San Francisco, known for its vibrant LGBTQ community, recently hosted a unique event named ‘Gaypec’, coinciding with the Asia Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in the city. The event, characterized by its flamboyant drag performances and festive atmosphere, aimed to showcase the city’s rich LGBTQ culture to the international delegates attending the summit.
A Collaboration of Gay Politicians and City Officials
City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, in collaboration with the mayor’s office and other gay politicians, organized the event in the Castro district, famously known as one of the original ‘gayborhoods’. Mandelman emphasized the importance of representing the LGBTQ community during such international gatherings, especially in a city celebrated for its acceptance and advocacy for queer rights. The event offered a space for delegates from countries with varied stances on LGBTQ issues to experience and celebrate queer culture.
A Mixed Reception Among APEC Delegates
Despite the inviting atmosphere of ‘Gaypec’, the reception among APEC delegates was mixed. California assembly member Evan Low noted that while several delegates expressed a desire to attend, concerns over political and social repercussions held them back. This hesitance underscores the varied global perspectives on LGBTQ rights and acceptance. Interestingly, the majority of attendees were not APEC delegates, but local residents and members of the tech and academic communities, indicating a broader interest and support for LGBTQ events in the city.
Local Participation and Global Message
Among the locals who attended were Stephanie Wong and Khoa Tran, founders of a San Francisco tech startup, who saw ‘Gaypec’ as an opportunity for networking and engagement with the community. Mark Anthony Catalan, a university student and APEC summit volunteer, initially skeptical about the event’s authenticity, attended to support the visibility of the gay community to world leaders. ‘Gaypec’ thus served as a platform not only for celebration but also for advocacy, sending a clear message about the presence and significance of the LGBTQ community in global discussions.