I have never been in a completely queer AAPI space before, and being a conference with 300 of them made me so happy. I went to some great workshops, met wonderful people, and got to learn more about the work that is being done all over the country. My experience helped put our work as hotpot! into perspective as we are collectively moving forward as a queer AAPI force across the country.
Some hotpotters and I participated in the Running the Best [Staff/Volunteer/Board] Meeting EVER workshop, and we picked up a few tips on how to improve our facilitation within the Steering Committee and general potluck meetings.
I met some great resources at the Combating Harassment, BUllying, and Violence in LGBT AAPI Communities in the form of the US Department of Justice/Community Relations Service, which helps provide an educative role to various organizations in order to prevent and resolve issues of conflict regarding race.
My absolute personal favourite was the Wannabe Moms and Dads panel workshop with various families and their experiences starting a family. I learned a lot about adoption law and its related cautionary measures, IVF vs. IUI insemination, what to do about having a known donor, and how being parent gets you access to an exclusive club where all that matters is that you have kids and other parents can relate! I absolutely cannot wait until I get to join that club because I’m already having a taste of it at my day job with the families of my 4-5 year olds.
Hands down, the most fun workshop was Queering Gender: Sex, Gender, and the Liberation of Queer AAPI Families led by the amazing CJ Frosch and Sarath Suong. Who knew how much fun it could be playing with labels, analyzing Ellen Degeneres’ bubbles of awesome gender expression in relation to her other identities, and talking about how our various communities liberate or restrain our own identities? I do now.
I ended the weekend with Coming out as Trans: A Unique Journey. Being a Philadelphia Trans-Health Organiser who primarily works outside of the workshop spectrum in the kids camp, I miss out on a lot of trans topics, and I was glad to be able to go to this workshop and expand my knowledge of various experiences on what it means to come out as trans in the Asian communities. As much as I enjoyed my time there, I am moved to be part of more discussions regarding the intersectionalities of being Asian and trans, and everything else in between. Here’s to hoping for the future!