Submit your story!
By many accounts, 2015 was a landmark year for the LGBTQ community with victories such as legal nationwide marriage equality and the steadily increasing visibility of trans people in mainstream media. However, these wins do not reflect the stories and priorities of all facets of our lives as LGBTQ Asian American and Pacific Islanders (API). We live at the complicated intersections of oppression based on race, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and our lived experiences are often not reflected in the stories shared about the LGBTQ narrative. API Equality-LA believes in the power of personal stories, and that’s why we created Q&A Space. Through this project, we broaden the understanding of the API LGBTQ experience by speaking our own lived truths.
We invite you to share your story and add to our growing archive! We are expanding our website to include more than just coming out stories because we understand that the API LGBTQ experience is more than that. We’ve included two new prompts and we invite you to share your own stories, perspectives, and lessons learned to the broader LGBTQ API community.
To submit a story please:
1. First, pick a prompt to help you develop your piece. (You can refer to the guiding questions below!)
Your coming out story.
What is something you love and/or find challenging about being API and LGBTQ?
- A letter to your younger self or an LGBTQ family member/friend.
2. Craft your story in a medium that feels most comfortable to you – essay, poetry, video, artwork, etc.
FOR WRITTEN ESSAYS: The word count suggestion is 250-1000 words.
FOR VIDEO: Video length should be about 3 – 5 minutes. Think about how long you generally would want to watch a YouTube video! It may be helpful to write down your story BEFORE you begin filming. Be reflective, honest, and personal.
3. Zip up all your files into one folder. (Instructions available here.) All submissions must include a minimally 1000 width x 634 height pixel cover picture to go along with your submission; this can either be a photo of yourself or one that you feel relates to your piece.
4. Email your zipped folder to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! Please include “Q&A Space Submission” in the email subject heading and include your name and the title of your work in the email body.
5. Sign this release form for your work online here.
While we strive to collect as many stories as possible and appreciate all submissions, only those deemed appropriate for this website will be used. Thus, we cannot guarantee that your piece will be published. If you have any questions about the submission process or our criteria, please feel free to contact us.
Here are some questions to keep in mind as you write your piece. Please think of these as suggestions and guidelines rather than requirements.
1. Your coming out story
Tell us about your coming out experience(s), whether there were multiple occasions or one significant event.
Did you feel that you needed to come out? For what reasons?
How did you prepare for the worst? What were you scared of?
Who were some inspirational figures that helped you come out?
How did you come out to yourself? What did that feel like?
What was your first coming out experience like? Who did you come out to? What happened?
Did your API or religious identification create any barriers to coming out?
Did you come out to your family? How did you feel before and after? How did they react?
Do you feel like you have to keep on coming out to others when you find yourself in different situations? How are these experiences different from one another?
How did you feel afterwards? Do you have any regrets? Do you feel better?
Did you notice a change in the people around you after you came out?
2. What is something you love and/or find challenging about being API and LGBTQ?
Tell us about your background. Help us understand who you are and what being API and LGBTQ means to you.
How has being API affected your identification with the LGBTQ community?
How has being LGBTQ affected your identification with the API community?
How do you think being religious/nonreligious affected your identification with the LGBTQ community?
What was one time you felt empowered by your identities? What was one time you felt disempowered?
3. A letter to your younger self or an LGBTQ family member/friend.
What would have been helpful for you to hear as a young API LGBTQ person?
Think about people or resources that you had as you were navigating your identities as a young person.
- What was helpful to you in this process of self-discovery? What’s something you wish you had to help you in this process?
- What are ways you have been able to support an API LGBTQ person in your life?