Wednesday, February 03, 2010
A Bright Future and a Banquet for GAPA
The Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) held an election meeting at the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Wellness Center on Polk Street on Jan. 30, 2010. The gay Asian activists who care enough about their community to volunteer hours weekly turned out for the high energy gathering, that was serious and also full of laughter. The serious part was maneuvering to support the API Wellness Center, which recently has had to cut services outside San Francisco because of budget problems. The laughter was for the knowing camaraderie among the active members, who joked with each other repeatedly.
GAPA is unique among queer people of color organizations, since it is a mostly social group that gets into gear politically during the election cycles and also members join subgroups such as the GAPA Chorus to sing. And there have been phenomenal dance and acting groups in GAPA’s past. Theater wizard Alan Quismorio presented "Collingwood Park 90210" which is still talked about, especially since the scenes of intense sheet smelling (for cheap cologne) and drinks thrown into audiences were seared into brain cells forever.
The newly elected officers are: co-chair Alex Baty, secretary Danny Lin, treasurer Tommy Huie, and member–at-large Trevor Nguyen. Baty is a GAPA Godzy award winner, which is a golden Godzilla trophy for members who excelled over the past year and who are also liked by other members. Baty also has a drag persona as the bewitching Estée Longah, and he maneuvered himself to a highly coveted placement on the AIDS Housing Alliance’s fundraising calendar cover.
The development of new members and the retention of signed-up members was a major topic of the gathering. Much of the rest of the meeting delved into plans for GAPA’s annual Lunar New Years Banquet at the Empress of China Restaurant on Feb 6. It is one of the most impressive restaurants in Northern California, and there will be a traditional ten-course feast, entertainment, and a silent auction of treasures. Banquet tickets are available at http://www.gapa.org/.