History

1997

AQUA D.C.s is founded by Denys Lau, Edwin Lau, Chen Wen, and 2 other individuals.

Accomplishments:

  • Started collaboration with Asian and Pacific Islander Partnership for Health (APIPH).
  • By-laws—modeled after GAPA in San Francisco—drafted.

1999

Accomplishments:

  • AQUA D.C. members participate in Washington, D.C.’s Capital Pride for the very first time.

2000

Co-Chairs: Ben DeGuzman | Hector Vargas
Other members: Ben DeGuzman, Hector Vargas, Alex Benjamin, Denys Lau,Kevin Lee, Charmaine Manansala, Ann Surapruik, Alfred Bagamasdad, Allan Pacheco, Chen Wen.

Accomplishments:

  • Began on creating bylaws – Vince Crisostomo (GAPA) facilitator at retreat.
  • “aquadc” listserve is launched on Yahoo! Groups.
  • AQUA supports the nomination of Frank Wu to the DC Human Relations Commission.

2001

Co-Chairs: Ben de Guzman | Irwin Gueco
Secretary: Allan Pacheco
Treasurer: Kevin Lee
Other members: Alan Cariaso (at-large)

Accomplishments:

  • Second QAPA Heritage Month event: “The Many Faces of Queer A/PI Activism”.
  • Bylaws formally ratified in April.
  • http://www.aquadc.org is launched in May.
  • First issue of AQUALADs is launched in September. The first three issues were called AQUAmen.
  • First AQUArap sessions begin. The first self-identified A/PI GBTQ safe-space session is facilitated by Denys Lau and subject was about body-self image.
  • AQUA first sponsors film Waterboys at the Reel Affirmations First Festival.
  • AQUA co-hosts a reading of Rolling the R’s by gay A/PI writer R. Zamora Linmark at SEARAC. (March 2001).

2002

Co-Chairs: Ben de Guzman | Irwin Gueco
Secretary: Allan Pacheco
Treasurer: Kevin Lee
Other members: Alan Cariaso (at-large)

Accomplishments:

  • Third QAPA Heritage Month event – Asians and Pacific Islanders OUT Loud, with local and national artists and performers.
  • First AQUA Happy Hour at Thirty Degrees (FoodBarDC/Cobalt).
  • AQUA meets with David Tseng- Executive Director of PFLAG National.
  • Along with the Domestic Violence Resource Partnership (DVRP), AQUA is co-recipient of APA Community Gala Awards.
  • AQUA members participate in Gay Games VI in Sydney, Australia.
  • First AQUA survey of membership makeup is conducted.

2003

Co-Chair: Joseph Truong | VACANT
Secretary: David Mori
Treasurer: Kevin Lee
Other members: Shin Inoue (at-large)

Accomplishments:

  • Fourth QAPA Heritage Month event retains the Pride & Heritage (P&H) moniker. AQUA & APIQS co-host slam poetry event Tea & Poetry.
  • AQUA as a member-driven organization, votes against officially protesting the U.S. invasion of Iraq. However, many AQUA members and community partners actively participate in several protest events on their own.

2004

Co-Chair: Joseph Truong | VACANT
Secretary: VACANT
Treasurer: David Mori
Other members: Samson Huang (at-large)

Accomplishments:

  • AQUA active at Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference, New York City (March).
  • First AQUA Scholarship created by Denys Lau to fund participation in QAPL Conference.
  • Bylaws amended to include grievance policy.

2005

Co-Chair: Don Verde (G8) | VACANT
Secretary: VACANT
Treasurer: Jerome Flores (G8)
Other members: G8 (Interim Operating Committee): Henry Ocampo, Alex Sun, Gerry, Umali, Nick Nadal, Linh Hoang, Loi Luong, Charlie Ahn

Accomplishments:

  • Mid-Summer Soiree at Gallery Place.
  • AKA Community Thanksgiving Potluck.
  • Started Spicy Asian Crunch Mixer @Halo.
  • A:Y Anniversary Celebration.
  • AQUA participates in DC-MAPS, first national survey focusing on GBTQ A/PI men.
  • AQUA participates in national gathering of queer APA organizations at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference.
    • AQUA members are key in securing funding and providing programming for the event.
  • AQUA and other queer and progressive organizations hold a Town Hall Forum on Marriage Equality and the APA Community, “How Do You Say ‘I Do’ in Punjabi?” at the University of Maryland-College Park.

2006

Co-Chairs: Don Verde (Jan.-Dec.)|Linh Hoang (July-Dec.)
Secretary: Linh Hoang (Jan.-June)
Treasurer: Alex Sun (Jan-Dec.)
Other members: Van Do, Go Kasai, Loi Luong, Michael Sun (at-large July-Dec.), Vinh Nguyen, Irwin Gueco, Jack Wang

Accomplishments:

  • Lunar New Year Dim Sum.
  • Pride & Heritage at Chaos.
  • First AQUA float in the Capital Pride.
  • Start of ‘AQUA’s Night Out’ at Apex, First Fridays.
  • AQUA enters the annual Dragon Boat Festival
    • Won 3rd in the 500m, 4th in 250m
  • DC Mayor’s office declares Pride & Heritage Day.
  • P&H featured as cover article in MetroWeekly.

2007

Co-Chairs: Linh Hoang | Wee Lee Sim
Secretary: VACANT
Treasurer: Danny Leung
Other members: Kham Moua, Eugene Lee, Alex Tsao (communications), Kevin Lee (membership)


Co-Chair: Linh Hoang (2008) | Danny Leung (2012) | Matthew Ong (2013)


2012

Co-Chairs: David Lee, Thuan Nguyen
Secretary: Michael Nguyen
Treasurer: Troy Pham

Organizational Advocacy
– Co-hosted events for NQAPIA’s National Conference in Washington, DC
– Visited the White House with a delegation of NQAPIA and PFLAG advocates, received signed Presidential Proclamations of LGBT Pride Month
– Attended NQAPIA’s Leadership Retreat in New York, NY
– Launched newly-branded AQUADC and Out2Paddle identity systems, which are in use today
Political Action
– Rallied at the Supreme Court to support marriage equality during opening arguments for ‘United States v. Windsor’
– Raised funds for the ‘Marylander for Marriage Equality’ campaign to vote for Question 6
– Co-sponsored phone banking operations with the Human Rights Campaign, which helped pass same-sex marriage legislation on 1/1/2013
– Hosted 2012 Presidential debate watch parties with recap discussions
Community Outreach
– Held a Date Auction fundraiser and a Lunar New Year potluck benefit party
– Revived aZen, our weekly Saturday mixer, across two venues; Cobalt and MOVA lounge
– Competed at DC’s annual Dragonboat Festival, winning Gold in the 500m finals
– Marched at DC’s Capital Pride and hosted a festival booth”


2014

Co-Chairs: Ben Chou | Vincent Wang
Secretary: Michael Tzeng
Treasurer: Troy

Accomplishments:

  • Winter party.
  • Thanksgiving Member Thank You event.
  • AQUA marched at Pride and had a booth at the Capital Pride Festival.

2015

Co-Chairs: Vincent Wang | Eugene Hwang

Accomplishment:

  • Collaboration with MOAPIA on DC AAPI LGBT Visibility Campaign.

2016

Co-Chairs: Jeffrey Wong | Ben Chou
Other members: Jack Wang, Nhia Lee


2017

Co-Chairs: Jeffrey Wong | VACANT

Accomplishments:

  • AQUA 20th Year Anniversary, honoree at NQAPIA Catalyst Dinner.
  • Supported the formation of the Korean American Rainbow Group (KARG).

2018

Co-Chairs: Jeffrey Wong (Jan.-June) | Kevin Chen
Other Board members (June-present): Clarence Cabañero, Heejun Choi, Eddie Chong, Peter Cruz V, Kyle Livingston, Hoang My “Ping” Nguyuen

Accomplishments:

  • Jeff was speaker for the 2018 NQAPIA DC Community Catalyst banquet.
  • Hosted a Pride and Heritage Potluck (fundraiser for 2018 NQAPIA conference).
  • Started monthly QAPI Support Group at the D.C. Center with APIQS, from Jan. 2018.
  • Out2Paddle reformed after 2 year hiatus with MOAPIA sponsorship.
    • Won the Government Open division trophy, A-minor division gold in 250M, and A-major division bronze in 500m
  • Established a relationship with Capital Pride and their API board members; Awarded Best Showcase by Capital Pride.
  • Spill the Teamonthly tea social series at Teaism Penn Quarterinitiated in June.

2019

Co-Chairs: Kevin Chen (until April 2020) | Kyle Livingston (until April 2020)
Other Board members: Clarence Cabañero, Sean Munar, Bianca Humady Rey, Shutian Wang, Daniel Chapman

 


2020

Chair: Daniel Chapman (Starting April 2020)
Other Board members: Clarence Cabañero, Sean Munar, Bianca Humady Rey, Shutian Wang, Nick Hatcher, Ben Falk

Accomplishments:

  • Created the position of Political Chair