Phoenix Award Honorees

2017 HONOREES – The founding editors of Phoenix Rising

Congratulations to the founding editors of Phoenix Rising — Lori Lai, May Lee, Susan Lee, Pam Nishikawa, Gisele Pohan, Marie Shim, Doreena Wong, and Zee Wong — our 2017 Phoenix Award Honorees!

In winter 1984, a handful of women gathered to establish a newsletter to claim a flourishing space for Asian/Pacific lesbian community. They were part of a group called Asian/Pacific Sisters founded just a few years earlier, perhaps the first and certainly the largest grassroots organization of its kind at the intersection of lesbian and Asian. The newsletter titled Phoenix Rising aimed to connect, support, and build the Asian/Pacific queer women’s community in the San Francisco Bay Area, long before the advent of social media. In its early years, the publication served as a significant platform for queer A/PI voices. Dykes, lesbians, and queers forged identities, sought out partners, and developed livelihoods in articles that shared both personal experiences and political philosophies. While conventional history cites strict families, immigrant values, and feminine submission as preventing Asian lesbians from coming out and demanding visibility, Phoenix Rising defied these stereotypes and boldly asserted that in fact A/PI queer women’s lives matter. Editors of Phoenix Rising, proudly posted their real names, declared themselves as feminists, and supported Asian Women’s Study/Support groups during an age when homophobia, anti-Asian animosity, and misogyny existed acceptably in media, government, and policy. More than 44 issues that ran across a decade gave voice to queer Asian women and broke down barriers in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. The 2017 Phoenix Award honors the founding editors of Phoenix Rising – Lori Lai, May Lee, Susan Lee, Pam Nishikawa, Gisele Pohan, Marie Shim, Doreena Wong, and Zee Wong.

 


APIQWTC Phoenix Award

The Phoenix Award honors API queer women and transgender individuals who have made outstanding contributions of historical significance to the Asian Pacific Islander queer women and transgender community. The Phoenix symbolizes virtue, grace, integrity, and peace. The mythical bird additionally signifies divine beauty in its symbolic incorporation of opposing forces – yin and yang, male and female, conflict and happiness – to create harmony and balance. Awardees embody the qualities of the Phoenix, in their power and commitment to inspire faith and incite action towards justice.


 

Marion Abdullah

Marion Abdullah

2005 Phoenix Award Honoree
Doreena Wong

Doreena Wong

2006 Phoenix Award Honoree
Dipti Ghosh

Dipti Ghosh

2007 Phoenix Award Honoree
Desiree Thompson & Trinity Ordoña

Desiree Thompson & Trinity Ordoña

2008 Phoenix Award Honorees
Helen Zia

Helen Zia

2009 Phoenix Award Honoree
Madeleine Lim

Madeleine Lim

2010 Phoenix Award Honoree
Pam Louie

Pam Louie

2011 Phoenix Award Honoree
Song That Radio & Vuong Nguyen

Song That Radio & Vuong Nguyen

2012 Phoenix Award Honoree
Crystal Jang

Crystal Jang

2013 Phoenix Award Honoree
Koko Lin

Koko Lin

2014 Phoenix Award Honoree
Willy Wilkinson

Willy Wilkinson

2015 Phoenix Award Honoree
Kitty Tsui

Kitty Tsui

2016 Phoenix Award Honoree
Women of Trikone

Women of Trikone

2016 Phoenix Award Honoree (Organization)