Les-bi-oke II polling

Hi folks, last year hotpot! had our first karaoke night and it was such a success,  we’re hoping we can make it hotpot!’s yearly tradition. We have yet to choose a location but it’s coming soon, along with other details.

For now, we just want to gather people’s availability, so please choose your best availability date and time for hotpot! karaoke night from the poll below. Also, please respond quickly as some places require us to book the room one or two weeks in advance and our first date in the poll is September 7th.

Let’s all sing our hearts out!!

ps: This is a social event, all hotpot! members, partners, family and friends are welcome to join.

UPDATE 9/6/12: Poll is closed, the winner vote is Saturday 9/22 at 7-10pm. Stay tuned for location announcement!

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additional haikus and non-haikus: reflections on nqapia conference

adoptee workshop

hapa, mestiza,
mixed race. queer. life in border-
lands. fit in nowhere.

not white enough. not
asian enough. asian heart.
white face. who decides?

grounded to find
coalition with qapi adoptee
to white family.

dear white family,
please do not deny asian
baby’s asian-ness.

filipin@ caucus

the american dream
versus the filipin@ dream.
generation/immigration gap.
not the direction some think.

reproductive justice workshop

please create timeline
number-line for years of age
sexual/reproductive development
suggestion: try it

and the not scheduled, other

poly. swimming. knit.
community. salads. friend-
crushes. good night sleep.

~kb

The amazing experience that was NQAPIA

Wow, it’s already been a month since NQAPIA was held! I am in a different continent altogether and it really feels strange writing this blog post at this point in time. Numerous images from the conference are cascading my thoughts right now and I definitely remember being super excited and somewhat overwhelmed with the different types of people and workshops I came across with. Some highlights include:

The ‘Creative Storytelling’ and ‘It’s better to speak to a camera than to a person’ workshops

I loved attending both these workshops mainly due to my deep attachment and belief in the power of visual storytelling/viewing. The workshops focused on creating safe spaces for people affected with HIV/AIDS or for those coming to terms with their own sexuality as integral in forming a heightened sense of awareness and consciousness on the part of the viewer. Picture collages coupled with employing a hand-held, tracking camera are used to make these documentary-esque videos but the stories themselves took on more of a narrative form, which I found effective.

Check the videos out at: http://www.banyantreeproject.org/takingroot.php

South Asian Caucus:

I appreciated this Caucus immensely since it was extremely discussion-oriented and everyone in the room (there were like 30 -35 people) spoke about the pressing issues they would like to witness/create change in within the South Asian Community. I myself expressed how NQAPIA provides a nurturing space for people to interact with one another but after its conclusion, our individual spaces might not be conducive to talking about such topics, especially in our respective countries. I liked how two people talked about the use and need for art to be transformative within our LGBT arenas and I loved listening to the elderly speak about how far they’ve come and the improvements they’ve undergone in both body and mind.

Queer Muslim workshop (forgot the title):

This workshop was not quite what I had expected as I wanted it to be more informative or discussion-oriented. Ever since I have come back to Bangladesh, the call of the Azan has beckoned me every day and I haven’t mustered the strength to pray namaz since I still have trouble aligning my religion with my gay identity. I felt I had too many expectations from this workshop but it has proven to be a personal journey that I will have to take (have attempted before) if I am to come to terms with these issues. Overall, I thought the presenters were very open about their religious lives and I learnt a lot from them.

I really enjoyed being a part of this conference and making new friends. I can’t wait for the next one!

by Federico

First time at a Queer AAPI South Asian National Conference

As the title says, it’s my first time being a presenter and attending a National Queer AAPI and South Asian conference so understandably, I was excited. Here are the skinny and bare opinions about some of the workshops I attended.

How to Run the Best Meeting EVER!

This was awesome and the best one yet. I learned new things about facilitating and MIT (Motivation, Information Tradition). Make it fun and productive!

Immigrants’ Rights for LGBT AAPIs: Defining the Agenda

Being an immigrant myself and deeply involved in immigrant communities, what the presenters had to say was nothing new to me, but I’m sure this was a really good and informative workshop for people who just begun to learn about immigration.

Communication and Conflict: How to Transform Your Organizational Culture (2 Parts)

This was another awesome workshop brought by my two favorites presenters, Bex and Moof. I got to learn how hotpot! is actually practicing a lot of the methods they taught in this workshop and how useful the methods are to resolve conflicts within members of an organization or at least make it workable so that no one had to leave the workplace/organization.

A Part, Yet Apart: LGBT South Asians

This was very informational for me as I learn new things about issues facing queer South Asians and the differences of self acceptance and community acceptance between the many South Asian nationalities and ethnicities. Another highlights was about one of the presenters, whose name I forgo. She read a letter she wrote about her many identities concerning being queer, a woman, an Indian born, an immigrant, a professor, a mother and many other things with how people see her from the outside and her seeing herself.

In closing, I’ll say this was a good conference experience and I’m glad I was there.

ASIAC Provides hotpot! Designed Safe Sex Kit

We are proud to announce the release of ASIAC’s new hypoallergenic safe sex kit, which debuted last night at our Sextalk workshop.  The kit contains 3 nitrile gloves, 2 polyisoprene condoms, 1 polyurethane female condom, 1 glycerin and paraben-free lube pillow, and a few cotton balls. hotpot! steering committee member Van introduced her own personal kit contents to ASIAC who took the idea and made it an accessible resource for everyone.

So what does this all mean?

  • The primary purpose of this kit appeals to those with latex allergies which can make safe sex difficult with the lack of easily accessible alternatives (non-latex condoms are much more expensive than regular ones). A positive side effect of using non-latex condoms that everyone can enjoy is that it doesn’t have the rubbery smell/taste of latex and transfers heat better than latex, which may make a more intimate experience for some.
  • Non-latex gloves (in this packet, nitrile) allows you to keep your hands clean from wherever you’re playing as well as keep your dirty hands (pun intended) from potentially contaminating your partner.
  • Glycerin is an ingredient commonly found in most lubes on the market that provides a slightly sweet taste to it. However, synthetic glycerin can trigger yeast infections in some people, and large amounts can damage mucous membranes; i.e. it can be an irritant to some people and when enough is used, it can be potentially unsafe.
  • Parabens are a range of synthetic preservatives that mimics estrogen and is potentially linked with breast cancer.
  • Those who prefer to have longer nails, bite their nails, or otherwise have finger tips that may be a little sharp no longer have to worry about whether or not they can use their hands to please their partners! Just add a cotton ball or two into the fingertips of the gloves and you’re all set to have fun.

All of this is generously provided by ASIAC, a non-profit 501(c)3 community based organization dedicated to providing culturally sensitive and language appropriate HIV and other related services to Asians & Pacific Islanders (APIs) and their partners, family members, friends and service providers in the Philadelphia area. You may make an appointment by calling them at 215.629.2300 x123, or emailing them at TESTING@ASIAC.org. They are located at 1711 S. Broad Street.