While many people around the world are celebrating Valentine's Day with chocolates, romantic dinners, and the such, hundreds of thousands of Asian folk are celebrating the Lunar New Year. That's right, February 14th is not only a day to buy a cornucopia of chocolates, greeting cards, and lingerie in various shades of pink; it is also Lunar New Year.
While its clear that Valentine's day needs plenty of queering, a coalition of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans Asian American groups are breaking ground in injecting queerness into the Lunar New Year by organizing the first queer participation in the annual Lunar New Year Parade in New York City. This will mark the first time that gay, lesbian, bi, and transfolk will have open participation and presence in the annual parade, scheduled for Sunday, February 21st, 2010.
A group of Queer Asian organizations have sponsored this event and released the following:
We are excited to announce our participation in representing API queer families at this year's parade, which is endorsed by John Liu, our newly elected NYC comptroller, and Christine Quinn, Speaker of City Counsel
On Jan. 30th, 2010, a press conference was held in Chinatown to announce the groundbreaking participation of LGBTQ API contingent in 2010 Lunar New Year Parade. Rev. Patrick Cheng, a minister at Metropolitan Community Church, was present and spoke about the support he received from is family as a queer Asian. Also in attendance was Jamie Tam, a Chinese American Transgendered youth who shared his experience of rejection from his own family for not fitting in with traditional Asian culture.
The Lunar New Year parade will not only raise our visibility within the NYC Asian communities but also within our own families, especially during such an important time of the year where families come together to support one another. We'll be there to be part of the Asian community and also to show that though we suffer hardships there are still loving families.
This event will be co-sponsored by the following organizations;
Chinatown Youth Initiatives
Asian Women Giving Circle
Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), New York Chapter
New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy
Nodutdol for Korean American Development
Queer Asian Spirit: LGBTQ Asians of Faith
Joan Chen: Actor
Helen Zia: Author, Human Rights Activist
NQAPIA, National Queer API Alliance
If you're interested in participating in the event, check out the various websites of the sponsor organizations.