5.15.23 – Get into the Mix at our Queer Filipinx Lakbay Summit

About the Summit

Our Queer Filipinx Lakbay Summit serves a critical space in our Queer – and broader – Filipinx communities in elevating our collective consciousness around the experiences, stories, and innovation of Queer Filipinx leaders across the country. This year we come together in the theme of “Halo-Halo: Get into the Mix” as we celebrate all of our unique experiences, cultures, and communities that make up our identity. Mix it up with us on Saturday, June 3 from 8-5PM at CreaTV San José (38 S. 2nd Street, San José, CA, 95113).

This year summit marks the first in-person Queer Filipinx Summit we’ve had since the event’s inception in 2020. Our Program Director, Celeste Francisco, and the Queermittee (our volunteer-led planning committee), have worked on hosting this summit for almost a year now and are excited to share the speaker, performance, and workshop lineup for the 2023 Summit!

Thank you to our sponsors & donors:
· Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee of District 3
· Abierto

· Baymec
· SV Pride
· Academic Coffee
· Kuboba

Summit Schedule

Time (PST) & Activity

Breakfast & Networking


Welcoming Address
Daniel Lazo, LEAD Filipino


Performance (Poetry)
antmen pimentel mendoza (she/he)
Writer & Acting Co-Director of Mulitcultural Community Center at UC Berkeley


Workshop Block I
· Faith & Queerness by Rev. Jeanelle N. Ablola (they/them/siya)
Congrats! You’re Disabled Too! by Mak Aruta Konefał (he/they), Ash Alunan (he/they)
· The He(art) of Healing through Storytelling by Nikki Abeleda (she/they/siya)

Lunch by Latin Asian Fusion


Keynote Speaker
Kat Evasco (she/her)
Award-Winning Writer, Theatermaker & Filmmaker


Annamacan (she/her)
Acoustic Guitarist


Workshop Block II
Decolonizing Mental Health: A Mix of Perspectives and Practices by Dr. Christine Catipon (she/they/siya)
· Organizing 101 By FAJ TAYO’s Rex Le (he/they) & Star-Venus Holmes (she/her)
· Empowerment Beyond the X by Sera Fernando (she/her)

Afternoon Activity
with Queermittee

Closing Remarks & Raffle by Queermittee

Dance Party & Networking

About the Speakers, Performers, & Workshop Facilitators

Keynote Speaker

Kat Evasco (she/her) is an award-winning writer, theatermaker, filmmaker, and cultural strategist committed to honoring and celebrating the experiences of immigrants, women and LGBTQ communities. Prior to founding With You Productions, a women-of-color led narrative strategy company, Evasco served as the Sr. Program Director at the Center for Cultural Power, leading the design and implementation of the organization’s core programs including the Disruptors Fellowship and the Creative Entrepreneur Series. She is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting and her works have been featured on Deadline, IndieWire, Vice, Shondaland, Bustle, The Advocate, Out Magazine, and NBC News Asian America.


Born, raised, and educated in Eastside San José, Daniel (all/any with good intent) has a profound love for the community. Daniel works for the City of San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department and co-chairs the Johnson & Rivera QTPOC Employee Resource Group in the City. Daniel is also part of LEAD Filipino as an OG organizer assisting with the Lola Scholarship Fund and Delano Manongs Park.

Performers & DJ

antmen pimentel mendoza (she/he) is the author of the chapbook MY BOYFRIEND APOCALYPSE (Nomadic Press, 2023). antmen is a writer, the Acting Co-Director of the Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley, and a student at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Find antmen online at @antmenismagic and antmenpm.com or riding her bike in Oakland, CA.

Anna (she/her) (who goes by the stage name annamacan) is an acoustic fingerstyle guitarist based in the Bay Area. Weaving different guitar techniques such as tapping, fingerpicking, and alternate tunings, she creates melodies based on the endless emotions and stories going on inside of her head. Along with her solo project, she is the lead guitarist for math rock band Ripplings and also collaborates with many local artists to help bring their musical visions to life.

Jazzy (she/they) is a proud Pinay DJ who loves to celebrate her culture and community. She has curated memorable experiences for events such as Pinayista’s Summer Jamz Picnic, PARE pop-up’s MexiPino Fest, L.E.A.D. Filipino’s FAHM Jam & Fly Pinays Summit, and Healing Puso’s MAHAL! As an open-format DJ, Jazzy spins a diverse range of music that sparks joy and nostalgia in hopes to inspire movement and connection.

Workshop Block I

Rev. Jeanelle N. Ablola (they/them/siya) – I’m a Queer Trans Non-Binary child of immigrants – a Filipino/x born, raised, and living in the US diaspora and grounded in the people’s movement for democracy and a just, lasting peace in the Philippines. I have a passion for making theological, spiritual, and political education accessible to all people and thrive in accompanying individuals in meaning-making, while exploring the relationship between individual healing and collective liberation. I’m currently the Lead Pastor at Pine United Methodist Church (Pine UMC) in San Francisco, the Co-Chair of the CA-NV Philippine Solidarity Task Force (Cal-Nev PSTF), and a member of the Network for Religion and Justice for AAPI LGBTQIA+ people (NRJ).

Nikki Abeleda (She/They/Siya) is a First-Generation Queer Filipinx raised in Sacramento. She is a Co-Founder of Sacramento Filipinx LGBTQIA+. Nikki is a community organizer and an Associate Clinical Social Worker (ASW) working with children, adults, and LGBTQIA+ populations in Behavioral Health. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from California State University, Sacramento and Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Boston College with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health.

Mak Aruta Konefał is a filipno-polish trans nonbinary disabled lesbian human being. they have studied and practiced environmental studies and agroecology, critical race and ethnic studies, transnational filipino organizing, and disability justice. they currently work at the berkeley student co-op (bsc) as the cooperative experience manager, applying their radical praxis to cooperative living for over 1,300 student members.

Ash Alunan (he/they) is a super disabled, trans nonbinary, lesbian Filipinx badass nerd. He is incredibly passionate about disability justice and collective liberation, as well as empowering disabled youth as a Youth Program Coordinator at the Center for Independent Living in the East Bay. They love gallivanting in nature, cuddling with their loved ones, *performing* karaoke, and radical healing!

Workshop Block II

Dr. Christine Catipon (she/they/siya) is a licensed clinical psychologist who currently works as a Staff Psychologist at Stanford University Counseling and Psychological Services and maintains a small telehealth private practice. Dr. Catipon also serves as the current Vice President and President-Elect of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA). She has been interviewed by PBS NewsHour, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and numerous organizations and podcasts discussing mental health in AAPI, LGBTQ+, and Filipina/x/o communities, and she is a contributing author to the recently published Sage Encyclopedia of Filipina/x/o American Studies.

Sera Fernando (she/her) is the Manager for the County of Santa Clara Office of LGBTQ Affairs. As an equity and inclusion practitioner and lifelong learner, she also serves as Chief Diversity Officer for Silicon Valley Pride. Leveraging her platforms to lift the voices of LGBTQ+ community members, Sera believes that creating diverse and inclusive spaces where authenticity is celebrated and providing access to communities across intersectional identities empowers all of us to achieve more.

Since 1973, Filipino Advocates for Justice (FAJ) has been a champion for immigrant and civil rights by providing direct services, developing leaders, and organizing and advocating on issues important to the Filipino community as a historically underserved ethnic minority. We serve at-risk middle and high school-age youth, low-wage workers vulnerable to exploitation, and the newly arrived immigrants and undocumented, by helping them navigate the challenges of life in the U.S.

Check out the Photos from Our Recent Summit

Workshop Descriptions

Faith & Queerness by Rev. Jeanelle N. Ablola

Queerness historically has always had a place in Filipinx/a/o culture, society, and in community care. Due to colonization the Philippines is now a predominantly Catholic/Christian country, with attempts to erase that queerness from who we are. How might this reality impact our relationships with ourselves, with loved ones who don’t affirm LGBTQIA+ people, with our spirituality, or with God? Join me in conversation about the possibilities of spirituality as a tool for decolonization, liberation, and healing.

The Hea(art) of Storytelling by Nikki Abeleda

The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to storytelling and poetry to explore how this connects to healing. Research and theory demonstrates that storytelling and poetry is a tool of empowerment that leaves space for communities to heal. Through defining the elements of a story for themselves, storytellers can use stories to take control of the narratives of their lives and their identities, and positively reframe them. Storytelling and poetry are ways to make oneself, as a complex human being, more nuanced and real in the eyes of another. Additionally, the purpose is to engage participants in dialogue surrounding issues of trauma, resistance, survival, mental health, racial diaspora, intersectionality, personal identity, and belonging, as well as how to transform these experiences into art.

Congrats! You’re Disabled Too! by Mak Aruta Konefał & Ash Alunan

Our hot take? Everybody (yes, you too!) is either currently disabled or will be in their lifetime. Physical disabilities, sensory disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental health disabilities, chronic pain & temporary disabilities are all within and around us. Embracing this reality is something that will help us live more sustainable and fulfilling lives for ourselves and our communities. This workshop aims to deconstruct and rebuild our understanding of disability. Even though disability is intrinsically tied with different systems of oppression, disability justice is often overlooked in our communities. Climate change and COVID-19 have made it abundantly clear that disability justice NEEDS to be at the forefront of the conversation. There will also be a focus on the Filipino diaspora and the QTBIPOC community – pinpointing our community health challenges. We hope that you shift your perception of disability to a more inclusive and radical one by the end of this workshop! Access is really fricken cool and we all deserve it

Decolonizing Mental Health: A Mix of Perspectives and Practices by Dr. Christine Catipon

In this workshop, we will explore the ways in which Western approaches to mental health have historically centered on colonial and Eurocentric frameworks and how these can limit our understanding of mental health and well-being, particularly for individuals and communities whose experiences and perspectives have been marginalized. We will examine the ways in which traditional healing practices, community-based interventions, and decolonial approaches can offer new pathways for promoting mental health and well-being. Whether you are a mental health professional, an advocate, or a community member who wants to learn more about culturally relevant mental health approaches, this workshop will provide a mix of insights, tools, and practices to support decolonizing mental health.

Empowerment beyond the X by Sera Fernando

Are you wanting to support all LGBTQ+ intersectional identities but are not sure how? Are you looking practical tools and strategies in advocating for the rights of queer, trans, and nonbinary people? Are you ready to become an even stronger ally? Then this is the perfect workshop for you! “Empowerment Beyond the X” is designed for the audience to learn about the social and political challenges LGBTQ+, transgender, and nonbinary people face, particularly in relation to intersectionality and anti-queer and anti-trans bias and stigma. Participants will learn about the ways in which their gender identity and sexual orientation intersect with other aspects of their identity, engage in discussion on the prevalence of hate and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and the impact of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on their lives, and learn practical steps they can take to be an ally. By the end of the workshop, participants will have a deeper understanding of the challenges that queer, trans, and nonbinary people face. Be part of creating more inclusive and affirming communities for all.

Organizing 101 by FAJ TAYO (Filipino Advocates for Justice Transitional-Age Youth Organizing) by FAJ Tayo’s Rex Le & Star-Venus Holmes

Our workshop, titled “Organizing 101,” is designed to empower participants with invaluable insights and strategies for community organization. Delving into the best practices and tips, attendees will explore effective methods to organize and mobilize their communities, igniting a sense of purpose and driving lasting, tangible change. Through engaging discussions and interactive sessions, participants will discover how to identify clear pathways for action and unite individuals towards a common goal. To reinforce their newfound knowledge, attendees will engage in a stimulating activity that involves creating scenario-based learning examples, allowing them to apply their organizational skills in realistic situations. Prepare to unlock your community’s potential and make a difference!


Are there scholarship tickets available?

Yes, we are accepting applications until Sunday, May 21st at 11:59PM. Please fill out the application here: bit.ly/23lakbayscholarship

Are gender neutral bathrooms available?

Yes, gender neutral bathrooms will be available at the summit venue.

Is there parking available?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide free parking for this event. We recommend parking at any of the following garages that is close to the venue.

· ParkSJ: Third and Santa Clara Garage (The Globe) – 25 S Third St, San Jose, CA 95113
· ParkSJ: Fourth Street Garage– 44 S 4th St, San Jose, CA 95112
· 10 S 3rd St Parking – 10 S Third St, San Jose, CA 95113

Who can I contact for any accessibility accommodations and/or for any questions?

You can contact our team at info@leadfilipino.org OR on the day of the summit you can text us at (650) 216-5254 OR (408) 614-8734.

Want to learn more?

You can also read more about our summit beginnings and past speakers here: https://leadfilipino.org/queer-lakbay-summit/

Have any questions?

LEAD Filipino
LEAD Filipino

We are a nonprofit that organizes for FilAm civic participation, grassroots leadership and direct community action out of San Jose, California.

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