I haven’t always felt comfortable asking for help. Previously, I thought asking for help meant I was not “good enough,” and I thought that struggling on my own was a reflection of true strength. I learned this mindset from my family, who are Brown working class immigrants always battling to survive. I experienced this individualistic culture in my own Indo-Caribbean communities, where asking for support was never seen as an option. I witnessed systems of power silencing the needs of marginalized communities. Different internalized oppressions fueled this mindset, and I never had a space to unlearn these ideas and invite in new values.
Category: Leadership Development
To me, APIENC is love — love that the world desperately needs.
As a chronically ill, Việt, queer, nonbinary person, I felt unheard, othered, and silenced for far too long, by nearly everyone in my life in some way. I don’t blame them for that, but it hurt compartmentalizing myself. In that process, it began to be hard to see myself. The self became selves. I was often confused, constantly wondering why my relationship to love and vulnerability was missing something. I felt broken. I struggled to build support systems that held me.
There I was, on a zoom call with over 30 people who I had just met the weekend before, having a vulnerable one-on-one conversation with Sammie for everyone to watch.
This was during the third session of APIENC’s annual Leadership Exchange, or LEX for short. Usually, LEX is an in-person, 2 weekend-long training for trans and queer API organizers, but this was no usual year. Since meeting in person wasn’t an option, APIENC held LEX over 6 weekends, over zoom. I had just started as one of APIENC’s Summer Organizers when I signed up for LEX, not knowing what to expect.
APIENC’s summer has come to a close! Our Summer Organizers — Huanvy, Kai, Rai, Shreya, T, and Zaha — worked hard deepening their skills, building strong relationships, and learning how to ask for help. They’ve participated in exchanges with other activists, supported a 300-person contingent at Trans March, done in-person outreach for our needs assessment,
POP! Camp is BACK! This summer, APIENC and NQAPIA are hosting our second People Over Pride (POP!) Camp for LGBTQ Asian and Pacific Islander Youth. POP! Camp is an intensive 4-day LGBTQ API training camp for youth ages 14-20 to grow into organizers and activist. We’ll be talking about what it means to create change,
Do you want to work with trans, gender nonconforming, and queer API people and communities? Do you have a commitment to social justice? Are you ready to transform, learn concrete community organizing skills, and work to build movements for change? The application for APIENC’s (API Equality – Northern California) Summer Organizer Program is now open!
Reflections from Yuan Wang, 2018 APIENC Summer Organizer (they/them pronouns): When I shared the first story that came to mind of feeling deeply “unwelcome”, my shoulders felt heavy and my eyes lowered to the ground. “We’re doing that one,” a new friend next to me replied, their voice gentle with compassion for my sadness and