Earlier this year, we announced that GAPIMNY would no longer go by the name “Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York”: we now go by the name “GAPIMNY” with the tagline “Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders.” Concurrent with that name change, we announced that GAPIMNY membership would be opened to anyone who identifies as a queer and/or trans Asian Pacific Islander (“QTAPI”).
We embarked on those changes to align our name with our mission statement and values, to recognize the diversity of folx already within our membership (both past and present), and to lay the groundwork for a more open, inclusive, and powerful GAPIMNY where, for example, trans and gender non-conforming folx would not only be centered in our work, but also centered in our membership.
We recognize that by changing our name and opening up our membership, we are still only a few feet past the starting line for the GAPIMNY and world we want to see. Diversifying the GAPIMNY membership will not happen overnight; it will be a multiyear effort with surely a few stumbling blocks along the way. We are not deterred. We face those challenges head-on because we know that the community work that we’ve been doing for 28 years will become all the more powerful when we include voices and bodies within GAPIMNY from communities that have been underrepresented in our membership. Those underrepresented communities include the trans, gender non-conforming, Southeast Asian, Pacific Islander, mixed race, working class, and immigrant communities.
We also recognize that GAPIMNY does not do its community work within a vacuum. We are fortunate to work alongside incredible QTAPI organizations such as Q-Wave, SALGA NYC, Tarab, and Caribbean Equality Project. Our name change and membership expansion are not meant to subsume, erase, or challenge the existence of any organization. We believe that each of our partner organizations serves an important demographic of QTAPIs, that they create specific safer spaces, and that people should have the freedom to choose the organization(s) that feel(s) safest to them. By changing our name and expanding our membership, we want to include QTAPIs who haven’t yet found their community, who don’t know that a community exists for them, and who wish to be part of multiple communities. We want to be open to all QTAPIs so that we no longer deny folx the GAPIMNY community.
Friends, we are always striving to be a better organization. If you have feedback, please let us know here. Finally, if you’d like to join the GAPIMNY community, please consider signing up for our newsletter, becoming a GAPIMNY member, or filling out our “Get Involved” form.
The GAPIMNY Steering Committee