Celebrating LGBTQ+ existence and joy
Happy Pride y’all!
Shout out to all our returning readers and major thanks to all our first timers — we really appreciate you being here. I hope last week was everything you needed it to be. While I do not identify as part of the LGBT+ community, here are three folks I learn a lot from on a near daily basis:
Ace Schwarz (they/them/theirs)
Ace is a trans/non-binary 6th in 7th grade teacher based in Pennsylvania. They are an advocate for LGBTQ+ students and teachers and takes an active role in the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at their school. They use Instagram as a platform for this advocacy, and they create resources for teachers, parents, and administrators to help educate about LGBTQ+ issues and inclusion. They have been recognized by GLSEN for their work, and was honored as their Educator of the Year for 2019.
I started following Ace on instagram after seeing some of their work being shared by Liz Kleinrock. I love the way they make their content accessible and approachable, as well as their intentionality when calling folks to action. Ace’s library of resources, too, has been invaluable for me and something I look to when expanding my own knowledge.
Kalaya’an Mendoza (he/they/them)
Kalaya'an Mendoza is a Queer, Hard of Hearing, Filipino American human rights defender, street medic, and community safety and mutual protection trainer. He is an award-winning facilitator of holistic safety and security, as well as a recognized expert in disaster preparedness. Kalaya’an has worked his entire career to help people use the resources they have to build the power they need to make the change they want to see in the world.
I was first introduced to Kalaya’an’s work during an Instagram Live Michelle Kim was doing. I started following him and was really enthralled by both his honesty and desperation. The commitment and conviction and care in every word and action was one of my first models of what it meant to live the work of liberation and why it was so damn important to do it right now. Last year, I had the chance to see him speak at the Unity March in D.C., and it was a powerful thing and an affirmation of everything I’d come to know of him from afar.
Jupiter F. Stone (they/them)
Jupiter is a national award-winning producer who has created media & entertainment-based experiences for thousands of businesses and brands over the last 17 years on a local, national, and international scale. They have held just about every position under the social and digital media umbrella. In 2021 they were one of four creators invited to host a segment of TikTok’s Virtual Diversity and Inclusion Summit and most recently they were a Producer and On-Camera Host for a documentary broadcasted on PBS called, “Skill Shift”.
Jupiter and I connected on LinkedIn sometime last year. We immediately connected over our shared passion in storytelling, and after our first zoom call, I knew we were kindred spirits in this work. What drew me to Jupiter was their pursuit of intersectionality — across gender, intra-diasporically, geographically etc. — and how we tell those stories. They are currently working on some incredible things, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.
Follow them on LinkedIn.
These are just three people I personally learn so much from, and there are so many others in the world doing amazing, incredible things defining and redefining what it means to navigate this world as LGBTQ+.
You deserve joy.
You deserve love.
You deserve life.
Happy Pride, yall! 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️
This week on Conversation Piece…
Patrick kicks off June with a brand new series in his backyard! Okay, it's not a new series, but it IS the first time he's recorded outside (the first of many, maybe?). He runs down THE APAHM CONVERSATIONS series and how May went for the show, what to look forward to in June, and addresses 'adoptee' as an identity -- the missing piece of this week's conversation.
Were you busy in May?? Us, too!
Last month we ran a 10-episode series titled THE APAHM CONVERSATIONS where we discussed the missing pieces of the Asian American conversation. The first of its kind for this show, we partnered with Cold Tea Collective to amplify this series and reach an even wider audience.
We also launched on YouTube for the first time (as you know from today’s episode lol)!
If you missed any of the 10 episodes, you can catch up here!
On the playlist this week…
I know I talked about Pride in this newsletter, but I just realized I didn’t mention it at ALL in this episode I recorded, so apologies on that front!
Very excited about everything coming up in June. Thank you all for being here and supporting me and the show and everything else I’ve got going on. I could not do it without you, truly.
I hope this week is everything you need it to be,
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