Meeting Mark Takano

I had the unique opportunity of meeting U.S. Representative Mark Takano of California at a campaign event for Massachusetts State Representative Carl Sciortino on May 28th, 2013. Rep. Sciortino is currently running for Ed Markey’s congressional seat and Rep. Takano was giving him, his formal endorsement.

Takano’s election made history in 2012 when he was elected as the first gay Asian American to the U.S. Congress. He also became the first Democrat to be elected in California’s 41st District, one of the state’s highly Republican districts, in a long time. His district primarily includes Riverside and Moreno Valley.

During the event, Takano and I discussed the current immigration bill being debated in the U.S. Senate. He expressed his confidence that the bill will pass because of the significant Republican votes. Although they do not like the bill, Republicans are being pressured by their interest groups such as the Chamber of Commerce to vote for it. However, Takano, being part of the gay community, voiced his disappointment about the LGBT couples exemption component not being included in the final bill. He did have high hopes that the US Supreme Court could take action in overturning the Defense of Marriage Act, despite concerns whether the institution of marriage could go back to the states.

In addition to immigration, the Representative is passionate about social security, and Medicare/Medicaid issues as well as education.  When he entered Congress, he and Congressmen Alan Grayson drafted a letter stating they will vote against cuts to Medicare/Medicaid issues and social security.  Furthermore, as a former teacher in the Rialto Unified School District, Takano plans to focus his work on increasing access to education for minority students.  He has co-sponsored the House Version of Student Loan Fairness Act, Equal Access to Quality Education Act, and Project Ready STEM Act.

Overall, I felt very honored to meet him and look forward to see his future actions in Congress.

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Such a great project!

Asian Gay & Proud

Erica Cho is a previous Out and Successful interviewee on Asian, Gay and Proud, and we’re proud to support her in her new film Golden Golden about two queer transgendered API folks.  She needs to raise a few more thousand dollars to finish the remaining 2/3 of filming.  Please visit http://www.usaprojects.org/project/golden_golden to watch her video requesting your support.goldengolden

Excerpt:

Golden Golden is a queer experimental short film about two broke community college students who visit a Filipina psychic known for her conjoined crystal balls. As Naoko and Lupe gaze into the magic orbs, each is confronted with their own set of transgender desires.

I am seeking funds to make this film happen. We have shot one-third of the film, but need to raise a minimum amount of $9600 to complete the rest. We will be shooting the final scenes in Los Angeles in January and March of 2013. The funds…

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What’s Going On?

Mazie Hirono is also the first Buddhist American to serve in the US Senate

President Barack Obama received 72% of the Asian American vote while only 41% of the population identify as Democrat

Suzy Khimm exposes the millenial deficit hawks and how the deficit outcomes affects the future generation

George Takei, BD Wong, and Margaret Cho identified as some of the most influential LGBT Asian icons 

Immigration Not Debated But Still Important

OP-e

Will immigration finally be debated? (Photo: Flickr/anksampedro)

The debate last week between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, like the first presidential debate, did not tackle immigration. A few folks, seeing the digits on their computer clocks near the 90 minute mark, tweeted out loud, “Will immigration, LGBTs, and women be mentioned at all?” Martha Raddatz, the moderator, did ask about abortion at the end, but clearly immigration was not a top domestic issue for her. I suspect it isn’t for the debaters either.

Interestingly, two reports reveal that immigration is not a top issue for immigrant communities either.

The Pew Hispanic Center released a report Thursday that rates education, jobs and the economy, and health care as the top three issues for registered Latino voters. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said the issue of education is extremely important to them, followed by 54 percent who cited jobs and…

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Gallup Poll: Nonwhite Individuals More Likely to Identify as LGBT

interesting statistics..don’t know whether it’s accuarate or not.

great piece on Asian Americans and LGBT issues

SAVE / FACE Texas

On June 19, 2010, I represented Queer & Asian Houston on the Getting it All Out: Coming Out to APA Families panel at the OCA (Organization of Chinese Americans) National Convention in Houston, Texas. It was the first ever queer-slanted panel for the OCA National Convention, thanks to the efforts of Iimay Ho, who was, at the time, Program Manager at the OCA National Center in Washington, DC. It was such an honor. Alongside me were the fierce, inspiring Ben de Guzman, NQAPIA (National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance) Co-Director for Programs; the “she brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard her speak at one of Q&A Houston’s potlucks” Tracy Luu, proud Vietnamese parent of a gay son; and tireless immigration advocate and Houston foodie, Attorney John Nechman. Speaking on the panel is one of my proudest endeavors for several reasons. As someone who is often…

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What’s Going On?

Transgendered Asian Americans currently face high levels of discrimination

Samhita Mukhopadhyay of Feministing.com reports that Texas Court rules that funds can be cut from Planned Parenthood

Huffington post writer, Marsha Aizumi talks about concerns and challenges facing LGBT youth upon returning back to school

Indian American accuses Dunkin Donuts of racial discrimination