Press

Policy Institute launches largest-ever national study of LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Americans

Date: 
June 16, 2006

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
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"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Asian-American community is under-served, under-researched and under-studied. Its members are caught in the margins."
— Alain Dang, Task Force Policy analyst and the study's lead researcher

Take the survey at: www.thetaskforce.org/apisurvey

WASHINGTON, June 16 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today announced the launch of the largest-ever study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans. The study, conducted by the Task Force Policy Institute in collaboration with API organizations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C., seeks at least 500 participants to complete an online survey. The confidential and anonymous survey is available in four languages: English, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The survey is available at www.thetaskforce.org/apisurvey.

"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Asian-American community is under-served, under-researched and under-studied. Its members are caught in the margins," said Alain Dang, Task Force Policy analyst and the study's lead researcher. "We need to better understand the experience of this diverse part of our community. The findings of this study will help us to include the voices of the LGBT Asian-American community at all levels of discussion."

The survey includes questions about the basic demographics of participants, as well as questions that assess their public policy priorities and their experiences in mostly straight Asian communities and mostly white LGBT communities. It also assesses participants' experiences of harassment and violence related to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or racial/ethnic heritage, as well as their interactions with law enforcement authorities if they chose to report those experiences.

Findings from the study will be used to promote the particular concerns and priorities of API lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to mainstream API and LGBT organizations, as well as to foster the Task Force's longstanding commitment to understanding the particular experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of color and low-income LGBT people.

Partners in the study include the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance in San Francisco, Asian Equality, Invisible to Invincible in Chicago, and Asian Pacific Islander Queer Sisters (APIQS) in Washington, D.C.

"Our collective experiences as immigrants, often bicultural and multilingual, provide a depth and richness to building inclusive LGBT and API movements for social justice," said Trang Duong, co-chair of APIQS.

This study is the second phase of work that started in 2004 with the Task Force Policy Institute's Asian Pacific American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: A Community Portrait. Written by Dang and Mandy Hu, that report concentrated on the New York City metropolitan area and discovered that 82 percent of those surveyed had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and the same percentage reported racial and ethnic discrimination. A PDF of the report can be downloaded at www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/APAstudy.pdf

"The Task Force Policy Institute is excited to be conducting the largest-ever survey of Asian-American LGBT people," said Sean Cahill, director of the Task Force Policy Institute. "We want to understand and advocate for all members of our community, especially for those who are often marginalized, ignored and underserved. We thank Asian Equality and the other Asian LGBT groups for partnering with us in this critical endeavor."

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.