What happens when you bring Asian youth together to talk about gender and sexuality?
Thursday, August 11, 2011
By Mai Doan, SAFIRE Program Coordinator
This past weekend, SAFIRE young women and the Young Men’s Program gathered at the Occidental Agricultural Retreat Center for an overnight retreat as part of this summer’s program focusing on Gender, Bodies, Sex and Sexuality. Overlapping across a span of 3 days, our programs came together in an effort to build a bridge that brings support, understanding and empowerment among young Asian women and young Asian men in Oakland.
So what exactly happens when you bring over 40 Asian youth from Oakland to a retreat center to talk about gender and sexuality? Well, if you do it like we did (with much heart, passion, thoughtfulness, critical thinking and courage) you’ll get young Asian folks telling their stories, letting their guard down, talking about what they need from their peers to feel empowered in their race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, dance flash mobs, creativity, laughter, closeness and honesty, late night bonding over snacks, and most importantly, a coming away from isolation and into a community where we no longer feel alone in our struggles.
In this spirit, our young folks have started planning their performances for next week’s Summer Celebration. They have a lot to say and are coming up with some really fun(ny), creative and entertaining ways to share it! Wanna know what young Asian folks in Oakland are saying about gender, bodies, sex and sexuality? Join us: next Thursday, August 18th @ 6pm at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.