Image description: group photo of nine queer and tgnc API people kneeling and standing in the middle of the street, smiling toward the camera.
Image description: group photo of nine queer and tgnc API people kneeling and standing in the middle of the street, smiling toward the camera.

Reflections from a Summer of Growth 🌱 and Stars✨

Image description: group photo of nine queer and trans API people kneeling and standing in the middle of the street, smiling toward the camera.
Image description: group photo of nine queer and tgnc API people kneeling and standing in the middle of the street, smiling toward the camera.

APIENC’s summer has come to a close! Our Summer Organizers — Huanvy, Kai, Rai, Shreya, T, and Zaha — worked hard deepening their skills, building strong relationships, and learning how to ask for help. They’ve participated in exchanges with other activists, supported a 300-person contingent at Trans March, done in-person outreach for our needs assessment, organized and phonebanked for our successful summer fundraising campaign, and grown tremendously.

Rai was the outreach coordinator for the TGNC API Needs Assessment this summer. They were also a radical welcomer for Trans March.

“I greeted people, smiled at them as they came to join our contingent, and asked for their names. I saw the ways that I made people feel at home, and I was able to do that because APIENC created that same feeling for me.”

-Rai

Zaha worked on the Dragon Fruit Network to help organize an intergenerational community care event for queer and trans Asians and Pacific Islanders. Before Zaha’s summer at APIENC, she had never seen or heard stories of queer South Asian elders.

“Finding the Dragon Fruit Project completely changed that for me. Through every story I heard, every event I found on a timeline, and every person I met, I realized I had so many ancestors I just hadn’t found yet.”

-Zaha

Something T has taken away from their summer at APIENC is how powerful APIENC’s Queer Leadership Exchange was.

“LEX is a very intentionally curated space where anyone of any age and background can relate and take them into their daily lives, even if they’re not a community organizer. Like radical welcome? I’m gonna do that to my family!”

-T

Shreya’s favorite activity at LEX was the 1-on-1 workshop where they observed two people having a 1-on-1.

“They talked so free-flowing and naturally, but also in a way that showed such care for each other. The purpose of the workshop was both getting to know people but also how to build relationships that can help bring our community together and work toward the goals of the community.”

-Shreya

Huanvy shares the biggest thing they’ve learned this summer:

“Movements are built off of relationships. The Summer Organizer Program taught me the skills that make me feel empowered to reach out to people and initiate these conversations and these 1-on-1’s and really prioritize that relationship-building in my movement work.”

-Huanvy

One of Kai’s most memorable moments this summer was organizing the South Bay picnic when over 20 people came with blankets and utensils and food.

“It was so clear to me how much care and how much love was in that space even though we hadn’t known each other that well.”

-Kai

One thing that xie has taken away from xyr summer at APIENC is the power of community, whether it be a small picnic in a park in Sunnyvale, or whether it be a 300+ contingent at Trans March…

“the community is at the core of this work.”

-Kai

We’re so proud of Huanvy, Kai, Rai, Shreya, T, and Zaha! And the special constellation of stars of queer, trans, and API leadership they have formed in this universe! ✨