2017 Reflections, 2018 Directions

When our communities are under attack, what do we do? Rise up, fight back! 

This chant comes up at rallies and marches throughout the year. As movements, organizations, and people involved in work towards justice, we are well equipped to fight back in moments of crisis. We organize rallies, hold events, raise funds, and respond as needed to ongoing attacks on immigrants, increased hate-violence against transgender people, and a racist political climate for people of color. At APIENC, we also know that through all of this crisis, we must reflect. For APIENC, reflection has been an important tool in understanding the ongoing crisis, historical context, and present-day possible solutions.

Reflection shows us how far we have come, how non-linear the path has been, and how far we still need to go. Each year, volunteers and staff compile APIENC highlights (you can see 2015‘s and 2016‘s!), as a tool of reflecting and celebrating all the work done in the past year. Just as we look back to packed airports during the Muslim Bans and immigrant rights rallies in defense of DACA, we also look at APIENC’s own work to mobilize an API contingent at Trans March, learn about food sovereignty at a community garden, and provide space for high school youth to learn organizing skills. You can see an even more full set of highlights in our 2017 Review Graphic, made by Cynthia Fong.

[Image Description: Small preview of the 2017 APIENC graphic, filled with photos and updates from our programs. Graphic made by Cynthia Fong.]

These reflections help us understand the depth of our community needs, the opportunities we have to create change, the growth necessary to make those changes. In this next year, APIENC will be concentrating on growing our skills, volunteer base, leadership, and resources. We want to build our communities’ abilities to organize in the day-to-day, center in strong values of abundance and interdependence, strategize for the long term, and build a new world. The next year will be a time of sustained reflection, assessment, and change. If you would like to learn more, see our first draft of our new Priorities and Directions, a document informing APIENC’s work in 2018 and beyond.

Our growing work is only possible because of our community and our allies. To be able to build powerful work, we need the power of the people. Email info@apienc.org if you would like to get involved, and stay on the lookout for our programs and events. We hope to see you soon!


2018 Summer Organizing Program – Now Accepting Applications!

Do you want to work with queer, transgender, and gender nonconforming 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!

Image Description: A person shouts into a megaphone, with one fist in the air. Text reads: APIENC Summer Organizing Program, Apply at bit.ly/APIENC2018.

Applications are due March 2nd, 2018!

ABOUT OUR SUMMER ORGANIZER PROGRAM Every year, APIENC (API Equality – Northern California) embarks on an intensive summer program to develop the next generation of LGBTQ API social justice and cultural change leaders. The Summer Organizer Program, previously called our Summer Internship, is a transformative opportunity to build organizing skills and strengthening values in service of social change. At APIENC, we know that LGBTQ API people are targets of interpersonal abuse, state violence, and systemic oppression both historically, and in this current political climate. Leadership development for our own queer, trans, and gender nonconforming API people is critical in addressing our material conditions and in supporting larger movements for change.

APIENC Summer Organizers receive in-depth trainings on a variety of topics, and employ dynamic approaches for intersectional and multi-issue based organizing. Summer 2018 marks our 9th cohort of summer participants, and each Summer Organizer contributes to the LGBTQ API community by impacting the organization’s history,current projects, and partnerships.

Throughout the summer, Summer Organizers will build meaningful relationships with partner organizations focused on a wide array of issues and committed to queer & trans API justice. Summer Organizers will be expected to participate in our API Queer Justice Leadership Exchange, two weekend-long venues for API leaders to learn organizing skills, exchange ideas, and build community. During the course of the program, Summer Organizers will also also have the opportunity to take leadership in our different projects, including a trans-led contingent the SF Trans March, an intergenerational community care network within the Dragon Fruit Project, and at a national conference for LGBTQ API people. Overall, Summer Organizers get to bring their full selves each day, work hard, laugh a lot, and have a blast.


  • Work with APIENC staff to develop and implement strategies for empowering and mobilizing the LGBTQ API community
  • Spend a minimum of 15-20 hours in the APIENC office each week (located in SF Chinatown)
  • Meet once a week with APIENC staff and the rest of the intern cohort to reflect, debrief, and give and receive feedback
  • Recruit, support, and train volunteers
  • Develop and implement a fundraising campaign
  • Plan and execute trainings and events
  • Represent APIENC at external meetings and events
  • Attend a 300+ person national gathering for LGBTQ API communities in July 26-29
  • Participate in a two-weekend Leadership Exchange with other API leaders committed to queer justice
  • Reflect on personal narrative and emotional growing edges with other cohort members
  • Build relationships with other LGBTQ people of color, API, and intersectional organizations working towards progressive social change


  • Displays a strong, long-term commitment to the diverse communities APIENC works with
  • Shows a fundamental understanding of the power of community organizing and LGBTQ API leadership
  • Exhibits desire to build intentional relationships, reflect on personal experience, and grow
  • Can build a team and work collaboratively
  • Demonstrates curiosity, proactive leadership, can work independently, and takes initiative
  • Possesses strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Employs a critical lens and solution-based thinking when addressing issues


  • Applications are due by March 2nd, 2018
  • Interviews will be conducted by March 5-16th
  • Selected participants will be notified in late March
  • Summer Organizer Program runs for about 8 weeks from June – August (exact dates TBD)
  • A small stipend is available, but participants are responsible for their own housing and commute costs.


What’s Coming Up in 2018?

image description: rows of smiling faces with their hands up. text on the image reads: “2018: growing, healing, and learning”

As 2017 comes to an end, APIENC is strategizing and planning for 2018 and beyond. In 2018, APIENC will be providing even more leadership development opportunities for our membership, growing our financial and organizational capacity, and strengthening our community’s abilities to respond to crisis, heal from trauma, and keep each other safe. Our programs, as shown in the graphic below, will continue to be led and guided by our 80+ regular member leaders.

image description: a graphic detailing the three APIENC programs: Dragon Fruit Project, Leadership Development, and Trans Justice

Concretely, some of the things we have planned include:

  • Healthy Communication in Relationships: This collaboration with Asian Womens’ Shelter (AWS) will be a 5 week workshop series called “Chai Chats” on positive communication practices and how we can build healthier relationships.
  • Trans Rights and Empowerment Day: As part of our work to create more spaces for trans and gender nonconforming people, we will host the first ever Trans Rights and Empowerment Day for TGNC people to share resources, create safety plans, and strategize around trans justice in our own Asian communities.
  • APIENC Leadership Trainings: From our annual Core Committee retreat to our Leadership Exchange to our grassroots fundraising trainings, APIENC will be providing even more workshops on community organizing, outreach, strategy building, and facilitation so that our work can be leader-ful and shared across our community.
  • Dragon Fruit Network: Starting with small, intergenerational gatherings, the Dragon Fruit Network will provide a space for younger activists, elders, and people of all ages to dialogue about our material needs. As our community members age, try to find community, struggle with health, and deal with housing in a gentrified Bay Area, we will work to create community-based solutions that are grounded in our personal relationships.

…and even more beyond this, including our 9th Summer Internship cohort, organizing with other grassroots Asian American groups to act on trans justice, and the NQAPIA National LGBTQ API conference! As hateful rhetoric, state-sponsored violence, and environmental catastrophe continue to harm our communities, we will continue to fight back and build a new world. Stay tuned for an amazing year.

Want to power this work for the following year? Send your end-of-year donations through this online form, and get involved with us through this link.

Defend DACA Now, Protect all Immigrants Forever

We are devastated, horrified and angry that the Trump administration has decided to continue attacking immigrants, people of color, and queer and trans people by terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA has allowed more than 800,000 undocumented young people to access healthcare, work, travel, and live in this country. In this unending torrent of attacks on our people, the decision to end DACA escalates the crisis our communities have been experiencing.

Our communities, led by undocumented young people, fought for and won DACA five years ago. We fought for and won protection for thousands of undocumented people; fought for and won a sense of relief for so many of our family members. To “rescind” this program is to put at risk the dreams and livelihoods of our people.

At APIENC, we are committed to defending DACA. With this, we also know that DACA was not and cannot be the end of our fight. ALL undocumented people, regardless of age or educational attainment, should be protected from the risk of detention and deportation. It is not enough to put forth the narrative of a “good immigrant” while people have already been violently torn from their families, homes, and communities.

If you are in the Bay Area, we hope to see you at 5pm at the SF Federal Building to rally in support of DACA. If you cannot attend, but are looking for ways to support, please give resources to our family at ASPIRE. If you are TGNC and undocumented, the TIDE program by Transgender Law Center has pro-bono lawyers available for support.

[image description: white text reads "PROTECT DACA PROTECT IMMIGRANTS BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY" over red, orange, and pink flowers and an orange background] art by The Unapologetically Brown Series

[image description: white text reads “PROTECT DACA PROTECT IMMIGRANTS BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY” over red, orange, and pink flowers and an orange background]art by The Unapologetically Brown Series

#HeretoStay #DefendDACA #ProtectionforAll

Contribute to the THIRD Dragon Fruit Project Zine!

[Image Description: A flyer advertising the DFP Zine. The background is white, with accents of a Dragon Fruit pattern on the corners.]

[Image Description: A flyer advertising the DFP Zine. The background is white, with accents of a Dragon Fruit pattern on the corners.]

Do you fancy art? Are you an artist? We need your help to make our 3rd Dragon Fruit Project Zine happen!

Hello APIENC Community! My name is Ralph and I am an APIENC summer intern. I will be helping with the Dragon Fruit Project, ensuring that the hxstories of our community are accessible. One way I’m doing that is by coming up with media strategies, such as this zine, to amplify the hxstories of the people in the Dragon Fruit Project.

But what is a zine? A zine (short for magazine or fanzine), is a self published work that centers around freedom of self expression and that serves to visibilize issues outside the mainstream. We believe it is befitting to create a zine for the Dragon Fruit Project (DFP), an intergenerational oral history project that explores queer and transgender Asian and Pacific Islanders, so that we can visibilize our historical, present day, and future acts of love, activism, and revolution.

Through reading interviews, I learned that resistance manifests in many ways, and, at different moments of our lives. These interviews provide a window to the breadth of what resistance can look like. The Dragon Fruit Project showed me that embracing my existence, in a society in which a certain kind of person is allowed to thrive, is a radical act of resistance. These interviews allow me to access my inner self, open myself up to vulnerability, and lean on the support of the collective past to move through my present uncertainty.I live by my truths knowing that others before me have lived by theirs and have overcome and carried on. The Dragon Fruit Project empowers me to resist in a myriad of forms –from simple daily acts of resistance to more revolutionary forms.

This edition’s theme, Daily Acts of Resistance, explores different forms of resistance, and also what resistance can do to empower, heal, and unite people. It serves to remind us that resistance can be practiced daily, as part of a broader picture of activism. The personal is political and for as long as there have been queer and trans Asians and Pacific Islanders, there has also been resistance.

Here is a healing. Here is love. Here is resistance. Help me explore what it means to resist through the Dragon Fruit Project. I encourage you to show us your form of resistance by contributing to the third Dragon Fruit Project Zine. I invite you to collectively reflect on these interviews and how you are learning to resist on your hxstory to inspire others in their process of writing their own.

Submission Guidelines

  • Deadline for submissions is July 30, 2017
  • This will be a half page zine (8.5in x 5.5in). Submissions should be 1-2 pages.
  • We are looking for a mix of visual art (drawings, paintings, illustrations) and text (short poems, stories, and rants).
  • Text based submission should be in Word or Rich Text format and online art submissions should be 300-600 dpi or.pdf files.
  • Submit via e-mail at ralph@apiequalitync.org with subject line: DFP Zine 2017 Submission, or mail to 17 Walter U. Lum Place, San Francisco, CA 94108
  • To see our first DFP Zine, click here http://issuu.com/apienc/docs/dragon_fruit_project_zine and to go to see our Dragon Fruit Project click here http://www.dragonfruitproject.org/
  • If you have any questions, contact us at ralph@apiequalitync.org

Join Asian and Pacific Islanders for Trans March 2017!

Join APIENC (API Equality – Northern California) for this year’s Trans March to show our power as Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Asian and Pacific Islander people!

Image Description: A large group of LGBTQ API people and allies pose with banners, flags, and signs at the 2016 Trans March. They have raised fists, and are looking fiercely at the camera.

Image Description: A large group of LGBTQ API people and allies pose with banners, flags, and signs at the 2016 Trans March. They have raised fists, and are looking fiercely at the camera.

Last summer, our contingent of Asian Pacific Islander trans, GNC people, and cis allies was over 100 people full! This year, with the leadership of TGNC API community members, we are turning out once again to claim space and build power for transgender and gender non-conforming people of color.

In preparation for the march, we’re also partnering with Gabriela SF and Vietunity to host a community discussion and art build! More information about this event will come shortly.


Date: Friday, June 23rd
Time: 2 pm – 7 pm
Place: Start at Dolores Park, march to Taylor and Turk Street
RSVP: Sign up HERE for more information!
Access Info: Length of march – walking from Dolores Park to Taylor and Turk Streets (specific route and access information coming soon)


Date, time, and place TBD!

Apply to POP: People Over Pride Training Camp!


Image Description: Flyer for POP! People Over Pride Training Camp. Logos of APIENC and NQAPIA are present in a black box, over images of APIENC at Trans March. Flyer by Cynthia Fong.

POP: People Over Pride is a national training camp for LGBTQ API youth. A partnership between APIENC and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), POP is an opportunity for young LGBTQ API leaders and activists from around the country. Our goal is to create space for LGBTQ API youth activists to build relationships, deepen their politicization through learning about history, become trained in values-based hard organizing skills, and directly apply their training in support of initiatives that serve to further immigrant rights, racial justice, and LGBTQ API organizing efforts at the camp and beyond!


  • Create a sense of community for LGBTQ API youth from around the nation
  • Explore our personal stories, our community histories, and the current experiences of LGBTQ API people
  • Ground ourselves in queer liberation and values of social justice
  • Deepen community organizing skills, including building 1-1 relationships and practicing direct action
  • Build relationships with LGBTQ API activists and organizers of many ages, to create an intergenerational movement


  • Location: San Francisco/Bay Area, California
  • Dates: Thursday, July 20 to Sunday, July 23, 2017
  • Travel for participants outside of the Bay Area will be covered
  • Meals included
  • Open to ages 14-20

Applying to the Camp

APIENC and NQAPIA are hoping to ensure that there is diverse representation from around the country. If you are interested in applying for POP, please fill out this RSVP form by May 26th, 11:59PM PST. Participants will be notified in two weeks.

Any other questions? Please email Sammie at sammie@apiequalitync.org.