After 3 days of learning, loving, sharing, exploring, and more, we have come to the close of the 2015 NQAPIA National Conference. With over 360 attendees and over 100 workshops, this was NQAPIA’s largest conference. In our Closing Plenary, people shared moving comments on the work NQAPIA has done.
For some attendees, this was the first time they were surrounded by LGBTQ AAPI community. This conference created a space where attendees understood each others’ struggles and lived experiences. People could be vulnerable, sharing intimate stories about family and community, and be validated. Although just existing together may seem like a small action, experiencing visibility has a large impact on mental health. It shows people that they are not alone, and because others before them have found ways to survive and thrive, they can, too.
Speaking of health and survival, NQAPIA is committed to being queer APIs for Black Lives Matters. As a community of LGBTQ AAPIs, we experience varying degrees of privilege and profiling, and our liberation is intertwined with Black liberation. The NQAPIA National Conference was a space to accept our intersectionality, and now, we must commit ourselves to creating spaces for solidarity. At the end of the conference, we facilitated a photo campaign stating “I support #BlackLivesMatters because…” and “I will support #BlackLivesMatters by…”, and we took a group photo with QAPIs 4 Black Lives (Photo Credit: L. Thomson/Chicago i2i).
If you’d like to join us for more events, we will host regional summits throughout 2016, and we will have our next national conference in 2018. Don’t forget to stay tuned with NQAPIA’s activities and campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
NQAPIA thanks LGBT HealthLink for being a sponsor of this conference, helping us create this space. Thank you to all of those who attended the conference, and thank you to those of you who read these blogs from afar.