SEATTLE—Everyone is invited to the free all-day conference Family 2.0: An API LGBTQ Gathering geared toward LGBTQIA+ Asian Pacific Islanders and their families and allies, on May20th, 2017 at North Seattle College (9600 College Way N.). The event is sponsored by the Japanese American Citizens League, North Seattle College, as well as local community organizations such as PFLAG, NQAPIA, Noor, Sneaky Deep Collective, Interplay, and more.
Marsha Aizumi, author of “Two Spirits One Heart” on the first Family conference: “Attending an API LGBTQ event like Family with my son and daughter-in-law, we were able to see people like us, so we didn’t feel so all alone and shared our stories of moving through fear, sadness and shame to unconditional love and acceptance which continued to bring healing to our lives. The Family event also gave me, a mother, hope that more families will support their children and more allies will become visible voices for my son and the LGBTQ community.”
The event is free, but requires registration either online at apifamilyevent.com or on the day of the event beginning at 9:00 a.m. at North Seattle College. Workshops offered for both LGBTQ youth/adults, as well as allies, will include (but not limited to): Immigrant Voices, Queer Muslim Perspectives, LGBTQ History in the US, Trans API History, and Family Acceptance.
Keynote speakers will include local drag queen and activist, Aleksa Manila (aleksamanila.com): “Drug counselor by day, drag diva by night. Aleksa Manila is a celebrated and respected drag personality. Originally from Manila, Philippines, Aleksa now calls Seattle, Washington home. Aleksa is a favorite emcee/host, speaker/panelist, performer/model at many events in the region because of her smart and sassy presence onstage and her ease of engaging her audience.”
Also featured will be speaker and educator, Lydia Brown (autisticchoya.com): “I’m a writer, dreamer, activist/organizer, and speaker/educator. Some of the many marginal identities/experiences I hold are that I’m autistic and multiply otherwise neurodivergent and disabled, queer, asexual-spectrum, genderqueer/non-binary and sometimes read as feminine, and transracially and transnationally adopted east asian person of color from China (into a white adoptive family).”
The Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League which is leading the effort behind Family 2.0 ultimately hopes to build an Asian Pacific Islander support group within the greater Seattle area and to bring together other community groups to form a coalition.
Family is made possible by generous support from North Seattle College, a National JACL Legacy Fund Grant, the JACL National Youth/Student Council, NQAPIA, and private donors.Bill Tashima, Seattle JACL Past President: “Although I am now a very happy, openly gay married man, I rarely talked about my struggles growing up in the closet. I have come to understand why the Nisei were so reluctant to talk about their experiences during the WWII incarceration, and have realized that it is important to share my experiences growing up. Coming out may seem easier now, but admitting to the world that you are different is never easy. I want our LGBTQ community to know, you are not alone.”