May 22, 2007
Written by C.N.
In my writings and my classes that I teach, however paradoxically it may sound, I’ve always felt that the more that we unite under the collective identity of “Asian Americans,” the more power and authority we will have in asserting the specific needs of unique subgroups within our community, whether they relate to different ethnic groups, or to those among us who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). In that context, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has come out with its annual report on the state of LGBT Asian Americans. Some major findings are:
- Nearly every respondent (98 percent) had experienced at least one form of discrimination and/or harassment in their lives.
- Nearly all respondents (89 percent) agreed that homophobia and/or transphobia are problems within the broader API community.
- 78 percent of respondents agreed that API LGBT people experience racism within the predominantly white LGBT community.
- Only 50 percent of respondents said that English was their native language. Yet nearly all LGBT informational and advocacy materials are produced in English.
Thanks, Cynical Anti-Orientalist, for reminding me of the report. In my former life, I used to be the Director of Education for the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS in New York City, and can personally concur with many of the findings detailed in the report in regard to the continuing challenges that LGBT Asian Americans face from both the predominantly heterosexual mainstream Asian American community, and from the predominantly White mainstream LGBT community.
Like I also tell my students and readers, the social injustices that we face are all interrelated and in the words of the immortal Martin Luther King Jr., “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” As Asian Americans, we cannot effectively address the racial inequalities we as a collective group face without also addressing the homophobia (or for that matter, the sexism, class inequality, xenophobia, etc.) that many of our brothers and sisters face as well.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Report on LGBT Asian Americans" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2007/05/report-on-lgbt-asian-americans/> ().
Short URL: http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/?p=430