The National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance ( NQAPIA ) announced the launch of a new television ad campaign to foster family acceptance of LGBTQ individuals. Covering 20 different Asiatic languages, the ads were screened at a press conference on May 19,at Dechert, LLP in New York City.
According to NQAPIA Executive Director Glenn Magpantay, the ads are the first ever to target the LGBTQ Asian community. "We want to save lives, we want to show that families can be strong when they support their LGBT kids," Magpantay said.
Magpantay also introduced speakers who had ties to the Asian/Pacific Island LGBTQ community. Marsha Aizumi had her son, Aidan, come out as trans in high school. "By accepting my child, I am bringing honor to my family," Aizumi said.
Tevin Ith, a gay college student, spoke about finding acceptance away from his biological family but eventually reuniting with his mother. He advised fellow LGBTQ Asians to be strong but to ask for help if needed.
Joanne Lee, whose trans son committed suicide when he was a teenager, was audibly emotional during the in-person/telephone press conference. "I promised myself my child's life meant something," she said. She added that trans people needed equal opportunities to be who they are.
Pastor Danny Cortez discussed his journey from a Southern Baptist preacher who advocated "praying the gay away" to becoming an LGBTQ ally to having his own son come out to him shortly after he'd expressed his support for LGBTQ people. "For the first time in my life, I was saying words of life to someone who was gay," he said, of comforting his son. Cortez remembered going to an LGBTQ Christian conference in Chicago, listening to attendees' stories of family rejection and apologizing to the crowd for previously having been part of the problem.
The speakers took questions, and the press conference was followed by a reception.