retro: Hotpot! article featured in Bridge Magazine

Check out the following article re-posted from the January online issue of Bridge Magazine.  Seems like we’re ready for a follow up article!

Hotpot!


By Magazine@Bridge – Posted on 17 January 2011

by Alison, Megumi, Laurent, Tay, Brooke

HotPot! is a Philadelphia area volunteer organization that works to build community for Queer Asian Pacific Islander women, trans, gender variant and gender queer/non-conforming identified folks through social gatherings, political action, and good food. In 2010, Hotpot! focused on exploring our politics around immigration issues in the United States.

In May 2010, we hosted a LGBT Queer Immigrant Rights Panel at the Asian Arts Initiative. Over 100 people attended to listen to and begin a dialogue around Queer Immigration beyond the Uniting American Families Act, which focuses on bi-national couples. We heard from lawyers, immigrants and activist leaders. Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Dream Act, the PARS agreement, and Immigration detention centers were discussed from multiple perspectives along with personal stories.

Hotpot values visibility, as a gathering of queer people of color, and we honor communities of people who have fought for representation and who made it easier for us to come together and politicize our lives. This fall, members volunteered at AsianAmericans United 25th anniversary and participated in group outings to the Asian Arts Initiative. We are indebted to our fiscal sponsor ASIAC, formerly AIDS Services In Asian Communities, who established support for gay Asian Americans in Philadelphia. We look to the legacy of Kiyoshi Kiyomura, who organized and fought for justice of all peoples. Additionally, we are encouraged and supported by the National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA).

We strive to bring forth immigration issues in Queer spaces and queer issues into the mainstream immigration movement. In addition, we encourage our friends across community boundaries to think critically about the need for comprehensive immigration reform. We’ve achieved this through multiple venues and activities. Philadelphia is home to a large Indonesian immigrant population. A HotPot! member has translated a Know Your Rights document from English into Indonesian.

At the second annual Queer Women of Color Conference in November, members facilitated conversations around racial justice, LGBT rights, and immigration movements. In December, at our holiday party with Queer Philadelphia Asians, we hosted an informational conversation around the PARS Act and how ICE is collaborating with local police in Philadelphia. In 2011, hotpot! hopes to connect more with PICC and Philadelphia’s New Sanctuary Movement.

We are saddened and frustrated by the failure of Congress to pass the Dream Act, and are working to mobilize and strengthen our communities. Hotpot! has been raising money and plans to send seven representatives to the first ever API Institute at Creating Change, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s annual conference. There we’ll take part in briefings on national issues and continue to build our personal and political connections.

To support HotPot! join us at our Creating Change Benefit on Friday, January 21st, 2010 from 7p.m.-9p.m. a Check out our new blog at hotpotphilly.org and write to us.

Alison is a member of HotPot!

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