Ding Ding TV celebrates Pride Month with Civic Leadership Forum Silicon Valley “The Rise of Asian LGBTQ Voices”

On June 14th, Ding Ding TV and the Society of Heart’s Delight hosted Civic Leadership Forum Silicon Valley “The Rise of Asian LGBTQ Voices” in honor of Pride Month and in support of AAPI LGBTQ community. Over 100 people attended the event at Ding Ding TV studios.

The event was supported by the California State Library, Assemblymember Ash Kalra, the Mayor of Santa Clara Lisa Gillmor, and Jún Bistro. “The Rise of Asian LGBTQ Voices” featured a stand-up comedy act by Chiao-Yu Tuan and karaoke.

The event also included a panel discussion. The panelists were Noelle Blanco (Chief Communications Officer of the San Jose Chapter and National Program Director of Pride NAAAP, Director of Strategy and Operations NQAPIA), Wen Sun (Head of Civic Engagement Program, Society of Heart’s Delight), Saldy Suriben (Chief Marketing Officer, Silicon Valley Pride, Senior Management Analyst, County of Santa Clara, Office of LGBTQ Affairs), and Chiao-Yu Tuan (Asian stand-up comedian). Yudy Deng (Stand-up comedian based in Silicon Valley) moderated the panel.

The panelists spoke about significant moments that shaped their LGBTQ journey, communities, and support systems that were most beneficial to them during their journey and why. They discussed how they engage in advocacy and activism for the LGBTQ community and what advice they would give to others looking to get involved. They also talked about what thriving looks like to them as members of the LGBTQ community and shared their success stories and moments of pride. The Q&A that followed the panel touched upon the topic of coming out. The panelists also talked to parents who wanted advice on how to support their children who are LGBTQ.

Assemblymember Ash Kalra said at the event: “We live in a place that celebrates Pride and our entire community. We know there are many places in our state, believe it or not, and in our country, that is very hard to be LGBTQ+… In California, though, we are going to stand up for everyone. We are going to fight to make sure to protect everyone, and this month, we are going to celebrate.”

Michelle Zhang (Founder of the Society of Heart’s Delight) spoke about her organization: “We started this Chinese community with the mission to advance equality and solidarity within our Chinese community and beyond… We have over 100 people here tonight, but thousands of people know we are celebrating. I want to thank Diana for supporting us. You are our most valuable ally, it is so important for our straight allies to support us.”

Pat Tietgens (Co-Founder of the Society of Heart’s Delight) said: “People will surprise you if you let them. And I think too often we tell ourselves a story of what people are capable of accepting or not accepting and we don’t know… It’s true you have a wide range of people that follow you, and some people are not supportive of LGBTQ. But Diana is out here saying I want to do something for the community… Let’s make this a really supportive community event.”

Diana Ding (Founder of Silicon Valley Community Media and Ding Ding TV) said: “As a Christian, I used to think those are the sinners. But as I got to know these lovely people, the more I know them, the more I love them. It totally changed how I think and see the people… We are doing “Telling Asian American Stories,” and you should be a part of these important stories. Please join us. You are a part of us, you are us, and we are you.”

Pat (Co-Founder of the Society of Heart’s Delight) spoke to the Mayor of Saratoga Yan Zhao: “Thank you for being here. We need to have support in every direction and every group. You just showing up like this, at the end of a long, tiring day, and it says something… So let’s give her her flowers.”

Asian American Stories Video Competition was created to tell the stories of Asian American contributions both to the Asian American communities and to the mainstream, to bring communities together and promote diversity, racial justice, and equity. Asian American Stories 2024 Video Competition received over 70 entries from all over the United States. This year’s competition ended with the Award Ceremony that included more than 400 guests, more than 70 contestants, more than 40 partners, 15 judges, more than 30 elected officials, and more than 100 community and business leaders attended the event. $20,000 was awarded to the winners of the contest. Please visit AAStories.org to learn more and join us in Telling Asian American Stories.


Stop the Hate events are made possible in part under the Ethnic Media Outreach Program sponsored by the California State Library (CSL) in partnership with the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA). The views expressed here and on other materials produced by Ding Ding TV and Silicon Valley Community Media do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CSL, CAPIAA or the California government.


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