Outside the Mainstream: QACON 2014

7th annual Queer & Asian Conference, addressing issues of youth homelessness, mental health, and lack of media representation, to be held at UC Berkeley May 2-4

On May 3rd, staff members and volunteers from API Equality – Northern California attended QACON, a queer and Asian conference put on at UC Berkeley. The theme of the conference was refrAction, emphasizing the need to take action on issues that are not present in the mainstream rhetoric of the LGBTQ movement–things like youth homelessness, mental health, and lack of media representation. The members of Cal Q&A worked tirelessly towards this event, and Workshops Committee Co-Chair Alina Vuong shared this:

“Working with QACON has been such a learning experience. I was so intimidated at first (and in some ways still am!), but I’m learning to meet these challenges as they come, both as a person and as part of a team. It means a lot to me to be able to be a part of the queer and Asian community like this, and I really look forward to seeing everyone at QACON14!”

We were excited and honored to be a part of this space. This year, we brought the Dragon Fruit project and intergenerational conversations to the conference!

The stories of LGBTQ API activists from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are rarely present in mainstream narratives. Amazing activists have been doing revolutionary work for years, yet their stories are not being raised or told. As a result, younger LGBTQ API folks are not afforded the inspirational role models that they deserve. Too often is the mainstream rhetoric focused on youth and young folks rising up, without giving proper acknowledgement to the older folks that have allowed for some of our greatest successes. By engaging in intergenerational dialogue, folks of all generations are able to listen, and learn–honoring each other and their own communities as an act of resilience and revolutionary community care.

For more on QACON, check out their website!