Smithsonian, AARP, and Kundiman present A Day in the Queer Life of Asian Pacific America

Digital exhibition features short video, photography, and other media documenting the lives of LGBTQ Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, AARP, and Kundiman are launching the digital exhibition A Day in the Queer Life of Asian Pacific America on March 25, 2019, with monthly updates of new material through August 2019. The last 40 years have witnessed huge strides in visibility for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer communities, but with little attention expressly to Asian American and Pacific Islander experience. Featuring solicited and crowd-sourced media–short film, photography, boomerangs, video poems, and a longform essay–this exhibition explores queer life in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities throughout the country, including lesser-known geographic pockets, with a focus on the everyday and lesser-known dimensions of experience.

Featured sections of the exhibition:

  • Queer Elders: a series of 4 video shorts of queer elders in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and sites in the south and Midwest curated by archivist, photographer, and filmmaker Mia Nakano;
  • Queer Check-ins: a series of 12 video poem “check ins” by queer diasporic poets throughout the U.S. and beyond, curated by poet Franny Choi;
  • Queer Youth: crowd-sourced photography and short video by queer youth;
  • Queer Motion: crowd-sourced boomerangs exploring queer survival, heartbreak, and joy set to motion; and
  • Queer Time: a longform essay on queer experience of time by poet Rajiv Mohabir.
A Day in the Queer Life of Asian Pacific America uses the designation “queer” to understand sexual and gender identity as often fluid and complex, while recognizing the term’s histories of derogatory usage and lasting pain for some LGBTQ folx.

About the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Established in 1997, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center is a national resource for discovering the consequence and complexity of the Asian Pacific American experience through collaboration, exhibitions, programs, and digital experiences. Follow the Center on Twitter: @SmithsonianAPA.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping people ages 50 and older to improve their quality of life as they age. With over 38 million members and growing, we lead positive social change through our extensive product offerings and services.

About Kundiman

Kundiman is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature.


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