It’s been one month since the Lunar New Year parade in Manhattan’s Chinatown and we are finally wrapping up all the details. We want to take the time to thank you for helping us field one of the largest contingents in our history and continuing the tradition of building visibility of LGBTQ API folks in API communities in NYC.
We both remember watching the Lunar New Year parade in NYC when we were growing up. Coming from families and communities that were silent on LGBTQ issues, we felt that we had to put on masks to prevent our true, queer selves from slipping out, especially during holidays like Lunar New Year when our families gathered to celebrate. It was a stifling and frustrating time for both of us. Fast forward several years, and here we are coordinating the LGBTQ contingent in the 2013 Lunar New Year parade.
How did we get to this point? A visible, supportive community.
What if there was just one person in the Lunar New Year parade audience who is in the same position as we once were? What would it have meant for this person to see people that look like them who are out and proud, marching side-by-side with supportive family members and allies? What would it mean for a mother or father to see another mother or father proudly marching with their queer child? What change would we have helped to catalyze?
We don’t have all of the answers to these questions. We do hope though, at the very least, that a few hearts and minds were nudged just a bit. And we hope this nudge leads to greater change in our communities in the long run.
Next year, we will be celebrating our 5th year anniversary of marching in the Lunar New Year parade. We hope you will help us plan and participate in that parade so that we can change more hearts and minds.
Please “like” Lunar New Year for All on Facebook and please check out the work of our respective organizations:
Both are jointly continuing LGBTQ API visibility work beyond the Lunar New Year and could use your support. Please contact either organization if you are interested in supporting. Upcoming events include API Heritage Month in May and LGBTQ Pride Month in June.
Ryan Shen and Dennis Chin
Co-coordinators, Lunar New Year for All 2013