Helen Zia is an award-winning author and journalist whose work spans decades covering the Asian-American community, writing books such as "Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People," which was a Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize finalist and partaking in numerous Asian-American dialogues. The activist was heavily involved in the Vincent Chin anti-Asian attack civil rights case in the '80s and was featured in a PBS documentary called "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience."
An out lesbian and second generation Chinese-American, Zia has also lent her voice to the LGBT movement, often speaking about the overlap between the two groups. In 2008, Zia married her wife, Lia Shigemura, making them one of the first same-sex couples to wed in California when the state recognized such relationships. Zia wrote in the Amerasia Journal, "With each individual who comes to realize that there are Asian queers and queer Asians, that space where the gay zone meets the Asian zone opens up a little more."
Zia, a Fulbright Scholar and a part of Princeton's first graduating class of women, was the former executive editor of Ms. Magazine and continues speaking throughout the nation about the Asian-American and LGBT communities.
Each day in October, which is LGBT History Month, we'll be featuring a different LGBT icon. Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible individual who changed history and visit our LGBT History Month Big News Page for more stories.
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