APIENC’s Trans Justice Initiative aims to build understanding and combat transphobia within Asian and Pacific Islander communities through outreach and public education workshops. Nationwide, a wave of transphobic rhetoric, fear mongering, and misinformation is contributing to ongoing discrimination and violence against TGNC folks. While incredible work has been done in California and throughout the United States to resist and combat transphobia, including victories in legislation, school curriculum, and healthcare practices, we recognize the long-term need to ensure that culturally relevant resources are being created and implemented in Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

Working in collaboration with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), APIENC has created curriculum that centers Asian and Pacific Islander histories and narratives of transgender, gender non-conforming, third gender and non-binary identities.

However, gender justice efforts are incomplete without an intersectional lens. The purpose of the Trans 101 curriculum is to provide our communities with a shared understanding of gender and sexuality pertaining to our intersectional identities, be it race, gender, class etc. It is important to reclaim our full selves by re-examining how our concept of gender has been influenced by Westernization, migration, and colonialism.

In order to guide a process of organizational self-reflection and commitment making around trans and gender justice, it is necessary we have trans and gender justice in racial/immigrant justice, and vice versa as its foundation.

Our Trans Justice Working Group

Image Description: Three rows of API people pose for a picture at the NQAPIA Trans Justice convening
Image Description: Three rows of API people pose for a picture at the NQAPIA Trans Justice convening

In January 2016, a volunteer-led conversation brought up critical questions on how to approach and address core issues impacting our trans and GNC folks. As a result, we convened our Trans Justice Working Group, a group made up of members of API Equality – Northern California’s advisory council and leadership team. The working group meets regularly to discuss, strategize, and build our Trans Justice initiatives. In April 2016, the Working Group began developing Trans 101 and API-specific Trans Justice curriculum.

“We put our love and care into the work despite usually meeting at the end of the day from our full-time jobs because we want a safer and more just world for our trans community. <3” – Avery Nguyen, Working Group member

Trans Justice Public Education

Currently we are part of leading the following organizational committees:

Here’s a glimpse of what we’re up to now:

  • In August 2016, we facilitated our first trans and gender nonconforming (TGNC) training during the NQAPIA Leadership Summit in New Orleans. Working with local organizations, our Trans Justice trainer cohort will use the feedback gathered from that initial training to conduct outreach and public education workshops throughout the Bay Area. We want to ensure that, at our core, our commitment to gender justice is reflected in our cultural practices and events.
  • As we refine our English-language materials through facilitation and feedback processes, we are also in the process of creating materials for monolingual API communities. We plan to outreach using a mix of educational materials geared specifically for monolingual and limited English proficiency API speakers, including in-language and graphic flyers and brochures.
  • Leadership development is a core part of APIENC’s work, and we are striving to create intergenerational modes of learning and training. We want to ensure that TGNC individuals, who are directly impacted by this work, are guiding the content and focus of our trans justice work. As such, APIENC has convened a Trans Justice Working Group in order to build a larger core of trainers and facilitators.

For more information about our Trans Justice efforts and our upcoming trainings, please contact info@apienc.org