents:
Elixir Happy Hour & Fantasia
Wednesday, October 8, 6pm – 11pm
Atlas Social Club
753 9th Ave, between 50th & 51st St

Facebook Event

GAPIMNY & DowneTime Cold Spring Hike

DowneTime is taking you to experience the Fall colors of New York! We will be commuting by Metro North along the Hudson River for a day hike at the beautiful Cold Spring’s Bull Hill. This event is open to all GAPIMNY folks.

Please read the trip information below and then RSVP through downetime@gapimny.org with the info we request below.

Venue and Transport: Meet up time is 9am, Sunday, October 5th at Grand Central Station, next to the Golden Clock. We will all board the train at 9:20. Please arrive early to purchase your ticket.  We will try to sit together on the train.
If you prefer driving/catching a ride, please indicate that in your RSVP and make sure you arrive at the Cold Springs Metro North Station parking lot by 11am.

What to Wear: Please note that the trail is rated strenuous and moderate/difficult. Please dress appropriately to hike on slippery slopes with wet leaves and loose rocks. You may be required to use hands for assistance at times. Hiking/sports shoe and long pants are strongly recommended.

Please Bring:
1) Water for a 3 – 4 hour hike (1.5 – 2 liters)
2) Fare for the round trip ticket
3) Insect repellant. Wear long pants to prevent ticks
4) Snacks and food (lunch, if you prefer your own food or do not RSVP)
5) Trash bags for your trash
6) Your medication(s) (allergy, asthma, etc.)
7) A change of clothes, if you want
8) A great smile to meet great people and have a good time in nature

Cost and Lunch: the train round trip is $28. All currently paid GAPIMNY members will receive a $5 discount.  We can provide lunch.
Please RSVP at downetime@gapimny.org with “HIKING RSVP” subject, with this info:
1) Will you be commuting with us by train or will you driving/catching a ride?
2) Any dietary restrictions?
3) Do you want DowneTime to provide your lunch?  The lunch is likely to be banh mi, or Vietamese sandwiches.
4) Any allergies, medications, or injuries that we should be informed about

If the cost of the trip is a concern for you please email us. We do not want you to miss out due to financial concerns.

Weather Concerns: The event will be confirmed two days prior to the hike.  You will be informed if we have to reschedule due to weather.

For any questions and concerns, please email us at downetime@gapimny.org.

More Info:
http://hikethehudsonvalley.com/bull-hill-mt-taurus/
http://coldspringny.info/hiking-trails/

DowneTime: Fall Mixer

DowneTime Fall Mixer Flyer-01

Elixir, Fri 9/26

Casual Rooftop Happy Hour for Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Asian-Pacific Islander Men in the NYC area!

This is our final Rooftop Happy Hour of the year! We will be moving down to the lower level starting from October so come out and have a drink while the good weather lasts!

Elixir Happy Hours are on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month.  2-for-1 drinks until 9pm.

Friday, September 26, 6pm – 9pm
Boxers HK, Rooftop
742 9th Ave by 50th St
Facebook Event

Queer Youth Group Visiting from Japan

Join our meeting with a queer youth group visiting from Japan.  This is their second year visiting and meeting with local queer groups.

Tuesday, September 16, 7pm – 9pm
Center for Social Inclusion
150 Broadway, Suite 303