San Francisco Announces the First Queer and Transgender Asian and Pacific Islanders (QTAPI) Week
May 22–29, 2021, will mark the country’s first-ever Queer and Transgender Asian and Pacific Islanders Week (QTAPI week). The resolution by a district supervisor in San Francisco, Rafael Mandelman, to honor the Queer and Trans API community was passed unanimously.
Mandelman, who represents the city’s Castro District and is the only LGBTQ+ member of the Board of Supervisors, had this to say:
QTAPI San Franciscans have been shattering glass ceilings and bettering our city for a long time. Amid a spate of heinous anti-AAPI attacks in San Francisco and around the United States, and with state legislatures across the country targeting the LGBTQ+ community, this will send a strong message of support and solidarity to QTAPI people everywhere.
This first-ever QTAPI week is a chance for the country to finally recognize and honor the rich history of this community, as well as for QTAPI folks to see themselves represented, acknowledged and valued. One of the founding partners of the Bay Area QTAPI Coalition, Nick Large, notes how their community has often been “ignored as a monolith … void of individuality and material differences.” He says that a QTAPI week announces to the world that they will not let the diversity of their community be ignored or misrepresented in such a way.
Amidst racist structures like the model minority myth and anti-AAPI violence, it is imperative for QTAPI folks to be heard. Large says, “Instead of shrinking ourselves, we choose in this moment to expand ourselves.”
Michael Nguyen, lead Organizer of QTAPI Week, Chair of GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) and Co-Founder of the Bay Area QTAPI Coalition, says:
Growing up in Plano, Texas, I rarely saw anyone Queer or Trans and Asian or Pacific Islander (QTAPI). I am hopeful that QTAPI Week inspires all those in our community, especially our family and allies, to live their most authentic selves and see our collective strength and resilience in these turbulent times. Like Harvey Milk once said, you gotta give ‘em hope.
QTAPI week begins Saturday, May 22 (Harvey Milk Day) at 11 a.m. with a press conference. All week, conversations, events, panel discussions and even a dance party will be held. Community speakers, art installations, drag and dance performances and music will close out the week on May 29.
San Francisco is the first city to recognize and celebrate the QTAPI community with a designated week. The hope, of course, is that multiple cities across the country will adopt and celebrate QTAPI week as well.