Southeast Asian LGBTQ+ Community
CERI is proud to be expanding services to LGBTQ+ refugees and immigrants of color, with a focus on the Southeast Asian community. The lack of recognition for the very lives, experiences, and needs of this community subset has alarming implications.
An estimated 25 percent of LGBTQ+ Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals experience psychological distress, at rates higher than any other group — straight or LGTBQ+ — and at rates more than four times higher than their straight AAPI counterparts (Krehely, 2009). High rates of depression, suicidal ideation, internalized oppression are well-documented and are linked to the pervasive nature of multiple minority stressors, also known as intersectional discrimination, that this community faces. In addition to being subject to racism, homophobia, and transphobia from mainstream society, this community also experiencing marginalization and stigmatization within their own AAPI community and their own LGBTQ+ community.
In a 2009 national survey, 90% of “LGBT Asians” participants reported homophobia or transphobia in their ethnic communities (Ching, Lee, Chen, So, & Williams, 2018). Influences of war, colonialism, education disparity, filial piety, acculturation, the “model minority myth,” and documentation status compound the unique challenges for this community. Statistic show that more than 1 in 3 documented and 1 in 7 undocumented LGBTQ+ adult immigrants are AAPI (Gates, 2014). CERI seeks to welcome and prioritize LGBTQ+ individuals, couples, and families — who deserve culturally affirming mental health care and a place where they don’t have to conceal or deny their inseparable wholeness.