Solidarity among LGBTQ AAPI

Specific LGBTQ AAPI resources allow other AAPI members to understand that they are not alone in these experiences. To understand that it is not uncommon to find others who identify as LGBTQ in AAPI communities. These resources allow similar people to find solidarity and understanding among each other. This solidarity will give courage to others in coming out from the dark. And slowly together, we will be able to gather more acceptance and progress in LGBTQ rights among AAPI communities.

Collectivist v Individualistic Cultures

IMG_4332.jpg     A collectivist and individualistic culture can impact an individual’s mental as well as physical health. In Asian cultures, there is a greater emphasis on collectivism – valuing family and community over individual benefits. This collectivist culture is derived from a shared history and similar physical, cultural attributes in Asian countries; whereas the United States value  individualism, the belief that the needs of the individual is more important than society.This may be because of the variety of different people in the United States, where ⅓ of the population does not identify as white, valuing the individual identities of people in the United States.

     Asian Americans and/or Pacific Islanders are not as open as their sexuality because of these collectivist values. In more second generation LGBTQ AAPI, data shows that they value more individualistic values, showing an increased number of LGBTQ AAPI in America than compared to Asian countries. In a collectivist society, deviations from the norm is looked down upon. This is part of the reason as why not many LGBTQ AAPI people seek as many health resources and HIV testing is among the lowest, demographically speaking. 

     Many AAPI LGBTQ people living in the United States struggle with a clash of racial and sexual identities, creating invisibility and isolation in communities. This also contributes to why depression and anxiety among AAPI LGBTQ individuals are the highest among any other demographic, because of the lack of supportive AAPI communities. Although many Asian countries are progressing their LGBTQ rights, it is still difficult to communicate in one’s native tongue about sexuality. In expressing one’s sexuality there is no positive terminology in Hmong, Khmer, Lao, or Vietnamese languages. This is why it is important to increase resources specifically for LGBTQ AAPI to create more inclusive communities and eliminating invisibility, isolation, and stereotyping. 

Source:
Handbook of LGBT Elders: : An Interdisciplinary Approach to Principles, Practices, and Policies

Looking for help? Here are some resources for LGBTQ people

These are also immediate contacts for LGBTQ:

24/7 Crisis Text Line
Text START to 741-741

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline
1-888-843-4564

Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
24-hour English & Spanish hotline
212-741-1141

Trevor Lifeline
National hotline for GLBTQ youth
1-866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline
1-877-565-8860

Text START to 741-741

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline
1-888-843-4564

Anti-Violence Project (AVP)
24-hour English & Spanish hotline
212-741-1141

Trevor Lifeline
National hotline for GLBTQ youth
1-866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline
1-877-565-8860

Also this is another great website with a list of helpful resources to reach out to:
Looking for help? Here are some resources for LGBTQ people

AAPI LGBTQ Resource Center San Francisco

Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center is a community wellness center located in San Francisco specializing in health care for LGBTQ and people of color. It is funded through the Department of Health and Human Services grants and many doctor volunteers around the area. The A&PI Wellness Center, not only offer free primary care services but also free services for family planning , HIV/STD testing, transgender health, mental health/substance abuse, and health education. When it comes to transgender health, not many health professionals understand the need for transgender people especially with the lack of research based treatments for transgender people. Transgender health services at the center include in managing and aiding in hormone injections. Mental health and substance abuse affect LGBTQ people of color at a lot higher rates and the center specializes in these services for those higher risk populations. Also health education workshops tend to be overlooked for LGBTQ populations, creating higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases among LGBTQ populations.

Overall this is a great center in providing free health services in mental health/substance abuse, health education, transgender health, etc for higher risk populations, like LGBTQ people of color. This is a great model for other organizations to follow as suit and hopefully many more will be constructed throughout the nation.

Issues in AAPI v AAPI LGBTQ communities

Stark differences in the issues and concerns of AAPI and AAPI LGBTQ communities. It is important to understand the similar rooted cultures, but identify the different needs of the other cultures.

The study was a national survey on LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. You can access it here at:
http://www.thetaskforce.org/static_html/downloads/reports/reports/api_living_in_margins_r.pdf

Statistics of LGBTQ AAPI

LGBTQAAPI.jpg

16.6 million AAPIs live in the United States.
1 in 3 documented LGBT adult immigrants are Asian or Pacific Islander
25% of LGBTQ AAPI individuals experience psychological distress, higher rates than any other group.
LGBTQ AAPI mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention services have received 0 funding, even though $100,000 was allocated for health and well-being.

HIV/AIDS Awareness

1 in 4 HIV-positive AAPIs do not know their HIV status — the highest of all race/ethnic groups — increasing transmission risks and preventing early access to important treatment. Cultural barriers such as language, homophobia, and maintaining family reputations may also impact AAPIs’ motivations to seek testing or treatment. But more than 1.5 million people in 2013, have died from AIDS related illnesses. Getting tested now can greatly increases chances of prolonging life and prevention of transmission. So go to your nearest clinic and get your free HIV test!