I look around me and from wall-to-wall nearly every face I see is Asian—I won’t say that nearly every face I see “looks like mine,” because such a statement would be blatantly untrue. Just like “Asian American” is not a monolithic term, the faces surrounding me are diverse, fluid—pale, brown, oval, circular, pierced, bespectacled, serious, laughing. That’s the beauty of Asian America, our vast differences can be just as comforting as our similarities, and, on occasion, we can come together to celebrate all of it.
This was the scene at the Asian American Feminist Collective (AAFC) launch party, which was held last Wednesday night at Ode To Babel in Brooklyn. With my collective co-leaders (Julie Ae Kim, Rachel Kuo and Senti Sojwal) by my side—as well as scrambling about the bar—I felt pangs of pride to finally be able to officially celebrate the hard work, tenderness, and collective power of our Asian American feminist group. In the making since the launch of the Asian American Feminism event series, which followed the 2016 election and 2017 Women’s March, the AAFC will continue to gather folks, take action, organize, and hold space for Asian American feminists—a community that is larger than one would imagine, given the 150+ in attendance at the event.
While everybody was gathering in support of Asian American feminism, they were also treated to speeches by guest speakers Cathy Dang, outgoing executive director at CAAAV, and Chaumtoli Huq, founder and editor-in-chief of Law At The Margins, as well as AAFC leader Julie Ae Kim. Dang led the entire audience in a loving chant. Huq urged folks to build feminist spaces and communities that are anti-imperialist and coalitional. Kim gave us a brief background to the work of the collective and her urgent need to locate like-minded feminists. We closed out the night with a raffle (we like to reward people for their monetary support) with prizes from sponsors LADYGUNN (!!!), The Feminist Press, Rooted, BANANA, Floss Gloss, Shag, Drunken Meadow, Butter & Scotch and Ode To Babel.
To everybody who showed up, volunteered their time, donated prizes, supported from afar—we love you.
Check out more photos by Filipinx photographer Marion Aguas below and here.