May 17, 2016

Right on the heels of  Asian/Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) has just announced the launch of their new, and incredibly empowering, initiative: the Asian Family Acceptance Campaign. In a news conference on May 17th, NQAPIA shared an influential series of television ads, in various languages, entitled “Family is Still Family”  which will be airing throughout the month of June .

At a press conference announcing the release of Family is Still Family, any LGBTQ individuals and their loved ones shared their personal stories of how they experienced LGBTQ matters through the lens of their API heritage. Among them was PFLAG mom, and PFLAG National board member Marsha Aizumi. Marsha co-founded a PFLAG chapter exclusively for the API community in San Gabriel Valley, California.

In Marsha’s emotional speech, she discussed her two children and, more specifically, her trans son, Aiden. Before transitioning, her child had an incredibly difficult time in middle and high school. When, at age 20, her child disclosed as transgender, Marsha felt that, because of her Asian culture, she was “bringing dishonor to her family.” As time moved on Marsha learned more and grew to accept her son which she explained is the truly honorable act. A strong PFLAG parent, she explained that “the thing that gave me hope though it all was that I loved my child.” Marsha went on to be an activist and now fights for the acceptance of all LGBTQ individuals in their API families.

Marsha, along with the many other parents who shared their experiences during the press conference, will be touring around the country this summer to run a series of Asian Family Acceptance workshops. Their goal is to give API families the support and resources they need to help their LGBTQ loved ones who are coming out. For the schedule and locations, visit their website.

PFLAG National is proud to partner with such an empowering organization working to help families accept and support their loved ones and fight discrimination. For more information about this NQAPIA initiative, read their press release and watch more of their videos.