API Justice & Joy

For a long time in San Diego, the LGBTQ Asian American Pacific Islander community struggled to build space and power as they fought the dual battels of homophobia, racism, and the white supremacist weapon that is the model minority myth. In 2018, LGBTQ AAPI Pride employees, volunteers, and community members began to have conversations about what it would look like to create specific programming for people at the intersection of their identities similar to what the San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition and San Diego County LGBTQ Latinx Coalition had created, and the Queer Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American Coalition was born.

In the first couple of years, the volunteer-led group developed year-round social justice and social connection events as well as hosted a contingent in our Parade and a new space in our Festival. They never could have anticipated the rise in violent API hate we’ve seen in the last two years. Still, this group would go on to bring together over 80 API serving organizations to condemn hate, form the broader regional San Diego API Coalition, and play a key role in mobilizing intersectional solidarity work around the redistricting process.

Several of the people involved in that work have received Spirit of Stonewall Awards this year:

This year, QAPIMEDA hosted our second National State of the LGBTQ API Movement where our partners included Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, The National LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Trans Equality, Equality Florida, and the National Queer API Alliance. It’s impressive to see how in just these few years, QAPIMEDA has stepped up to this national stage. 

Just this Tuesday, I stood with our QAPIMEDA leadership in the County chambers as months of advocacy came to fruition with Supervisor Terra Lawson Remer and the entire County Board of Supervisors declaring the week of May 29 to June 4 Queer Trans API Week. This declaration denotes the blending of the end of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and the beginning of international Pride month. QAPIMEDA has quite the lineup of events planned!

  • Sunday, May 29 – Healing Through Poetry at PARU tea in La Jolla
  • Monday, May 30 – “Beyond the Gender Spectrum” Webinar
  • Wednesday, June 1 – “Sweet Escape” at Pop Pie Co and Stella Jean’s Ice Cream
  • Thursday, June 2 – “Colorism and the Model Minority Myth” Webinar
  • Thursday, June 2 – Exclusive showing of “Fire Island” with Pacific Arts Movement
  • Friday, June 3 – Night Light Bonfire in Mission Bay
  • Saturday, June 4 – AAPI Night at Rich’s San Diego

I hope you will join us at any of the events planned for next week and at the expanded Pan Asian Night Market planned for the Pride Festival this July. I also hope you will join us in not only ending API hate, violence, and erasure, but in celebrating the rich cultural diversity and social justice contributions of the LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander Middle Eastern Desi American. They have embodied how we can all pursue Justice with Joy!

With Pride,
Fernando Zweifach López
Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs
Executive Director
San Diego Pride

Read the full newsletter – https://mailchi.mp/sdpride/apijusticeandjoy


About Fernando

Fernando Lopez is the Executive Director of San Diego Pride. Lopez’s years of LGBT advocacy, nonprofit management, public education, diversity consulting, media relations, guest lectures, and organizing have made them a consistent presence ensuring the struggles of the LGBT community are ever visible.