Metro Weekly

AQUA's New Board

Gay Asian organization welcomes new leadership, focuses on future growth

Washington’s gay Asian group, AQUA, welcomed its new board of directors last weekend with its first potluck for the new term.

”We have the whole new entire board assembled,” says Tuan Dang, newly elected co-chair of AQUA (Asian/Pacific Islander Queers United for Action). Dang will serve alongside co-chair Kit Yeoh. They were both elected for leadership of the group in February.

Dang and Yeoh will be on hand at AQUA’s upcoming panel discussion, ”Shaping Queer API Community: Resources, Awareness, and Organizations,” at George Mason University on Monday, April 4, at 4:30 p.m.

The panel, which will focus on being LGBT and part of the API community, was organized by GMU, AQUA and other groups to commemorate GMU’s Pride Week and Asian Heritage Month.

Dang says one of AQUA’s big new initiatives is revamping its web site to serve as a resource for the 18 to 26 year old LGBT Asian/Pacific Islanders.

”One of the main concerns that we have right now is that when AQUA started in 1997 it was for recent college grads,” he says. ”That demographic, in the past 10 years, hasn’t changed. We still have not reached out that new 18-26 age group.”

Dang says AQUA is currently encouraging its members to record videos talking about their coming-out experiences, an idea that was inspired by last year’s ”It Get’s Better Campaign,” which was directed toward LGBT youth struggling with self-acceptance.