BETTY CAO is a 1.5 generation Chinese American who immigrated to New York at the age of six. Currently, Betty is a Community Organizer at Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) providing leadership development for Chinese immigrant parents on ways to get involve in their children’s education. During Summer 2010, Betty was a part of API Equality – Northern California’s first internship cohort, and now is a member of our steering committee.
After learning tangible, life skills during her API Equality – Northern California internship Betty made a commitment to be a part of the organization’s growth and development and has been a volunteer for the last 3 years.
“The internship helped me explore and understand what it means for me to be a queer Chinese women growing up with an immigrant experience. It was literally life changing and I learned to embrace all the different identities I hold.”
One of Betty’s most memorable moments was when she came out to her parents after Summer of 2010. The genuine relationships she made over the summer gave her strength to connect with her family. Hear her coming out story here:
We are excited for Betty to help us plan for the future of API Equality – Northern California as one of our new Steering Committee members. We asked Betty what her hopes are for the LGBTQ API community.
“I joined the steering committee because I want to create more dialogue within the immigrant communities. I work with immigrant moms who don’t know I’m queer so it’s daunting because it hits so close to home. It’s important and necessary to raise these conversations because as we saw with Prop 8 – there was a significant amount of Asian Americans against Marriage Equality. My job at CAA is a great stepping stone for bridging these gaps, but it’s a scary challenge.”
Above all, Betty’s family history plays a large role in her community activism. Her immigrant family have instilled her the importance of family and how it’s not only about ourselves but the communities around us.
Fun fact: English is Betty’s fourth language. She knows Fuzhounese, Cantonese, and Mandarin.