Note: This holiday season, in lieu of a traditional holiday gift guide, we'll be featuring a different LGBT organization each day for our "30 Days Of LGBT Giving." Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible group that's working tirelessly on behalf of the LGBT community.
API Equality is a California-wide organization that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer acceptance in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities, as well as racial justice in the LGBTIQ community.
With two main groups in Los Angeles and Northern California, API Equality works to increase the visibility of LGBTIQ Asians through several strategies, some of which include public education, media advocacy and research efforts. In one of its videos (above), queer Asian youth are asked, "Why is it important for you to share your story?" One of the interviewees says, "The main thing is like visibility. I think that in the queer community, there aren't that many API images or people that you see who are represented in media, for example."
The Williams Institute, a part of the UCLA School of Law that researches sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, found that there were over 66,000 LGBT-identified APIs in California in 2008. Of that group, 14,500 of them reported that they are in a same-sex partnership and API Equality played a heavy role in getting the California Asian community to vote against Prop 8, which forbade gay marriage in 2008.
In June, API Equality-LA launched the Pioneers Project, which is "an effort to document and share the stories of the earliest API LGBT activists in Southern California," according to LGBTQ blog, The Bilerico Project. The event was held at the One National Lesbian & Gay Archives and featured two short documentaries featuring the founders of Asian Pacific Lesbians and Gays, which was Southern California's first Asian queer group.
Curious to learn more about this great organization and how you can help them out? Visit their respective websites and visit the Northern California group's Facebook page and Twitter @apiequality_nc, and the Los Angeles group's social networks on Facebook and Twitter @apiequalityla as well.