|Posted by i2iAdmin on March 2, 2013 at 10:25 PM|
Approximately 13 members of Invisible to Invincible: Asian Pacific Islander Pride of Chicago (i2i) marched in the 101st Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade, on Sunday, February 17. The contingent was the first all Asian American LGBTQQ community organization to participate. In the past, many i2i members have watched the parade and engaged in outreach by passing out flyers, but this was the first year they inquired about marching.
“We weren’t sure of the registration process, cost, or how we might be received,” says Liz Thomson, “But we were really happy when the Special Events Committee was open, receptive, and welcoming.”
Over 30 organizations participated ranging from non-profits to three different high school marching bands. The parade audience turned out in the thousands with the help of a sunny day and reasonable temperatures.
“The response from the crowd was great, positive, and very empowering. Hearing the emcee of the parade committee announce “i2i” was also a great moment of recognition,” comments Ryan Viloria.
Nebula describes how personal the experience was for her. She explains, “When I was ‘outed’ to my family, my mom told me, ‘I raised you to be a good Chinese girl. Why would you do this to me?’ I can’t believe we were invited to march today in a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. I found it very moving marching up Wentworth waving a big rainbow flag. As a queer, Chinese Chicagoan, nothing could mean more to me.”
Sam feels like different facets of his life were coming together in the same moment.
e continues in reflection saying, “I’m so honored and excited to be part of this historic moment in the queer, transgender API community here in Chicago.”
After the parade, members and allies held their monthly social potluck at a member’s apartment in the neighborhood to continue the community-building.
For more information on Chicago i2i, visit www.chicagoi2i.org or find us Facebook and Twitter. Invisible to Invincible ("i2i") is a community-based organization that celebrates and affirms Asians & Pacific Islanders who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Queer in the Chicago area.
For pictures, visit i2i's Facebook page.