...National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
In my poetry I often tell deep and personal stories about being queer, trans, and Asian-American, and I am inspired by and gather strength from those in my community. Recently I had the honor and pleasure of serving on the board of NQAPIA, a federation of LGBTQ Asian-American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations. NQAPIA seeks to build the capacity of local LGBTQ Asian-American and Pacific Islander organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias. When I was first growing into an understanding of myself as a queer and Asian young person, I would go to Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance meetings and events in Boston, which helped me find a community that I felt comfortable in. Now that group and many others around the country receive support and the ability to connect with each other through NQAPIA's conferences, newsletters, and national organizing. NQAPIA.org
I will proudly be on the 2012 Sister Spit Tour, the queer, trans, and feminist spoken word and performance art traveling road show cofounded by Michelle Tea (pictured, above) in 1994. This year Tea is curating, and the tour features some amazing authors and performers like Dorothy Allison, Justin Vivian Bond, Brontez Purnell, Cassie J. Sneider, and Erin Markey. SisterSpit.com
...the Year of the Dragon.
I really needed a new year. I was home in Hawaii for lunar New Year for the first time since high school, and the celebration plus the time I spent with my family really gave me something to carry me through the rest of 2012.
...Shimazu shave ice.
I've always loved this local Hawaii specialty dessert, but on my trip home this winter, I had the best shave ice flavors ever at Honolulu's Shimazu, including red velvet, chocolate peanut butter cup, and crème brûlée, not to mention the best mochi at the bottom of the cup.
...my mother, Wan Ping.
She's the backbone of my family, the strongest, most generous, kindest, and hardest-working person I know.
On the big island of Hawaii, I went to respectfully visit one of the most active volcanoes on the planet and I'll never forget it. It was incredible to see Kilauea again as an adult and to really feel the power of the earth and Pele in creation. NPS.gov/havo