Cool articles and radio show tomorrow morning folks!

Howdy folks!

Diana Lu just alerted me about these cool articles and radio show coming tomorrow morning at 10am so if you have time, check out what she has to say down below!
Hi folks,

One of our reporters (Jake Blumgart) at PlanPhilly wrote a piece about the parallels between the current refugee crisis and what it was like for Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees in the 70s and 80s. Later today, NewsWorks reporter Katie Colaneri will have an accompanying radio piece. Tomorrow morning at 10am Radio Times will be interviewing several of the refugees featured in Jake and Katie’s pieces.
Simultaneously, one of our other reporters (Catalina Jaramillo) put out an article today on the latest Mifflin Square redesign project, which highlights SEAMAAC’s work.
Quite a bit of coverage on Southeast Asian population in South Philly in 24 hours!


Feelings After Creating Change 2017 and Review


This year of Creating Change is my third and unlike the previous two conferences, I went in with a very unfocused and very busy mindset because this year it happened to be held in Philly, my lovely city and I had to work and take care of my home and my pups and cats.

My bubble of Creating Change started with Queer API Day Long Institute on Thursday, 1/19 9-5PM. The session was led by folx from NQAPIA (National Queer Asian Pacific Islander and Alliance). I feel that NQAPIA as a national group has grown and continuously expanding their understanding as well as their body to include the definition of Asian and I really appreciate and proud of that because as a Steering Committee member of hotpot!Philly, I am an extension and part of NQAPIA. In their session blurb, they include Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islanders for attendees. The Middle Eastern part is new for me but I’m glad that NQAPIA has included Middle Easterners because I have long thought of them as being Asians based on geographically.   

Friday morning, I started with a session called Jeh Johnson, Can You Hear Us Now? led by  Sasha W. (NQAPIA) It’s basically a session that talks about how the Department of Homeland Security and the head, Jeh Johnson, refuses to ban profiling and surveillance. We talk about the impact it has on our lives as queer and trans folks, as immigrants and what we can do to fight back and to dissect and change policies as well as building movement across our communities. We watched a video and talk about how NQAPIA in DC *profiled white people as part of their strategy to make people realize of their white privilege as this was done during the day, at lunch time and some people got it right away and reacted positively but some was mad, not sure if it was because they were hangry or something else.

*When we talk about profiling, the questions being asked are usually: Where are you from? No, really where are you originally from? Where are your parents from? Do you speak English? Wow, you speak English so well! Is English your first language? Does your children speak English? Does your grandparents speak English? You speak English with no accent, or almost with no accent at all! Insert eye rolling.

We ended the session with a much fiery desire within me to have that same profiling to happen here in Philly with my fellow hotpotters!
PS: Sasha, please train us!!!

Mapping Our Desires was next. It was presented in such a way where you listen to stories by the presenters first and you think about your own desires and write 3 things that you desires. Anything you like, sexually. Then you pick someone and talk to them about those 3 things for 3 minutes. After that you work on your breathing as the presenter talk and guide you to think about those desires, and then you write one thing you want the most but not the one that could traumatize you because they are not therapists and there’s not a therapist on hand. After 10 minute, pick someone you haven’t talk with and share if you want. Because this is a mini session, only 90 minutes, you don’t get the full effect but it’s pretty useful to work on at home.  

Advanced Polyamory/Nonmonogamy Caucus was the last session for Friday. I guess being really tired, and lacking sleep really didn’t help as I wasn’t aware that the title of the caucus started with “Advanced…”. I was just exploring and wanted to know how people who were already in alternative relationship structures deal with jealousy, time sharing and safety. I had a really good time chatting and learning from folx although it’s mostly white folks, but Alex was great into explaining something to me, “if you throw in power dynamics and race into it, it would be messy and could somehow develop into micro aggressive behavior where the two other people ganged up on you because you are “the other one”.” 

I ended my Friday night with the dance party Love Ball and Friday Night Cruise which basically is a speed dating. It was fun and I was exhausted!

Next morning, my first 3 hours Academy session on Saturday. Decolonizing Gender: A Curriculum. I actually had something similar last year during a Racial Justice Day Long Institute but it was just 90 minutes. Here we learnt how sex and gender was oppressed by colonialism and white supremacy. Throughout the history of U.S and all over the world when white cisgender folks maintain the hierarchy to always be at the top and look at other people based on how light or dark your skin color is. We also talk about how gender binary was started by colonialism when they conquered the country and they forced it upon the culture, anything they deemed unsightly will be banished. But what is the basis of the gender binary itself that started all of this? It’s the religion. Catholicism to be exact.       

My second 3 hours academy session was Sexual Liberation at the Intersections. We talked about how culture, race, religion, class, and social experiences impact us as queer people. We were asked to one by one, do one movement or sound or just be in one place for 10 minutes in the beginning of the session when thinking of our own queerness and desires. After everyone were set in their place, we were told to look around and from my own perspective, it’s not looking great. We seemed to be depressed and oppressed, the opposite of liberated.

Then we break into small groups based on themes for 45 minutes discussion, mine was body image/self image. There were only 2 people in my group which was great. We talk about how various identities impact our experiences around self image and which identities are more salient and which one gets left behind. We also talk about the cultural message we get and how they resonate with us. As a group, we then talk about goals and intentions, some of them are: Trans people and desires, to liberate self, communicate needs, identify needs, healing trauma, non binary/gnc bodies, claim self as creator of sexual desires and many more.

When we talk about what is Sexual Liberation to us, the answers were so many and in variety: Satisfaction. Deep self love. Purposeful great sex. Independent. Access pleasure. Excited. Happy. Decriminalized. Exploring shame. Talking and exploring. Defining who I do and how. Saying no. Getting attention I want without harassment. Asking for what I want without___. Being vulnerable and soft.  

I really love this session because it enable me to be real with myself and open me up and be vulnerable in a way I had never been before and ask for my sexual needs, when I had not been able to.   

In closing, this year of Creating Change is not like the other years. I have change as a person, older and more mature, my way of thinking and looking of the world definitely have changed a lot so going to a Conference such as Creating Change was different. My expectation was that I would experience something like a queer bubble and a lot of emotional feelings but in reality I did not. I was mostly just happy and very busy while learning a lot. So, thank you so much for the experiences!!



Protect yourselves before Trump takes office – 15 more days left!!!

Hello folks!!

hotpot! Philly’s partner organization, NQAPIA (National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance), did a little update on their blog that you can check out. Here is the link. This is very useful, particularly if you’re Transgender LGBT APIs to apply or renew passport, young undocumented immigrants to renew DACA, LGBT Immigrants seeking Asylum, LGBT APIs with children, etc. The blog has many more information on how and what precaution you should take.

My friend who is a lawyer and who happen to be the Executive Director of NQAPIA, Glenn Magpantay, also did a blog post at huffingtonpost. It would really help if you all can help share the blog as many times to as many people and social media as possible, particularly to the very people that you think will be affected by the new presidency time coming.

In Solidarity,

Event for November 26th, Bali to Bala 20th Anniversary Celebration, Dec 2nd Free Queer/Trans Indonesian movie

Hi Folks!

My friend, Sinta Penyami, owner of Modero dance group and Indonesian traditional dancer will be performing at this event on November 26th at our other friend’s store called Bali to Bala in Germantown. Ticket is $20 per person. Some more details you can find in the attachments including a movie poster and pictures as well details on other events they will hold.

I won’t be able to attend this event, however I will be at the free movie night on Dec 2nd with the Q&A talk afterwards. The movie is called Children of Srikandi about queer and trans folks in Indonesia.

Below is the official press release from Laura Cohn, I hope to see you all there!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 16, 2016Contact: Laura Cohn, (610) 529-2083

CHILDREN OF SRIKANDI, a documentary about queer women in Indonesia, screens in Chestnut Hill on Friday, Dec. 2nd. (Free admission.)

Being gay can be difficult enough in the United States. In a traditional culture, it can be even harder.

CHILDREN OF SRIKANDI is the first film about queer women in Indonesia, the country with the world´s largest Muslim population. In this striking documentary, eight authentic and poetic stories are interwoven with beautiful shadow theater scenes that tell the story of Srikandi, one of the characters of the Indian Mahabharata: A little girl wants to be a boy. A bench becomes a home and a witness to life. A house does not feel like home anymore. A veil makes you reflect on religion and sexuality. A verse of a poem is like a day in your life. A love can be in between. A female stereotype can be deconstructed. A label can be changed.

These moving individual stories are interwoven with the tale of Srikandi, an ancient mythological character of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, which is still frequently used in the traditional Javanese shadow puppet (wayang kulit) theatre plays. Srikandi is neither man nor woman, moving fluidly between both genders. When she falls in love with a woman, she has to understand that the only way to survive is to become a “female warrior”. Srikandi’s tale reminds us that same-sex love and gender variety were not imported from the west, but in fact form a deep and ancient aspect of Indonesian society. Soleh (25), the puppeteer and Anik (59), the singer, are both male to female transgendered people that have worked for many years as wayang kulit performers in Surabaya, East Java. In the film, Srikandi becomes a mirror image, moving from fiction to documentary, and from the past into the present.

For two years, and under the guidance of filmmakers Angelika Levi and Laura Coppens, CHILDREN OF SRIKANDI’s creation became a truly collective act reflecting the directors’ lived experiences as queer women in Indonesia. In the movie, participants collectively worked as crew members or actresses in each other’s film, with individual stories ranging from observational documentary and concept art to personal essay. Transformation is always inscribed in the narrative, form and identity are fluid, and perspectives are shifted.

CHILDREN OF SRIKANDI ( screens at 7:30 pm on Thursday, December 2nd, at the From Bali to Bali show and sale of Indonesian handcrafts, 8335 Germantown Ave., Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia ( Admission is free. For additional information on the film, or on From Bali to Bala, contact Laura Cohn at (610) 529-2083 or visit our FB page or website.

Join Task Force for Philly Queering Racial Justice Institute Sep 10 !!

Hi hotpot and allies!!

Want to expand your organizing skills in an environment dedicated to racial justice and LGBTQ identity? Join the National LGBTQ Task Force in Philadelphia Saturday, September 10 for their Queering Racial Justice Institute!
The day will include storytelling and skill-building for LGBTQ and ally people of color and white folks who want to build their anti-racist organizing skills. Workshops will be offered on Islamophobia, economic justice, decriminalization, coalition building, trans allyship, working through white privilege, and sustaining ourselves and each other. The Task Force is proud to partner with NAACP PA State ConferenceACLU of Pennsylvania and Equality Pennsylvania on this institute.

The institute will take place at The African American Museum in Philadelphia from 9am-6pm. Register today at:


Stepping in to Take Action

Join us for a very special and important event!
hotpot! in collaboration with 1Love Movement and NQAPIA is holding a viewing and discussion of the film, Documented. Check out this link for the film trailer:
Details are all in the flyer below. Please RSVP on the Facebook event page:


December 17th SWOP PHILLY: International Day to End the Violence Against Sex Workers

SWOP PHILLY is having an event, the International Day to End the Violence Against Sex Workers, on December 17th at William Way. There will be a movie screening and some refreshments. You are all invited to come! Please see the flyer below for more information.

SWOP PHILLY high res_v.02

[Sponsored Event] FringeArts 100% Philadelphia

We have another event coming up next week, and two of our very own hotpot! members are on the stage as well. Please come check out the show, with tickets starting at $1. We’re also a community sponsor of the event, and if you enter “Hotpot” into the promo box, you can help us win a $250 donation to our organisation as we continue our work to build community within the Philadelphia queer API community.

Event Information

Van 100%

Come and hang out with hotpot! at the Lantern Moon Festival on September 7th!!!

Folks, hotpot! is co-sponsoring and will be tabling at the Lantern Moon Festival on September 7th! The event starts from 10 am until 10pm. We would be located near the stage on the North of 5th Street of Washington Avenue. Below is a little info of what the Festival is gonna be like. The Lantern Moon Festival is a traditional Chinese and Vietnamese celebration of the harvest and full moon where the gods are thanked for the bountiful harvest of crops. The festival celebrates three concepts that have been celebrated for more than 1,000 years:  Gathering: family and friends coming together to celebrate the harvest and gathering of crops  Thanksgiving: to give thanks for the bountiful harvest and harmonious unions  Prayer: for blessings such as babies, a spouse, beauty, good health, longevity and good fortune The United Multicultural Chamber of Commerce will bring the excitement and fun of the traditional Lantern Moon Festival to Philadelphia on Washington Avenue from 4th Street through 6th Street in South Philadelphia on September 7, 2014 from 10 AM to 10 PM. This event is for the entire family and will be held rain or shine under tents. We want to give all children of the Philadelphia area the experience of a traditional Asian Moon Festival and bring families together in celebration. This will be the first traditional Lantern Moon Festival in Philadelphia. All races and nationalities are welcomed and encouraged to participate and enjoy this unique event that will showcase:  Professional Singers  Dancers (Salsa, Cha Cha, Bachata)  Hundreds of Lights of All Colors  Traditional Exotic Silk lit Lanterns  Moon cakes and other food  Dozens of Vendors & Food Trucks  Outdoor Barbeque  Games and Activities  Toy Giveaways for Children  Raffles for Prizes from Sponsor  Giveaway Gifts and Silk Lanterns  Children Face Painting  DJs and Bands  Animal Balloon Twisting For more information or to participate as a vendor, please email: OR CALL: Larry (English speaking) 267-254-7994 Izak (English speaking) 215-833-3920 Thomas (Chinese-Mandarin/Cantonese/Vietnamese speaking) 267-934-9888 Laurent (Indonesian speaking) 267-475-4412, Vikki (Vietnamese Speaking) 267-234-1854 Louis (Chinese-Mandarin speaking) 267-288-3696 Elizabeth (Vietnamese speaking) 267-307-0109