For many, coming out can be scary and confusing and the fear of telling family and friends can be overwhelming. To help make it a positive and empowering experience, we are proud to cosponsor with API Project at PFLAG of New York to host a workshop that creates a safe space for open conversations and the opportunity to share practical tips and resources to help coming-out in an Asian American family and community. Send an email to email@example.com if you want to know more about the workshop. Please RSVP through email details below, we look forward to seeing you there this Sunday!!
On August 6th, the Asian Pride Project, an Asian and Pacific Islander (API) lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Arts and Advocacy group met with 14 parents in Chicago…
These incredible moms and dads are out and proud parents of LGBTQ children.
We were lucky to witness their beautiful energy and love.
Coming from all around the country, these Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese parents gathered to learn from and support each other. They were also determined to show the world and their communities that they are extremely proud of their LGBTQ children.
We asked these parents:
How would you describe your relationship with your daughter or son in one word?
“My child is my heart. From the moment he came into my life, he was precious to me. Now that he’s a young adult, I continue to be inspired and touched by witnessing his journey and getting to know the wise, thoughtful, fun, strong, powerful and creative person he is.”
“Open and Forgiving”
“We learn that we’re coming from a good heart and even if we make mistake and hurt others’ feelings, we can continue conversation with openness and give ourselves permission to forgive ourselves and others.”
Karen and Glenn Murakami
“We love and support our sons unconditionally. Love allows us to be open in dialogue about where we all are in this process and journey.”
“My son and I are no longer questioning his gender identity, I am proud that I was able to support him to be who he wants to be.”
“I have an overwhelming feeling of love towards my daughter who believes in herself and is courageous enough to chart her own path in life. My daughter is my beacon of hope and freedom.”
We also asked parents: how would you describe your son or daughter in one word?
Here’s what they said…
“[Tina] is an advocate for social justice. She is kind and patient and is willing to work with the family to help us take one baby step at a time. We are close, honest (try to be!) and loving.”
“I need say no more. She is strong, well-focused – an inspiration for me.”
“Audrey lives her life authentically. We are fortunate to love each other unconditionally.”
“Kylee is beautiful inside and out. She is loving and caring and makes the world a better place because she is in it! I love her with all my heart. I know she loves me lots too!”
“Meeting all these supportive parents gives me hope that that the world will be more gentle to all human beings.”
“I am filled with hope that more parents will be visible and be inspirations to other parents and LGBTQ children.”
And isn’t this what we all want to hear from the ones we love?
“We love you”
Kate Shim & H.K. Suh
“We love you the way you are, and are proud of you.”
Don’t you want to join these awesome parents? Just look at how much fun they’re having!
Lastly, Asian Pride Project offers a heartfelt thank you to these courageous out and proud parents for taking a stand for LOVE.
We’d also like to give a huge thanks to API PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of LGBT people) for organizing this parents’ convening, and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander (NQAPIA) for hosting the Chicago conference.
Are you also a parent of an Asian or Pacific Islander (API) LGBTQ child? Are you looking for resources and/or a supportive community of like-minded parents? Would you like to share your story? If so, please contact Asian Pride Project firstname.lastname@example.org, or API PFLAG at email@example.com.
Our Portraits, Our Families - a group photography show of family narratives
On View at the Museum of Chinese in America: June 13 – July 13, 2014
Presented by Asian Pride Project, Our Portraits, Our Families is an exhibition at the intersection of Art, Advocacy, and Allyship for Asian Pacific Islander (API) families with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) members. Our Portraits, Our Families seeks to visualize and promote the realization of love and understanding in our families, as a way to undo culturally ingrained bias. This exhibition celebrates the eternal optimism of familial love without forgetting the tears so many of our families still endure.
Each featured artist worked with an API LGBTQ individual and their family, resulting in a series of visual narratives of varied emotional content within the shared context of immigrant values. By highlighting the family experience, Asian Pride Project hopes to shed light on a topic oftentimes silenced within API communities, provide lessons and role models for families with LGBTQ members, and place importance on the role of families for LGBTQ acceptance in all communities.
Stories highlighted in this exhibition include a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime with a deep sense of filial piety, the journey of a Korean twin whose adoptive parents saved and embrace her fully, and a transgender playwright who finds acceptance within his partner’s family.
Advocacy through photography is at the heart of each participating artist’s art practice. Alexis Lim, Justin Maxon, Ka-Man Tse, Nelson Chan, and Pete Pin hail from prestigious institutions including Yale University, The Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, The Salt Institute, and Rhode Island School of Design. Chiun-Kai Shih, creative director for Conde Nast Asia, features how those in the community are breaking the LGBTQ ceiling by being leaders in their respective industries: Peter Som, Anita Lo, DB Kim, and Marcus Teo.
We recognize that the portraits here are not definitive by any means. Family is not static; it is ever-evolving in the face of unpredicted revelation and change. What we offer is a small glimpse into the lives of a handful of families. What remains invisible to us as viewers are universal issues, from the little victories in life to our daily struggles. It is in this day-to-day living – openly and proudly – that is most inspiring about the families of Our Portraits, Our Families.
We ask you to view our work as a public call to action, to empower our families and communities to speak out against vocal and silent discrimination, to embrace the beauty in difference, and to expand the boundaries of love and understanding for people of all sexual and gender identities.
We invite you to take this opportunity to enjoy these diverse, rich and artistic LGBTQ family narratives and share widely amongst our communities.
The team at Asian Pride Project would like to acknowledge our selection committee for their expertise during the artist selection process:
Alison Morley, International Center of Photography
Aries M. Liao Sng, Asian Pride Project
Clinton Cargill, New York Times Magazine
Prerana Reddy, Queens Museum
For press inquiries, please contact Aries Liao Sng, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Asian Pride Project
The Asian Pride Project is founded on the belief that families go through a coming out process, too. The organization lends voice to the API LGBTQ community through video, writing, and visual art and is one of ten national API organizations honored as Champions of Change by the White House.
On this special occasion, Asian Pride Project would also like to announce the launch of The Public Collection, an ongoing initiative to gather family pictures and narratives of API LGBTQ individuals and their families. These materials are community-sourced and contribute to shaping the public perception of the API LGBTQ communities and the families that come out with them.
“Our Portraits, Our Families” API Family Photography Exhibition Invites you to share a precious ‘Family Moment’!!
“Our Portraits, Our Families” is a groundbreaking group photography exhibition presented by Asian Pride Project that will increase visibility and empower Asian & Pacific Islander LGBTQ individuals and families through the use of visual media and arts. By highlighting and acknowledging the beauty of diverse families, the exhibition will shed much-needed light on a topic often times silenced within our API communities. The exhibition opens in June 2014 in New York City, stay tuned for weekly updates!!
In line with the goals of highlighting the personal and cultural importance of family in “Our Portraits, Our Families” Photography Exhibition, Asian Pride Project invites you all to participate in ‘family moments’ photo sharing, kicking off with the precious Lunar New Year 2014!
Are you a queer API person? How will you celebrate with your family this lunar new year? Can you describe it with a photograph?
Post a photograph describing a moment of your API queer lunar new year spent with your family (however you define family) and post it to Twitter with the tags #OurPortraitsOurFamilies and @APIprideproject and/or to our Facebook page to get featured on our website!
Please Note: By submitting their photographs to this photo contest via Twitter or Facebook, participants grant Asian Pride Project (APP) full rights, which includes but not limited to the right to use any submitted photographs or photo-based images to be exhibited or to promote the Exhibition or for display on APP’s website or inclusion in a physical distributed media such as pamphlets or books.
Good afternoon! My name is Patrick Cheng. I am an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Church, and I’m also an openly gay Chinese American man. For nearly ten years, I have ministered to LGBT Asian Americans in New York City and across the country.
It means a lot to me to be here today, speaking about the Lunar New Year for All parade. One of my happiest childhood memories was attending the Lunar New Year Parade in San Francisco with my family. I can still see the lion and dragon dancers coming down Grant Avenue, hear the drums and music, smell the firecrackers, and taste the yummy dried coconut snacks! For one night each year, we all came together as one big family and showed our ethnic and cultural pride to the city and to the world.
Recently, a number of misguided Asian American Christians have used homophobia, fear tactics, and outright lies as a way of dividing our families and communities. Not only is this morally repulsive, but it also inflicts great suffering upon our own sisters and brothers.
- I think about the Korean American lesbian who was threatened with physical violence by her parents and siblings after she came out.
- I think about the spiritually gifted Chinese American man who was rejected by his church community just because he was gay.
- And I think about the many LGBT young people of faith who are terrified of coming out to their families and communities because of their fears of discrimination and rejection.
But there is hope. I have been blessed with a wonderfully supportive family during the nearly twenty years that I’ve been out to them. In fact, my late grandmother, Wai-Puo, always treated my partner as if he were my spouse. She would cook delicious food for him, and she would give him a red envelope every year for the Lunar New Year. She really set the example for my entire extended family! My mom carries on Wai-Puo’s legacy today by coming all the way from Virginia just to be here with us this morning.
Homophobia is not a family value, a religious value, or an Asian American value. LOVE is! And that’s why I’m so excited that the Lunar New Year parade this year will truly be a celebration for ALL! Thank you.
About the Rev. Patrick Cheng
The Rev. Patrick S. Cheng is an ordained minister with the Metropolitan Community Church and has ministered to the LGBTQ Asian American community for the past decade. Patrick recently completed his Ph.D. degree in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Columbia University. Patrick is also a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. He lives in New York City with Michael, his partner of 18 years, and their six-month old puppy. For more information about Patrick, visit http://www.patrickcheng.net.