The Dragon Fruit Project
In celebration of Pride Month, our chapter wanted to focus on the history of AAPI within the LGTBQ+ community, and how they changed history for future generations. There is a project based in San Francisco called the “Dragon Fruit Project,” created in 2012 by San Francisco State University professor Amy Sueyoshi. Sueyoshi wanted to create an archive of stories from friends and the trans, queer, Asian Pacific Islanders (TQAPI’s) in the Bay area. This archive would include oral tellings of people’s experiences with love and activism from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Though the initial project was dedicated to the transcription of oral histories of the community, it has since grown into a nationwide network for TQAPIs and supporters. This project has also participated in queer and racial justice movements throughout the last few decades. This project is especially important to the queer Asian community, where many stated they grew up with a lack of role models, parental/community support, etc.
This project is an incredible resource to read about the experiences of people across the nation. In an interview with Myron Quon in 2013, Quon describes his experience coming out to his family, introducing his husband, and what life was like growing up as a second-generation Chinese immigrant in a community with very few other Asian families. He talks about his life as a lawyer and the challenges he faced from familial and societal expectations, something that people everywhere can relate to. Real life stories are important not just to specific communities such as the AAPI and LGBTQ+ community because it gives others a chance to learn from the experiences of these role models, even if they are on the other side of the country.
We’d really recommend going through this website and checking out some of the interviews, looking at the comprehensive timeline of TQAPI history in the United States, and educational videos on the project and people involved. We hope that as a community we can continue to support each other and educate ourselves!
Happy Pride! <3