Recap of last year’s Winners: 2014 Scholarship and Grant Recipients

Published by:

Hello from the GAPA Foundation Programs Committee! It’s been a while since our last update, but we’re back in the (lunar) new year, just in time for a plumptious post to kick off our 2015 scholarship and grants cycle.

In 2014, Programs was busy, busy, busy…. busy trying to spend GAPA Foundation’s money, that is! And spend it we did. As we get ready to launch the new application cycle for the 2015 year, we’d like to take the time to recap all the amazing winners we had the privilege of awarding scholarships and grants to in 2014. Get ready for a big post on all of our winners!



***Donald Masuda Memorial Scholarship recipient (co-funded by the Lacuna Giving Circle)***
Scholarship Award
: $1000
Academic Profile: Current student at the Parsons New School for Design
Lightning Snippet: Tiffany’s art (tlinart.com) is a gorgeous display of identity and activism – an exploration of issues pertaining to LGBTQ identity, labor, and immigration issues within the API community.



Scholarship Award: $1000
Academic Profile: Columbia University undergraduate, Current medical student at Rush Medical Student
Lightning Snippet: Hieu co-led the API contingent in the Heritage of Pride Parade in 2013 and was on the steering committee for GAPIMNY in NYC. He is currently the co-president of Rush PRIDE (Rush University’s LGBTQ group), is the president of APAMSA (Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association) chapter at Rush, and is the Global Health Director on the National APAMSA board. His work in the community has earned him the nickname “Father Hieu.”


Scholarship Award: $1000
Academic Profile: Masters student at UC Berkeley obtaining a degree in Social Welfare, focusing on community mental health
Lightning Snippet: Tonhu has been involved with a number of API LGBT short films, including a short documentary titled “API Queerness and Hair,” and an upcoming documentary where Tonhu is the protagonist of a documentary that explores the life of a Vietnamese trans* masculine person in an immigrant community.


Scholarship Award: $1000
Academic Profile: Undergraduate student at Swarthmore College
Lightning Snippet: Bryan is is a dancer and a performer, working at the intersections of performance and activism, pushing the boundaries of how art can affect social change. Within the past year, Bryan has created works dealing with topics like U.S. Homonationalism, Orientalism, and food-induced trauma in order to create space for marginalized voices within queer and API spaces.


Scholarship Award: $1000
Academic Profile: UCSD undergraduate, Incoming medical student at Harvard Medical School
Lightning Snippet: Howard’s passions are in science, youth mentorship and empowering queer and underserved communities. In Howard’s words, “Reaching out to our youth will be important in changing the (a)political culture of science by fostering the personal, professional, and political growth of this next generation of LGBTQ/API scientists.”




Cal Q&A

Grant Amount: $1500
Project: The 8th Annual Queer & Asian Conference (QACON)
Lightning Snippet: QACON is the largest student-run conference in the nation dedicated to the intersectionality of the queer and Asian identities. The conference includes 3 days of programming, including keynote speakers, workshops, performances, free meals and free housing.

API Equality   Trikone

Grant Amount: $2000 and $1000, respectively
Project: The Dragon Fruit Project – a project that collects and archives API LGBTQ histories and stories. (both organizations are participants in this project)
Lightning Snippet: GAPA Foundation provided a Community Grant to API Equality in 2013 to start an internship program. The Dragon Fruit Project is a project that was started by those very interns!

Shades LGBTQ  color highres-1


Grant Amount: $1500
Project: “SOY Stories” – a weekly safe space meeting that encourages dialogue to occur intergenerationally and amongst Hmong LGBTQ individuals, their parents and allies.
Lightning Snippet: Shades of Yellow (SOY) is the first and only Hmong LGBTQ organization in the world.



Grant Amount: $1000
Project: “OUT RUN” is a feature-length documentary by Emmy award-winning directory, Leo Chiang, that follows a trio of dynamic transgender women as they lead the only LGBT political party in the world on a historic quest to win Congressional seats in the Phillippines.
Lightning Snippet: The $1000 Community Grant we’re providing goes directly towards a comprehensive engagement campaign targeting API queer audiences in the Bay Area.


Visible Silence

Grant Amount: $1500
Project: “Visible Silence – Thai Tomboys and the Ladies that love them” – is a film that explores “toms” (butch lesbians) in Thailand – people who live as gender outlaws in a traditional society that prizes femininity.
Lightning Snippet: Clips of the film were shown to Thai lawmakers by Thai activist groups earlier this year, in support of a civil union bill going before the Thai Parliament.



Grant Amount: $2000
Project: The GSD (Gender Sexuality and Diversities Project) within CPA’s “Youth Mojo” space – a space dedicated to gender and sexuality within SF-based organization, CPA.
Lightning Snippet: CPA applied for a grant in 2013, but GAPA Foundation asked them to come back in 2014 once the GSD space was more fleshed out. CPA applied again this year, demonstrating how much the GSD space had grown since inception, and demonstrating outstanding commitment to their cause.



Grant Amount: $1000
Project: Participation in the 2015 Tet/Lunar New Year Parade in Little Saigon, CA
Lightning Snippet: Viet Rainbow came into existence as an organization in March 2013, following the LGBTQ contingent’s exclusion from participating in the cultural celebration of the Tet/Lunar New Year parade. GAPA Foundation provided Viet Rainbow with a grant in 2013 towards their efforts to mobilize a campaign for participation in Tet.


CLAGSlogo_4color NEW-01

Grant Amount: $1000
Project: Mini-conference of LGBTA Asian American scholars in NYC
Lightning Snippet: The goal of the conference is to encourage more LGBTA Asian Americans to enter higher academia, while providing them with strategies to navigate graduate school and beyond.


All in all, GAPA Foundation truly had a banner year in 2014 – awarding 5 scholarships and 9 Community Grants. Stay tuned for more information as we prepare to open up applications for our 2015 Programs cycle!

Again, a GARGANTUAN congratulations to all of our 2014 winners for the amazing work they’re doing in our community!

All the best,
Eric and Alex
GAPA Foundation Programs Committee Co-Chairs


The Bow Tie Party: Our 2nd Annual Community Connections Event

Published by:



GAPA Foundation Presents

The Bow Tie Party

2nd Annual Community Connections Event


Save the date and join the GAPA Foundation for a joyous evening at the International Hotel, the cultural epicenter of San Francisco’s little known Manilatown and iconic landmark in the local API community.

Keep Saturday, October 18, reserved for us. We’re working on building a fun and festive night that will empower you to support this year’s GAPA Foundation scholarship recipients and grantees. Dress theme is simple – the iconic bow tie – and it’s open to interpretation.

An early thanks to Google for sponsoring this event. If you are interested in joining them as a sponsor, contact development@gapafoundation.org.


Spotlight on 2013 Grantee: The Dari Project!

Published by:

We caught up with one of our 2013 Grantees, the Dari Project, to learn a little bit more about the work they’ve been doing, and how the GAPA Foundation Community Grant has helped them with their mission thus far. If you like this post, please share it on social media (and please subscribe to our blog to get more updates about previous grantees, upcoming grant and scholarship deadlines, and more!).


What is the Dari Project?
Dari Project, is a volunteer-led, grassroots organization that develops resources to increase awareness and acceptance in Korean American communities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people of Korean descent. By documenting and sharing the life stories of LGBTQ Koreans, the Dari Project seek to build bridges among Korean American families, social networks, institutions and faith communities.

What inspired the creation of the Dari Project?
Dari Project came together because a group of LGBTQ Korean American friends were frustrated by lack of stories available on LGBTQ Korean American experiences and the lack of resources available for our families

What’s the coolest thing the Dari Project has done to date?
Finally publishing the first bilingual anthology of LGBTQ Korean American personal essays and art–a project nearly a decade in the making!

What impact has the GAPA Foundation’s grant had on helping further the Dari Project’s growth?
GAPA provided financial support to the project at a key moment when we were in the final stages and needed additional funds to make the book a reality.  We see our book as real testament to community–virtually all of our funding came from individual donors from our communities our community-grounded entities like GAPA Foundation.

What’s next for the Dari project? Any big news or events the public should be aware of?
Like most LGBTQ Asian American organizations, Dari is volunteer-led and right now we’re figuring out what Dari 2.0 will look like now that we’ve finally published this long-awaited book.

To learn more about the Dari Project, please visit:


2013 Community Connections

Published by:

CC2013PhotoCollageThank you for coming out and making GAPA Foundation’s annual Community Connections event at the Chinese Historical Society a huge success!!!  GAPA Royalty, Khmera Rouge and Sir Whitney Queers were our fabulous emcees. They kept the energy flowing throughout the afternoon and into the early evening.  Daniel Sudar, a rising Asian voice in American Apparel, added some sizzle with hunky models featuring his sensual underwear collection.  Lastly, the Foundation was able to showcase this year’s talented scholarship and deserving community grant winners. Past grantees, Trikone and the Dari Project, also shared their stories about the impact of being able to receive a GAPA Foundation Grant.  Special thanks to our Community Partners, Google and Max Muscle on Polk, who helped underwrite the event, allowing the Foundation to maximize dollars raised from individual donors to directly fund more scholarships and grants.

It was extremely exhilarating to see the outpour of community support and engagement.  A huge THANK YOU to everyone who made a donation. Your funds will allow GAPA Foundation to continue our mission to provide funds and leverage resources to empower the API LGBTQ community. Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

Looking forward to connecting in 2014!


The 2013 Scholarship Recipients

Published by:

2013 full graphic

Meet GAPA Foundation’s 2013 Scholarship Winners!

Vinita Chaudhry, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri

Vinita is a senior undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, double majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies & Anthropology. Vinita has been actively involved in various forms of LGBTQ activism since their time in high school, serving on the executive board of Washington University’s Pride Alliance (largest campus multi-focus LGBTQ organization), Safe Zones Facilitators, and is currently working on starting up an organization for queer people of color on campus (including students, faculty, and staff); outside of Washington University, Vinita has completed internships in New York City for Empire State Pride Agenda and SALGA-NYC, as well as an internship with a local NGO in Udaipur City, India. They also are working on the completion of a senior honors thesis and Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship research project, which explores South Asian queer identities and activism in New York City, through the lens of SALGA-NYC in particular. Vinita is incredibly honored to have been awarded the GAPA Foundation Scholarship, and looks forward to continuing to do work for API LGBTQ folks.

Timothy Mok, University of California, San Francisco, California

Timothy is a graduate student in the School of Pharmacy at UCSF.  He is currently the UCSF Project HIV Outreach Coordinator, and is involved in leading educational workshops for queer people living with HIV, as well as screening for HIV and providing information on the most up-to-date therapies.  He is involved in the leadership of campus-wide diversity programs and within the School of Pharmacy.  He is expected to graduate in Spring 2015.

Lucy Ngo, California State University, Long Beach, California

Currently attending CSULB, Lucy is a part of Vietnamese Rainbow of Orange County and hopes to continue her activism in the LGBTQ community. In addition, she is a peer supporter of ReachOut, a mental health support service. She is the youngest out of her two sisters. When not busy, she is either sleeping or playing Candy Crush Saga.


The 2013 Community Grant Recipients

Published by:

We are proud to present our 2013 grantees which cover a wide range of community interests:
  • youth mentorship
  • support of under-represented ethnic groups
  • support of trans community
  • leadership development
  • language support
  • family support

API Wellness Center – Trans Thrive (Bay Area)This grant serves the underserved trans community. It will specifically support Project In-TYCE (Integrated Transgender Youth of Color Empowerment) and a mentorship program for trans youth of color.

DeQH (National)This grant makes an impact within the LGBT South Asian community on a national level. Desi Queer Helpline is the first and only helpline in the U.S. dedicated to South Asian LGBTQ individuals.

API Family Pride (Bay Area)This grant will fund the updating of their Coming Out, Coming Home DVD so that it can continue to make an impact on families of LGBT APIs. They are all volunteer run.

API Equality (Bay Area)This grant will help fund their leadership development efforts in training, mentoring, and politicizing young LGBTQ API activists. They have been helping to develop future queer API community activists for 9 years now

Viet Rainbow of Orange County (SoCal)This grant will help fund a public service announcement aimed at bringing positive visibility of LGBTQ individuals in the Vietnamese-Community while promoting culture, community, family, and unity. The PSA will be broadcasted on local Vietnamese language television channels. This organization was formed as a result of the exclusion and discrimination faced by the Vietnamese LGBTQ community during the 2013 Tet Parade in Orange County.

UTOPIA (Seattle)This grant will help fund their leadership training retreat. UTOPIA specifically focuses on supporting the Pacific Islander community to provide them with a culturally affirming safe space and resources.

Visible Silence Film (National)This grant supports an arts project. It targets multiple underserved communities – women, transgender, Thai. This film is about 5 women who want to participate fully in Thai society and are committed to showing, through their words and example, that they exist; that they are good people who contribute to their society; that they matter.


Mission Statement

Published by:


GAPA Foundation is a philanthropic organization that provides funds and leverages resources to empower the Asian/Pacific Islander LGBTQ community.

  • Is dedicated to exploring critical issues that affect the API LGBTQ community and supporting innovative programs and individuals seeking solutions to those issues.
  • Provides academic scholarships to non-traditional API LGBTQ students and core funding to under-resourced and/or underrepresented local community organizations and projects.
  • Seeks to nurture and support organizations for future growth and independence through infrastructural support such as mentorship and leadership development.