On May 27th, 2021, the Washington State LGBTQ Commission hosted a panel conversation with people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to hear their experiences as LGBTQ people. You can watch the video of the discussion here.
Additionally, the Commission has issued the following statement of solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander American communities:
Washington State LGBTQ Commission Statement on Anti-Asian and Anti-Pacific Islander Hate
The Washington State LGBTQ Commission wants to reaffirm our solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities as acts of hate against these communities continue to increase. The Commission condemns the acts of violence committed against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the recent months, and the continued stigmatization of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. We also recognize that these acts of violence are not new, but rather the continuation of decades of stigmatization against the community as well as the product of racism and white supremacy.
Anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander racism has been a recurring theme in United States history, as it is evidenced by the forced invasion and colonization of Pacific Island nations starting in the late 19th Century, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Page Act of 1875 that banned Chinese women in specific from entering the USA, and the removal and internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s. In our own state of Washington, the AAPI community has experienced hatred and discrimination as evidenced by the anti-Chinese riots of 1885 in Issaquah, Seattle, and Tacoma, the imposition of quotas to Filipino immigrants in the 1930s, the forced removal of Japanese American families from thriving communities in Vashon and Bainbridge islands among other locations throughout the state, and the establishment of a Japanese American internment camp in Puyallup. The recent violence against people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in Seattle, Tacoma, and other communities in our state is a reminder that these anti-Asian and anti-Pacific Islander sentiments are not just historical events.
As May is recognized as Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, it is important for our Commission to reaffirm our commitment to anti-racism work and to uplift the voices of those marginalized in our society. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are part of the fabric of our state and of this country. The Commission invites our LGBTQ community to be in solidarity with our Asian and Pacific Islander siblings, to learn of the rich history and wonderful diversity of cultures within the AAPI community, and to uplift the voices of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. Moreover, we recognize that LGBTQ people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have been an integral part of our communities for generations. We encourage our broader LGBTQ community in Washington to reach out to LGBTQ people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent through support for organizations, businesses, and initiatives created by and for people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.
Finally, we invite our community to read the statements issued by Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington Immigrant Network. We also encourage our community to reach out to the Washington State Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs to learn more about these communities in Washington and find resources.