The Asian American & Pacific Islander Roundtable (AAPIRT), a program of The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS) at Pacific School of Religion (PSR), is committed to cultivating a world where AAPI LGBTQ+ communities and their allies can freely imagine, create, and sustain spiritual and faith-based identities, practices, and communities that affirm their full dignity and humanity.
The AAPIRT frames it work around the following shared understandings:
- While the umbrella term “Asian American and Pacific Islander” (AAPI) generally includes “all people of Asian, Asian American or Pacific Islander ancestry, who trace their origins to the countries, states, jurisdictions and/or the diasporic communities of these geographic regions”- it is a limited term that attempts to encompass an incredibly vast and complex diasporic community that holds many nuances and subsets of identity and culture.
- AAPI communities host a rich and diverse legacy of spiritual traditions, lineages, and practices that are constantly evolving across time and space. This rich and diverse legacy includes the sacred lineage of queer and gender transcendent/expansive AAPI people.
- Cultivating radical spaces for AAPI LGBTQ+ folks to self-define and cultivate their own unique understandings of and relationships to AAPI & LGBTQ+ identity outside of hegemonic frameworks is an essential part of affirming the full dignity and humanity of these communities.
The AAPIRT engages and embodies its work and mission by:
- Curating educational guides, toolkits, workshops, creative art spaces, and projects where AAPI LGBTQ+ communities and their allies can freely imagine, create, and sustain spiritual/ faith-based identities, practices, and communities that affirm their full dignity and humanity.
- Mobilizing and supporting networks and coalitions of spiritual/faith-based community leaders, advocates, educators, and care practioners who are committed to creating resources and spaces that promote the roundtable’s mission.
- Documenting and archiving queer and gender transcendent/expansive AAPI spiritual embodiment, experiences, and narratives.
The AAPIRT Zine Project:
- The AAPI Roundtable’s zine project was designed to provide a more spiritually expansive & exploratory space for LGBTQ+ AAPI folks and their accomplices. Our first zine edition, “The Orange Left at the Altar”, offers a bouncing-off point for further conversation, discussion, exploration, and workshopping on how LGBTQ+ API community members understand & experience their queer(ing) spiritualities & embodiment. As the APIRT zine project continues to grow & expand over time, we hope to develop zines that continue to document and archive LGBTQ+ API stories and narratives around spirituality, faith, religion, and divinity in creative & accessible ways, so that we may have a clear blueprint of who we hope to becomes as a community.
Past AAPIRT Work & Projects:
- Our Valuing Families: Christian Education for the Household of God curriculum integrates sexuality, ethnicity and religion for the AAPI community.
- We have offered film screenings/discussions of the video In God’s House and held workshops on “Building An Inclusive API Church” in partnership with The Network on Religion and Justice for Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People and the Reconciling Ministries Network.
- We have partnered with and supported API LGBTQ organizations and AAPI LGBTQ individuals and allies within churches and other faith communities.
- These are some of the organizations that we have collaborated with over the years: The Network on Religion and Justice for Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People, API Family Pride, The GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA), API Equality, TransThrive (API Wellness Center), The Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community, the National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), and the National LGBTQ Task Force.