On Saturday, August 10, 2014, I marched in the Nisei Week parade. Our Chapter was part of the Pacific Southwest District, and to my knowledge, it was the first time the district had participated in the event. Harold Kameya, our chapter president, organized our part in the parade, from recruiting marchers to even having the signs we carried made up. Carrying our PSW District JACL banner was Stephanie Nitahara, our regional director.
I was one of the sign carriers trailing the banner. My sign indicated my membership in the Asian American & Pacific Islander Christians for Social Justice and on the reverse of my sign was printed “SGV API-PFLAG” (San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
I felt indebted to Harold for getting all of us marching together in support of an enlightened acceptance of LGBTQ peoples: Supportive JACL chapters, enlightened Christian groups and churches, LGBTQ advocate groups, as well as the Manzanar Committee. To their credit, 20 years ago, National JACL passed a resolution at their national convention in support of equal marriage, the first civil rights organization to take this step.
EDITORS NOTE: Phil’s article in its entirety can be found at the Rafu Shimpo.