Back in March, I took part in a Dragon Fruit Project transcribing day, where folks spent a Sunday morning transcribing interviews of queer API activists. I had the opportunity to interview a queer API person of faith. Initially I was nervous, but my eagerness grew as I thought about the intersections of those three identities. I had gone that day to contribute to the Dragon Fruit Project and the important goal of preserving queer API activist history, but what I received, unexpectedly, in return was inspiration for my soul, encouragement for my spirit, and hope rekindled.
I come from a traditional Chinese family that is deeply rooted in the evangelical church. I came out to my parents later in life, not long ago, and it has been a hard road. I had distanced myself from organized religion many years ago in an attempt to avoid rejection for being queer, but I couldn’t avoid the rejection of my family as I did the Church. The balance of holding onto my family, in the process of coming out and being true to myself, is difficult to strike, but it is a balancing act where I must succeed, because I’m not willing to lose either.
In many ways, I see the process of recreating acceptance in my family as parallel to creating my place, and subsequently a place for other queer API people of faith, in the Church. Hearing my Dragon Fruit interviewee’s story, hearing of her resilient faith in the church and its people, seeing her as one of the pioneers in the evangelical world paving the way for queer acceptance offers new hope for my cynical soul. A lot of times, as queer APIs, whether someone has been out for 10 days or 10 years, sometimes we still have those moments where we are not very proud of who we are, but the Dragon Fruit Project reminds us that we as a queer API community have so much to be proud of, and for that I am grateful.
Nui Wong is a transcriber and interviewer for the Dragon Fruit Project. Nui also sat on a panel at San Francisco State University in April 2014 to talk about their work as a queer API person of faith in immigrant rights.
To sign up for Dragon Fruit Project, CLICK HERE.