Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center will be celebrating
SF LGB&T Pride on Sunday, June 28, 2009
“To Form a More Perfect Union”
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center will be celebrating PRIDE with style on Sunday, June 28, 2009 for the 39th San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Celebration 2009. There is a lot to celebrate and commemorate about this year for the greater A&PI LGBTQI communities!
2009 brings two very important Asian & Pacific Islander Grand Marshals for this year’s Parade!
Lt Dan Choi
Lieutenant Dan Choi graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2003 with a degree in Arabic and Environmental Engineering. He served as an infantry officer and served an extended combat tour in Iraq (2006-7). His fluency in Arabic and West Point degree became very useful to the Army’s mission in Iraq as he did not need to use an interpreter.
He served as a combat leader, government liaison, and reconstruction officer, rehabilitating water infrastructure. When he returned home he began his first love relationship with his current boyfriend, despite the ban on gay military service. He decided he could not lie about love and so left active duty in 2008. He continued to serve in the Army National Guard.
As a founder of “Knights Out,” the West Point LGBT Alumni, he fights for the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and reminds all soldiers that they are not alone, and they should never be ashamed of being honest with themselves and others. He declared his sexual orientation publicly on national television, resulting in his recent notification of discharge despite his desire to continue serving.
Helen Zia is an award-winning journalist and scholar who has covered Asian American communities and social and political movements for decades. She is the author of Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. President Bill Clinton quoted from Asian American Dreams at two separate speeches in the Rose Garden.
Zia is former executive editor of Ms. Magazine. Her articles, essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, books, and anthologies. She was named one of the most influential Asian Americans of the decade by A. Magazine.
A second-generation Chinese American, Zia has been outspoken on issues ranging from civil rights and peace, to women's rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. In 1997, she testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the racial impact of the news media.
Special Guest: ONGINA
From one of the thousands of tiny islands in the Philippines comes a mighty and powerful force known as ONGINA! Also known as Ryan Ong Palao, he currently resides in Los Angeles and works as an Area Visual merchandiser for a specialty retail boutique, hence his love for designer shoes and his flair for couture fashion.
ONGINA is mostly recognized for her recent appearance on LOGO’s reality show, “RuPaul’s DRAG RACE.” She delighted audiences across the United States, bringing a strong, bold, beautiful and entertaining character that honors and respects the artistry of drag, wig or no wig!
ONGINA didn’t arrive as the final winner of the show; however, as she was to sashay out of the show, she revealed that she is HIV positive. This was a revelation that she had to for herself. This set a media frenzy and worked towards her advantage! ONGINA now is recognized as a poster girl for many Asian & Pacific Islander LGBTs who are living with HIV or AIDS! She will be making an appearance at the Festival Parade!
Join us during the parade and meet us at the Asian & Pacific Islander Pavilion, located on Polk & Golden Gate Streets as we celebrate and present the very first Asian & Pacific Islander Dance Arena presented by A&PI Wellness Center, Club Dragon and SHANGRI-LA! The A&PI Dance Arena will feature the best Asian & Pacific Islander LGBT deejays such as PKDJ, Kevin Lee, DrewBAD and Pegasus and many more!
Also performing: Freeplay Dance Crew, Downe FX, Twisted Illusion and others. Hosted by an array of spectacular hosts led by Tita Aida!