Welcome to the Dragon Fruit Museum

An online community space preserving and uplifting transgender and queer Asian and Pacific Islander history and organizing in the Bay Area.

The Dragon Fruit Oral History Project (DFP) was founded in 2007 by Amy Sueyoshi and stewarded by Lavender Phoenix (formerly APIENC/API Equality—Northern California, which will be referenced throughout this site).

A room of trans and queer Asian and Pacific Islander people of different generations standing close together, smiling to the right, and taking a selfie.
Dragon Fruit Project Digital Portal launch, 2016, San Francisco, CA

“Being involved in DFP helped me realize that there is a lot of history and a lot of people who are still present today who have come before me.

It made me realize that I can be here because of those who came before me who fought for justice for queer and trans API folx and that I am not alone.

DFP helped me realize there are many adults much older than I am who have paved the way — who are present today and who I can actually share space and time with if I so choose.”

Dragon Fruit Project community member

The Dragon Fruit Project began in 2007 as the Dragon Fruit Historical Preservation Project, created by San Francisco State University Professor and Associate Dean of Ethnic Studies, Amy Sueyoshi. Amy’s goal was to archive and document oral history stories from her own friends and community of trans, queer, Asian Pacific Islanders (TQAPI’s) based in the Bay Area. In 2012, the Dragon Fruit Project was featured at the GLBT Historical Museum in the Castro, in the exhibit “For Love & Community: Queer Asian Pacific Islanders Take Action 1960s-1990s.” In 2013, APIENC, a Bay Area grassroots organization building trans and queer API people power, took on the The Dragon Fruit Project as a community-wide initative. From there, the Project grew from collecting and transcribing oral histories into networks of intergenerational relationships, phonetrees, and even a podcast! 

A black and white photograph showing a group of Asians, some with their fists raised, holding a large banner that reads “We’re Asians Gay & Proud.
An image from the cover of the 1980 issue of the magazine Gay Insurgent. The photograph shows a group of Asians who took part in the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The March coincided with the Third World Lesbian and Gay Conference held in Washington, D.C. in 1979.

With the close of APIENC’s Dragon Fruit Committee in the fall of 2021, our community wanted to document the project in this virtual Dragon Fruit Museum! As trans and queer Asians and Pacific Islanders, we know that our stories matter, yet the experiences and contributions of TQAPIs are often erased and excluded from history and modern movement. With the Dragon Fruit Museum, we aim to provide a community space for people to access trans and queer API histories. We will also share tools and lessons learned with others who want to use the power of storytelling for organizing and community building. As robust as we make the museum, we acknowledge that all the special moments and relationships built with the Dragon Fruit Project cannot be fully captured in an online space. We encourage museum guests to share what they learn orally with their communities, so we can continue the tradition of relationship-based storytelling.  Lastly, we hope this museum will be an echo chamber of love where we can continue to see ourselves mirrored through listening and sharing our stories. 

APIENC members hold a banner that reads “We’re Asians and Pacific Islanders Trans & Proud.” They are marching down a street followed by many people behind including Anakbayan East Bay.
APIENC at the 2018 Trans March in San Francisco.

In each “ room”, you’ll find different content, tools, and opportunities to take a closer look into the Dragon Fruit Project. Rooms are designated by the tabs below.

Start in whichever room that excites you most, and follow your heart! If you’re feeling lost, we have suggested an order for you, too.

How do I engage with the museum?

As you explore the museum, you will find green engagement blocks. We encourage you to use these questions to think about what your “place” is in history.

What is your relationship to your own histories, lineage, and past?

Why are you excited to explore this museum?