An Open Letter to A YouTuber

An open letter to Petra,
While the intention of your video “Types of Gay Guys” was “…purely just for entertainment.” I found your video to be very offensive. Please know that when you assign gay guys to types you are enforcing those types to our identity, and identities which are also not accurately depicted in media like in this video. In your experience, while some gay guys may fall under your “types” there are more to us than what is being entertained. What you fall short of your examples is that we are people who live marginalized lives because we are only taken as face value as in “the gay best friend,” “the silent assassin,” “the banana addict,” “the fashion icon,” “the in denial,” “the drag queen,” and “the tranny.”
Also please refrain from using the word “tranny” because it is a derogatory word for the transgender community. Being transgender is an identity for a community and to box a transgender male or transgender female by referring to them as “tranny” is cheap and demeaning and denying someone of their other identities. People are dimensions rather than one superficial title. In addition, do you think there is a difference between a hate crime when “tranny” is being thrown around as an epithet and your video using the word for entertainment?

New Webseries: “Out Talk” with Fililipino-American Dr. Kevin Nadal

Filipino-American Dr. Kevin Nadal is no stranger to advocacy for the communities he advocates for. He has written books on the Filipino-American experience with “Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice” and “Filipino American Psychology: A Collection of Personal Narratives.” His latest book “That’s So Gay!: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community.” is a springboard to his latest work “Out Talk.” Check out the first three episodes here:

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First Filipino Athlete Competing At A Winter Olympic Games!

Director of Signature Events, Darv Dayondon

By Darv Dayondon

Call me anything you want, but I have always looked forward to the Olympic Games growing up. Especially during the Winter Olympics, hands down, it’s honestly all about ICE SKATING. All the make-up, eye lashes, tights, sequences sound like they are serving up some Drag-Queen-On-Ice! (snap, snap) AND, this is just for the men’s division! The 2014 Sochi Olympics have begun and my excitement builds as I watch old ice-skating videos of my favorite athletes from previous Olympic games and world competitions.

While I’m on that track I remember when I watched Tanya Harding’s boo go all Wold-Star-Hip-Hop on Nancy Kerrigans legs. But I digress…

After watching one of my favorite films, Cool Runnings (1993), about an unlikely team from warm Jamaica compete in a Winter Olympics. I wondered about another humid country close to my heart, the Philippines, if they would be represented in the Sochi Olympics this year? If there can be a Jamaican bobsled team from a tropical island, then why not the Philippines? After all that tropical island weather, we don’t fare too well with cold weather, BUT Filipinos in Canada apparently didn’t get that memo. Hey there, Canada Filipinos!

So a quick search on Google, and to my happy surprise the Philippines is sending one athlete to the Sochi 2014 Olympic games and wait for it…he is a figure-skater! I KNOW. I. DIED! Michael Christian Martinez from the Philippines will be a figure skating athlete at this year’s games! He is the first Filipino figure skater to qualify for the Winter Olympics after securing a spot in the final qualifying event.

Although it’s a small step for figure skating in the Philippines, it’s still one giant leap for diverse Philippine athletes at Olympic games. Although this is cause for celebration throughout the country in a time when we need every ounce of good news right now, what is not cute is the lack of funding from Filipino Government. Talk about shade, and let me tell you. ICE. SKATING. IS. NOT. CHEAP! He has come a long way from skating at the local ShowMart (SM) mall and inadvertently added a layer of depth to the capabilities of the Filipino community. If you haven’t already, take time and watch his qualifying video on YouTube and let’s send him some social media love! We are proud of you Michael!

Follow Michael Christian Martinez here

Michael Christian Martinez

#michaelchristianmartinez #teamphilippines

Visibility In The Family

DarvandRudy

Darv Dayondon of Barangay LA and Uncle Rudy

On a sunny day Saturday morning in February of 2013, on the corner of Temple and Hill in Los Angeles, the LGBTQ API community assembled in an open area of the Hall of Records building across the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles. That day a young community organizer, Darv Dayondon, from Barangay Los Angeles brought along his uncle Rudy for the Chinese Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown.

Asked why he decided to march with his nephew in the parade uncle Rudy responded, “I walked with my nephew and his organization today because I wanted to show my support for who he is.”

“My uncle has been part of the few people in my family that have been a supporter and has been the few voices to get the rest of my family to be open about me being gay” says Darv about his uncle’s presence that day.

Commonly, the coalition of LGBTQ API organizations and allies would consist of young LGBTQ API activists from their respective organizations, with sprinkles of seasoned activists, but family members are a rare sight to see at events like this for LGBTQ visibility.

“I feel so welcome and everyone is very warm” says Rudy about his first Chinese Lunar New Year’s Parade in Los Angeles with his nephew.

Darv had this to say about his home life, “In regard to adults in my family, I have little to no support, but having my uncle march with me today means a lot. It shows that someone in my family wants to be there to experience that part of my life.”

The Lunar New Year parade this year will be on Saturday February 1, 2014 in Chinatown. Barangay LA will be joining API Equality LA to bring a large visible support to the festival. Check out API Equality LA events below.

Asian Pacific Islander Equality Los Angeles (APIELA)

My Top 10 Beverage Shops for Socials with Friends and More from 2013!

Alfred Rosanes is at it again with his review of 2013, but now for great places to satisfy that thirst for New Year’s Eve. Or better yet, add them to your resolution for 2014 for new things to try in the new year!

My Top 10 Beverage Shops for Socials with Friends and More from 2013!

By Alfred Rosanes

10. Perch, Downtown Los Angeles - The ambience is amazing up in this penthouse suite in DTLA, great selections of appetizers. Their wine selections are mediocre but they’re still pretty good and this is a great place to chat and enjoy friend’s company!

9. Bar Stella, Silverlake – A silverlake bar that brings a great selection of cocktails and great crowd! Their drinks are “stellar” and strong! Try the French 77, it’s enhanced with a touch of St. Germain which I must say is my favorite liqueur.

8. The Abbey Food & Bar, West Hollywood - West Hollywood goers can agree that this is the place to be when you’re out and about! Great music and ambience, the drinks are great! (try the cucumber martini!) and if your’e in a celebratory mood go grab a booth in the middle by the dance floor and order a bottle of champagne! just make sure that you know your bar tender! they will surely hook you up!

7. Cafe Brass Monkey, Koreatown - This place makes basic drinks but the good thing about this place is that they have an intimate karaoke space adjacent to the bar and the drinks are so potent that it makes you want to sing and dance with the amazing singers that visit this place! Adam Lavine is a fan of this place too!

6. Bird Pick Tea & Herb, Pasadena – This place detoxifies me the right way after a night of partying! Also, my perfect place after brunch! You can tell the barista behind the tea bar about what you’re feeling and they’ll match you up with concoctions and cures for your hangover or allergies with their amazing robust high quality TEAS!

5. Vertical Wine Bistro, Pasadena – besides the fact that I worked here in the past, this place offers 300-400 kinds of wine around the world! The wine list is spectacular ranging from South American, South African, New World and Old World wines! The food is perfect if you’re a wino like me and my partner. You can swirl and sniff your favorite reds or whites and once you choose, voila! look at the food menu, and you’ll find something that will compliment your drink! This is also a great place to get cocktails! Try the Lolita! made by my fav bartender ever, Nikki! (although she’s not there anymore).

4. High Rooftop Lounge, Venice – from the makers of hotel Erwin in Venice beach, this place totally hits the spot! Great place during the summer, with a nice 360 view of the city and the adjacent shore, and a great sunset view! Try their mojitos! Very refreshing!

3. The Blind Donkey, Pasadena – I’m a big fan of whiskey, and this whiskey bar offers a huge variety of whiskey, scotch and bourbon! This place also offers great whiskey cocktails to cater to the not-so-fond-of-whiskey-kind-of-people.

2. Lamill Coffee, Silverlake – This place took it ALL. Best cocktails! Coffees, from wines sparkling, sake, or tea they nailed it! Great selection! you can totally feel the love and the anticipation and hospitality for everyone from this place through their amazing drink selection alone! But wait! this is a coffee shop that is quickly dominating LA’s coffee scene! If you’re a big coffee fanatic, wherever you are from, they offer almost everything that you can imagine when it comes to your coffee preference, from french, japanese, or american style kind of coffee extraction! And I’m not done yet, if you’re going to this place and try everything (because it’s superb!) you have to try the chemex style of coffee extraction, it was just pure love and comfort. It is believed that this type of extraction is the cleanest and best way to extract the flavor off fresh coffee grinds!

1. Barbrix, Silverlake – Don’t judge me, we know this place is amazing and there’s only a few of this caliber in LA or I must say in the US. But this place is very sentimental and such a comfort for me that’s why it’s my #1! The wine selection is great with amazing ambience and they have great small plate selections (I hate saying “tapas”), but what I truly love about this bar is that the layout is small and quaint, very private and the noise level is at a medium. So guess what that means to you? (I’ll give you a minute) Ding ding ding! Best place to take someone for your first date right!? This tops my list because this is where me and my partner first met and fell in love with each other! Such a magical place with such amazing wines and small plates!

Well there you go! I hope you all agree with me with this one! Thanks for reading, and watch out for my reviews for 2014!

Alfred Rosanes is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu

Top 10 Restaurants That Changed My Life and Moved My Palate This Year!

Barangay Los Angeles member Alfred Rosanes, chef and restaurant goer, shares his top 10 restaurants in Los Angeles for 2013. Check out his list when you’re looking to dine out tonight!

Top 10 restaurants that changed my life and moved my palate this year! And my favorite dish from each restaurant! 

By Alfred Rosanes

10. Bottega Louie – For me the best thing in there is the portobello fries with that amazing aioli, come on, everyone in LA knows what I’m talking about!

9. Iota Cafe – That bulgogi pizza almost made me drop my fork! That was just phenomenal!

8. The Hungry Cat – I must say I loved all of it but the oysters and the black cod were firecrackers in my mouth.

7. Boa Steak House – Ambience is spectacular and the food is so so but one thing that made me think twice was the goat cheese salad with frisse and orange rinds! Blew me away! So simple yet magical!

6. Sapp Coffee Shop – Such a humble restaurant but the food takes you back to an authentic floating market street food in Thailand! Their Jade noodles definitely goes straight in my top 10 course that I have to eat before I die!

5. Haven Gastropub – Their pork head terrine in a beet salad with pistachios and goat cheese made me fall in love with something that I used to hate, which was all of it in that dish.  Now I’m in love and addicted so much that I replicate it all the time whenever I feel like cooking a challenging dish.

4. Yamashiro – Everything that I tasted here was great! Out of the 40 things that I’ve tried in here 39 of them were refreshing for me, like the wagyu beef served on top of a hot salt stone plate or their albacore with shaved truffles and pistachio nut sashimi. Totally took me on a culinary ride!

3. Tropicale – Great service and ambience but I’m also a big fan of simple dishes done perfectly! Their fried chicken tenders that were cooked just enough to pass the raw stage, the chicken was tender, like it was injected with moistness with its crispy brown skin and aioli. Such was a great treat!

2. Abricott – This has been my favorite restaurant since 2012 when it first opened! The owner is super nice, ambience is cute but the food is what defines my personal cuisine, it’s fun, not pretentious, just straight forward flavors with lots of logical twist and flair of asian cuisine meets western culture with a humble and precise cooking technique! The spicy pork burrito is out of this world, coconut clam pasta is just pure love and their lemongrass chicken burger is sublime! But my all time favorite is their flourless Roti and curry! It made me realize, after that I will never eat anything that I can’t appreciate!

1. *UrBAR – For those people who have been to my underground restaurant, you know what I cook and what I serve you, although UrBAR is on hiatus at the moment, I know you wont forget those dishes that I made and has became part of our lives! All of those dishes that I served were all inspired by my knowledge is cooking, flavor instincts and places that I’ve visited and inspired me in such a way as the restaurants in this list!

* “UrBar” is a conceptual restaurant created by Alfred Rosanes as a part of a growing trend of underground restaurants moving from local residence to residence.

I hope that you like this list and hopefully if you visit one of the restaurants that I listed here one day, that you won’t hesitate to try it out and taste the difference! Food and gastronomy are truly experiences and when it comes to an experience, we discover our soul and our selves.

“Tasting new flavors is as adventurous as going to places that you’ve never been before” – Alfred Rosanes

Alfred Rosanes is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu

In Praise of Parents

PFLAG - San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander

PFLAG – San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander

This is what support looks like. And to hear what it sounds like, you have the opportunity this coming Tuesday, October 8, 2013 by going to see Filipino Mom, Carol Mannion speak about what it’s like coming out to her family about her gay son. Not only do LGBTQ people come out to their family, but also the family comes out as well. Understand and listen in on Carol and other parents who support and advocate for their children and our Asian-American LGBTQ community!

Where:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Los Angeles

1145 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017

  When:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

6:45 PM | Dinner

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM | Meeting

  RSVP/Questions:

tran@apiequalityla.org | (213) 580-1800

BarangayLA Supports the Asian American Arts

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From now until October 6, 2013, East West Players in Little Tokyo is now playing the classic movie turned theater “Steel Magnolias” on their stage.

On Wednesday, September 25, 2013 they will have a theme night and guess what that theme will be? None other than DRAG NIGHT! What a way to support the LGBTQ community and support the Asian American arts in Los Angeles. Come fully dresses, semi, and any combination of gender-fluidity that you feel comfortable expressing to this wonderful night to experience a well established place in the Asian American community.

Join BarangayLA as we attend and support this Wednesday, September 25, 2013 starting at 7PM for the pre-show with prizes, games for the whole family. And promptly afterwards the production of “Steel Magnolias” for an entertaining night!

Steel Mags Drag Night