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Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

Featuring AAPI-Led/Serving Organizations and Initiatives Working to Secure the Ability to Thrive Within the Intersections of All Our Identities

| By Benjamin Coy

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! Representation is key, not just this month, but every single day. It’s a beacon of hope, pride, and joy, standing strong as a form of resistance. To honor our AAPI siblings, we’ll be shining a spotlight on people, organizations, and initiatives dedicated to empowerment across intersections.  

UTOPIA WASHINGTON 

Since 2009, UTOPIA Washington has been a beacon of hope and solidarity for the Pacific Islander LGBTQIA+ community. Together with Queer and Trans Pacific Islander leaders, they’ve cultivated a nurturing space where basic needs are met, and dreams are nurtured. From forging new career paths to championing social justice, education, and overall wellness, UTOPIA WA is united in the pursuit of a brighter future. 
 
 Founded by transgender and fa’afafine women of color, UTOPIA Washington is more than an organization; it’s a movement fueled by love and resilience. Rooted in cultural identity, they bridge gaps and pave the way for inclusivity. Through advocacy and empowerment, they empower the community to thrive, providing vital resources, employment opportunities, and culturally competent care. 
 
UTOPIA Washington is rewriting the narrative, crafting a future where every voice is heard, and every dream is within reach. 
 
You can contribute to UTOPIA Washington’s impactful work by donating, volunteering, or participating through the following links. 
Get involved: https://utopiawa.org/volunteering/ 
Donate: https://utopiawa.org/donate/ 

NATIONAL QUEER ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER ALLIANCE 

The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance was established in 2005 from a roundtable of leaders from the nation’s LGBT AAPI organizations to address shared challenges and foster collaboration. 
 
Initially supported by API Wellness Center, NQAPIA became an independent entity in 2010 with a mission of strengthening local LGBT AAPI groups, enhancing grassroots organizing, and advocating for social justice by tackling homophobia, sexism, racism, and xenophobia. 
 
Join NQAPIA in building a more inclusive and equitable community! 
 
You can contribute to NQAPIA’s impactful work by donating, volunteering, or participating through the following links. 
Get involved: https://www.nqapia.org/ 
Donate: https://nqapia.salsalabs.org/GeneralDonation/index.html 

KHUSHDC 

Atul and Yassir, founders of KhushDC, met in June 1994 during the Stonewall 25th Anniversary celebration in NYC and discovered they were both from Washington, DC. Inspired by New York City’s South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association, they decided to start a similar group in DC. 
 
Initially, the emerging LGBTQ South Asian group met at each other’s homes for small discussions. Today, KhushDC has grown into a prominent non-profit organization serving the South Asian LGBTQ community in DC, MD, and VA, hosting social events, participating in political rallies, and paving the way for future South Asian Queer and Trans leaders. 

 
You can learn how to get involved with KHUSHDC by logging onto: https://www.khushdc.com/ 

GLBTQ+ ASIAN PACIFIC ALLIANCE 

Established in 1988 after discussions among members of the Asian Gay Men’s Support Group at Berkeley’s Pacific Center, GAPA was created to organize, integrate, and nurture the growing gay and bisexual Asian and Pacific Islander (API) identity. GAPA’s efforts have helped build institutions like the San Francisco Community Health Center, formerly API Wellness Center, and the iconic GAPA Runway pageant.  

Through countless shows, concerts, conferences, political engagements, and rallies, They’ve directly engaged in social, cultural, and political advocacy to advance and protect the community’s interests and well-being. As an all-volunteer, grassroots organization, they’re dedicated to providing a safe space to inspire individuals to be their best selves, celebrate our diversity, and continue the fight for equality. 
 
In 2021, they renamed their organization to the GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance, reflecting a commitment to inclusivity across the full spectrum of the GLBTQ+ community. 
 
They come together to champion the rights and well-being of the GLBTQ+ API community, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment for all. 
 
 You can learn how to get involved with GAPASF by logging onto: https://www.gapa.org/ 

Let’s commit to supporting and partnering with more organizations like these throughout the year. If you know of another organization you’d like to see featured, send us a message on social media. We’d love to hear from you! 

Benjamin Coy

Benjamin Coy

Communications Marketing Campaign Manager

he/they

Washington, DC

A charismatic and energetic branding and digital marketing professional, Benjamin has a strong academic background in communication, business management, and public relations with a proven history of excellent written and verbal communication skills. After obtaining his undergraduate degree in public relations and advertising from Bethune-Cookman University, Benjamin completed his Master of Arts in Strategic Communication…