Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Year of the Horse; Chinatown's Lunar New Year Parade 2014

By Liz Thomson, Interim Director
Born Year of the Tiger

This past Sunday, hundreds of people gathered in Chinatown for the annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade. The cold and snow did not deter folks from lining the sidewalks with hot tea and pastries. For me, marching in the parade with the community organization Invisible to Invincible: API Pride of Chicago was really meaningful. This was our second year marching and we found the organizing committee to be affirming and inclusive.

Chicago i2i members, friends, allies marching
with all smiles! Some UIC alumni participated, too.

Marching in the parade meant showing community, pride, and visibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally (LGBTQA) Asian Americans. We marched in this parade, just as other LGBTQA Asian Americans groups marched in other parades in California and New York. We marched for ourselves, but also for others to be affirmed. What if a young, queer Asian American teenager saw us that Sunday? What if an Auntie saw us after someone in her family "came out?" Our positive role modeling and visibility could make an impact with these families that are otherwise not seen in popular media and Asian American culture.
Our work in visibility and community building is far from over. I2I and other LGBTQ Asian American organizations have their work ahead of them to reach out to Asian Americans and organizations. I'm sure there will be disagreement, conflict, and frustration. But, hopefully, there will also be humanity, open minded-ness, compassion, and education. I truly believe there is a process of exposure, education, tolerance, and acceptance when working with communities.

Happy Year of the Horse and let's use your characteristics of being kind to others, cheerfulness, and talented - over being stubborn and impatient.

Chicago i2i has an API specific "coming out" support group the first Monday of the month at Asian Human Services, from 6-7:30 p.m. There is also a general open meeting the second Tuesday of the month, from 6-7:30 p.m., at ICAH, 226 S. Wabash, suite 900. The space is wheelchair accessible and has gender-neutral restrooms.

3 comments:

  1. It's great that people are deciding to take initiative with their voices being heard - with all of the accounts of bullying we hear on the news, positive moments like this can go as far as saving people's lives. And it's great that the weather did not bother anyone!

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  2. Thanks, KD for the comment. It was super fun. There's so much work to do in both the LGBT community and the Asian American community on LGBT Asian American inclusiveness and safety. There's still a generation gap also sometimes in the Asian American community, but we're working on it!

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