Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Family Pride’s Wall of Pride Exhibit is a visual communication from API parents and families who courageously defied their community’s homophobia, risked isolation, and supported their LGBT children thereby reclaiming the strong family ties and proud sense of interdependence characteristic of API families. The communication is directed towards the American API community and specifically those API families who fear shame and dishonor and remain silent about their LGBT children, suppress their existence, and, more often than can be expected, actually reject them. The Wall of Pride Exhibit is designed to inform and educate American APIs of the sexual and gender diversity of their community.
API Family Pride celebrates the courage of API families through its Family Presentation Banquet, a very public recognition of a very private courage. API LGBT children nominate family members to honor with a simple process that asks for a brief summary attesting to the members’ love and acceptance and a photograph. The summary and the photograph are placed together on a single 20×30 display board and displayed at the Banquet. All display boards, the current ones and those from previous Banquets, are put up for display and over the Banquet’s six years, API Family Pride has gathered 41 of these boards: this is the “Wall of Pride.”
During the Banquet, LGBT children and the honorees they nominated for recognition take turns and take the stage to testify about mutual respect, honor and acceptance. API Family Pride records the honorees’ testimony and prints them out. The Wall of Pride, the honorees’ testimony, and other visual images from the Banquet itself collectively form The Wall of Pride Exhibit, photographs and testimony conveying the deep emotion springing from unrestricted love and devotion between family members and communicating the real meaning of being an API family.
The Wall of Pride Exhibit is a vital and successful part of API Family Pride’s educational thrust to end the isolation of Asian and Pacific Islander families with LGBT members. The exhibit is often accompanied by a workshop or panel discussion that emphasizes its a twofold message: 1) You are not alone and 2) accepting and supporting your LGBT children honors them and strengthens the family.