Bystanders on H Street, N.W. in Chinatown on Sunday cheered as the annual Chinese New Year Parade, including the traditional dance performed by young men in a dragon costume, wound its way under the Chinatown archway.
David Do, the openly gay director of the D.C. Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, said he had the opportunity to speak about LGBT-related issues, among other topics, in speeches he gave at several indoor events on Sunday related to Chinese New Year.
Among them were events sponsored by the city’s Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Taiwan cultural and economic office, which serves as Taiwan’s unofficial embassy to the U.S.
“In my speeches throughout the day I talked about expanding the LGBT connections that the Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs will have throughout the District of Columbia and region to help provide more information and help gain acceptance for LGBT in the AAPI community,” Do told the Blade in an email.
“The Asian and Pacific Islander LGBT community faces many cultural and religious burdens in the AAPI community,” he said.
As an LGBT member of that community, Do said he “understands the struggles of coming out to his family and the stigma associated with it.” He said his vision is to make sure “there is a strong relationship between the LGBT community and the AAPI” community.