Asian American and Pacific Islander Timeline

Our aim is to create a thorough representation of queer history that pays attention to the many conversations about what sexuality and gender has meant in various communities across time.

These timelines are a work in progress:  If you would like to contribute to this project as a teacher, a student, please email outhistory@gmail.com. Please send references, including pictures, with as full citations as possible. If you have questions please email us. Thanks to Amy Sueyoshi for getting us started.

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1873-00-00: Stoddard, Charles Warren. South-Sea Idyls. 1873. Reprint. Sidney: Wentworth Press, 2019.

1902-00-00: Noguchi, Yone. The American Diary of a Japanese Girl, edited by Edward Marx and Laura E. Franey. 1902. Reprint, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2007.

1903-00-00: Noguchi, Yone. The American Letters of a Japanese Parlor-Maid. 1903. Reprint, Kessinger Publishing, 2018.

1904-00-00: Noguchi, Yone. “In the Bungalow with Charles Warren Stoddard.” National Magazine XXI, (December 1904): 304-308.

1904-00-00: Noguchi, Yone. Through the Torii. Boston: Four Seas Company, 1922).

1914-00-00: Noguchi, Yone. The Story of Yone Noguchi: Told by Himself, Illustrated by Yoshio Markino. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs & Company, 1914.

1914-09-24: Esther Eng is born in California on September 24, 1914, to parents who had immigrated from China. See: The History of Esther Eng

1933-00-00: Parry, Albert. Garretts and Pretenders: History of Bohemianism in America. 1933. Reprint. New York: Cosmo Classics, 2005.

1956-06-06: June Chan is born. She becomes an American lesbian activist and biologist. The organizer and co-founder of the Asian Lesbians of the East Coast (ALOEC), Chan raised awareness of LGBTQ+ issues relating to the Asian-American community.

1970-01-25: Esther Eng, filmmaker, restauranteur, gender rebel, passed away from cancer at the age of fifty-five at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City on January 25, 1970. See: The History of Esther Eng

1972-00-00: Kim, Willyce. Eating Artichokes. Oakland, CA: Women’s Press Collective, 1972.

1975-00-00: Yone Noguchi: Collected English Letters. Atsumi, Ikuko, editor. Tokyo: The Yone Noguchi Society, 1975.

1978-00-00: Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books, 1978.

1980-00-00: The cover of a 1980 issue of the "Gay Insurgents" journal [No. 6] prompts a cross-country search to learn about the Asian Americans who took part in the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. NBC NEWS “Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America,” Part 1 of 5, June 6, 2018. 

1981-00-00: Anzaldúa, Gloria and Cherrie Moraga, eds. This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Watertown, MA: Persephone, 1981.

1983-00-00: Chan, June, and Katherine Hall met in 1983 and began working on projects together. They created a slide show about Asian lesbians in history and literature which was shown in the 1980s. Their Asian lesbian history slide show was described as "grassroots scholarship" by librarian and archivist Polly Thistlethwaite (Thistlethwaite 1998, p. 3.) The slide show was described by its creators as giving lesbians "a larger context for ourselves as Asian and Pacific Islander peoples, as people of color in the United States, and as lesbians." (Henry 1995, pp. 32-33.)

1983-00-00: Tsui, Kitty. The Words of a Woman Who Breathes Fire. New York: Spinsters Ink, 1983.

1984-03-00: A.L.O.E.C. newsletter / Asian Lesbians of the East Coast.Gale Cengage Learning, Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940

1984-09-00 (Fall): Asian Lesbians of the East Coast Newsletter (ALOEC Newsletter), Fall 1984 Issue 2.

1985-00-00: Kim, Willyce. Dancer Dawkins and the California Kid. Boston: Alyson, 1985.

1986-00-00: Woo, Merle. Yellow Woman Speaks: Selected Poems. Seattle: Radical Women, 1986.

1987-00-00: Chung, C., A. Kim, and A. K. Lemeshewsky, eds. Between the Lines: An Anthology of Pacific/Asian Lesbians of Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz, CA: Dancing Bird, 1987.

1988-00-00: Giard, Robert (photographer). Mariana Combing June's Hair (Mariana Romo-Carmona and June Chan). New York Public Library, Digital Collections.

1988-00-00: Ichioka, Yuji. The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885- 1924. New York: The Free Press, 1988.

1989-00-00: Lim, Shirley Geok-lin, Mayumi Tsutakawa and Margarita Donnelly, editors. The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian American Women's Anthology. Corvallis OR: Calyx Books, 1989.

1991-00-00: Austen, Roger. Genteel Pagan: The Double Life of Charles Warren Stoddard. Edit. John W. Crowley. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1991.

1993-07-00: Aguilar-San Juan, Karin. “Landmarks in Literature by Asian Americans.” Signs 18, no. 4 (July 1993): 936-943.

1994-00-00: Amerasia Journal: Dimensions in Desire 20, no. 1 (1994).

1994-00-00: Carlomusto, Jean, Catherine Gund, Dolores Pérez, Polly Thistlethwaite, Not Just Passing Through. Youtube: Youtube; Internet Archive; Vimeo Aubin Pictures.

1994-00-00: Lim-Hing, Sharon. The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writing by Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women. Toronto: Sister Vision, 1994.

1994-00-00: Makoto, Furukawa and Angus Lockyer. “The Changing Nature of Sexuality: The Three Codes Framing Homosexuality in Modern Japan.” U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, English Supplement, no. 7 (1994): 98-127. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42772078.

1995-00-00: Henry, Jim (1995). "June Chan". In Zia, Helen; Gall, Susan B. (eds.). Notable Asian Americans. Gale Research, Inc. ISBN 9780810396234.

1995-00-00: Leupp, Gary. Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.

1995-00-00: Villanueva, Chea. Jessie’s Song and Other Stories. New York: Masquerade, 1995.

1996-00-00: Leong, Russell, ed. Asian American Sexualities: Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience. New York: Routledge, 1996.

1996-00-00: Tsui, Kitty. Breathless: Erotica. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand, 1996.

1996-09-00: Wilkinson, Willie, "Out, Loud, and Seen, The Asian and Pacifica Islander Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Movement Past and Present," Curve magazine, September 1996. Longer online version.

1997-00-00: Fumia, Molly. Honor Thy Children: One Family’s Journey to Wholeness. Berkeley, CA: Conari, 1997.

1997-00-00: Tyrkus, Michael, Gay & Lesbian Biography. Detroit: St. James Press. See on June Chan.

1997-00-00: Villanueva, Chea.  Bulletproof Butches. New York: Hard Candy, 1997.

1998-00-00:  Carmichael Jr., James Vinson. Daring to Find Our Names: The Search for Lesbigay Library History. Praeger. p. 162 on June Chan. ISBN 978-0313299636.

1998-00-00: Eng, David L. and Alice Y. Hom, eds. Q&A: Queer in Asian America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.

1998-00-00: Thistlethwaite, Polly. An Activist's Guide to Lesbian History: A Companion to the Video Not Just Passing Through. CUNY Academic Works.

1999-00-00: Lee, Robert G. Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999.

1999-00-00: Lee, Robert G. Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999.

2000-00-00: Bao, Quang and Hanya Yanagihara, eds. Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America. New York: Asian American Writer’s Workshop, 2000.

2000-00-00: Ordona, Trinity Ann. “Coming Out Together: An Ethnohistory of the Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Women’s and Transgendered People’s Movement of San Francisco.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2000.

2000-00-00: Stansell, Christine. American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.

2000-00-00: Zia, Helen. Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. See pp. 228-229. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.

2001-00-00: Eng, David. Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.

2002-00-00: De Jesus, Melinda. “Rereading History, Rewriting Desire: Reclaiming Queerness in Carlos Bulosan’s ‘America Is in the Heart’ and Bienvenido Santos’ ‘Scent of Apples.’ ” Journal of Asian American Studies 5, no. 2 (2002): 91-111.

2002-00-00: Okazaki, Sumie. “Influences of Culture on Asian Americans’ Sexuality.” Journal of Sex Research 39, no. 1 (2002) 34-41.

2002-00-00: Wat, Eric C. The Making of a Gay Asian Community: An Oral History of Pre-AIDS Los Angeles. Boston: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002.

2003-00-00: Hsu, Madeline Y.  “Unwrapping Orientalist Constraints: Restoring Homosocial Normativity to Chinese American History,” Amerasia Journal 29, no. 2 (2003): 230-253.

2003-00-00: Manalansan, Martin. Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.

2004-00-00: Kao, Don. "Reminiscences of Don Kao: Oral Hhistory, 2004.

2004-00-00: Lee, Joon Oluchi. “Joy of the Castrated Boy.” Social Text 23, no. 3 (2004): 35-56.

2005-00-00: Azuma, Eiichiro. Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

2005-00-00: Dang, Alain and Mandy Hu. Asian Pacific American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: A Community Portrait. A Report from New York’s Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference, 2004. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, 2005.

2005-00-00: Gopinath, Gayatri. Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporas and South Asian Public Cultures. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

2005-00-00: Shah, Nayan. “Between ‘Oriental Depravity’ and ‘Natural Degenerates’: Spatial Borderlands and the Making of Ordinary Americans.” American Quarterly 57, no. 3 (2005) 703-725.

2005-00-00: Tzu-Chun Wu, Judy. Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

2006-00-00: Yoshino, Kenji. Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. New York: Random House.

2006: Amerasia Journal: Marriage Equality Debate 32, no. 1 (2006).

2007-00-00: Puar, Jasbir. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.

2008-00-00: Beatie, Thomas. Labor of Love: The Story of One Man’s Extraordinary Pregnancy. Berkeley: Seal, 2008.

2008-00-00: Howard, John. Concentration Camps on the Home Front: Japanese American in the House of Jim Crow. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

2009-00-00: Masequesmay, Gina and Metzger, Sean. Embodying Asian/American Sexualities. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009.

2011-00-00: Amerasia Journal: Further Desire—Asian and Asian American Sexualities 37, no. 2 (2011).

2011-00-00: Hom, Alice. “Unifying Differences: Lesbian of Color Organizing in Los Angeles and New York.” Ph.D. dissertation, Claremont Graduate University, 2011.

2011-00-00: Shah, Nayan. Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.

2011-00-00: Sueyoshi, Amy. “Miss Morning Glory: Orientalism and Misogyny in the Queer Writings of Yone Noguchi.” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 2 (2011): 2-27.

2012-00-00: Aizumi, Marsha. Two Spirits, One Heart: A Mother, Her Transgender Son, and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance. Bronx, NY: Magnus, 2012.

2012-00-00: Cutler, Phoebe. “Joaquin Miller and the Social Circle at the Hights.” California History 90, no. 1, (2012): 40-61, 66-69. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41853239.

2012-00-00: Parreñas Shimizu, Celine. Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Masculinities in the Movies. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012.

2012-00-00: Sueyoshi, Amy. Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2012.

2013-00-00: Takemoto, Tina. “Looking for Jiro Onuma: A Queer Meditation on the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.” GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies 20, no. 3. 241-275. 2013.

2014-00-00: Hoang, Nguyen Tan. A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

2014-00-00: Lim, Eng-Beng. Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performances in the Asias. New York: New York University Press, 2014.

2014-00-00: Nagarajan, Mala. “Queer South Asian Organizing in the United States.” Trikone Magazine 28, no. 1 (2014): 4-7.

2014-00-00: Shah, Nayan. “Race-ing Sex.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 35, no. 1 (2014): 26-36.

2014-00-00: Sueyoshi, Amy. “Mindful Masquerades: Que(e)rying Japanese Immigrant Dress in Turn-of-the-Century San Francisco.” In Contingent Maps: Rethinking the North American West and Western Women’s History edited by Susan Gray and Gayle Gullett. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014.

2014-00-00: Tarnoff, Ben. The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature. New York: Penguin Books, 2014. 

2015-00-00: Leong, Andrew. “The Pocket and the Watch: A Collective Individualist Reading of Japanese  American Literature.” Verge: Studies in Global Asias 1, no. 2 (2015): 76-114.

2015-00-00: Sueyoshi, Amy. “Why Queer Asian American Studies?” Pan-Japan: The International Journal of the Japanese Diaspora, Special Issue - Conjecturing Communities: The Ebbs and Flows of Japanese 11, nos. 1 & 2, ed., Lane Ryo Hirabayashi (Summer 2015): 104-120.

2016-00-00: Sueyoshi, Amy. "Breaking Fire: Remembering Asian Pacific American Activism in Queer History. Chapter 11 in Megan E. Springate, editor, LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History (National Park Foundation and the National Park Service, 2016). Correction from the author, December 2020: In this chapter, “In 1899, the same year Kosen Takahashi pined away over Yone Noguchi’s absence as he tramped to Los Angeles...” should be replaced by “In 1889, a decade before Kosen Takahashi pined away over Yone Noguchi’s absence as he tramped to Los Angeles...”

2016-00-00: Sueyoshi, Amy. “Queer Asian American Historiography.” In Oxford Handbook of Asian American History, edited by Eiichiro Azuma and David Yoo, 267-278. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

2016-00-00: The Society for Queer Asian Studies is established s an affiliate of the Association for Asian Studies.

2017-00-00: Stoddard, Charles Warren. “A South Sea Idyl,” from The Man Who Thought Himself a Woman and Other Queer Nineteenth-Century Short Stories Edit. Christopher Looby. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017.

2018-06-06: Lee, Patrick G., “Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America,” NBC News, Part 1 of 5, June 6, 2018. Episode 1: "‘We’re Asians, Gay & Proud’: The story behind the photo"

2018-06-13: Lee, Patrick G., "Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America," NBC News, Part 2 of 5, June. Episode 2: API TransFusion: The journey to the historic retreat The story behind API TransFusion, the first national gathering for Asian and Pacific Islander transmasculine people, opens up conversations with LGBTQ activists who have fought for liberation since the 1980s.

2018-06-20: Lee, Patrick G., "Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America," NBC News, Part 3 of 5, June 20, 2018.) Episode 3: Visibility at Pride: The Pacific Islanders Who Marched in 1982

2018-06-26: Lee, Patrick G., "Searching for Queer Asian Pacific America," NBC News, Part 4 of 5, Episode 4: Exploring the roots of Chicago’s queer South Asian community, June 26, 2018.

2018-06-28: Lee, Patrick G., "Searching for Queer America," NBC News, Part 5 of 5, June 28, 2018. Episode 5: Tracing the evolution of Asian-Pacific Islander LGBTQ nightlife spaces. LGBTQ nightlife spaces can be key to building community. For Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, building those spaces with other communities of color can also help provide a sense of home. 

2020-00-00: Patrick G Lee, director. Unspoken. Documentary about Six LGBTQ Asian Americans Coming Out to Their Immigrant Parents. UNSPOKEN explores the challenges of talking with immigrant parents about queerness, gender identity, and sexuality. In the film, six queer and trans Asian Americans read coming out letters that they wrote to their parents – sharing what they would say if they didn’t face language, generational, and cultural barriers in communicating with their families of origin. The interviewees hail from across the Asian diaspora — with roots in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, China, and Korea. Available from Third World Newsreel.

2022-07-01: June Chan, email to Karen Lee, Don Kao, Jonathan Ned Katz, 9:55 AM, ET.  Here’s a cartoon by Katherine Hall, from ALOEC newsletter no 1. I saw it briefly in the NBC video about API TransFusion and took a screenshot. [PHOTO] 
Asian Lesbians meet for the first time. This was the planning meeting for the first party that was at my mom’s house on East Broadway. [PHOTO]
Me, Mini Liu, Margaret Pan and Katherine Hall met at a friend’s apartment in Alphabet City.
We made invitations to my mom’s house and passed it to all the Asian women and friends at the bars around the city. 
I met Katherine at Peaches on the upper east side. Sue Moy had a weekly table at the Dutchess and brought her friends.
I can’t remember who took the photo at my mom's. I can’t remember the names of everyone in the photo, but the core group of ALOEC started here. 
Chea Villanueva came from Philly, so we couldn’t call ourselves a NYC based group.
Willy Wilkinson (in API TransFusion video) was also a member around that time, but lived in Boston.