The GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) will soon be holding this year’s GAPA Runway, one of the longest-running pageants in San Francisco.
About the 2023 Runway: For this year’s pageant, the nonprofit organization presents the theme “Into the Looking Glass,” where participants will be competing in a fantasy segment showcasing differing visions of their fantasy on top of the traditional formal wear category and Q&A segment. The contestants will present onstage at the Herbst Theatre for the title of Mr., Ms. or Mx. GAPA on Aug. 19.
“GAPA Runway is a one-of-a-kind production for the community by the community,” Runway producer Emmett Chen-Ran said in a press release.
Our Runway contestants represent the best of us — they are talented, thoughtful, and dazzling community members that champion us and deserve to be celebrated in kind. Whether crowned Mr., Ms., or Mx. GAPA, GAPA Royalty serve as advocates of the modern QTAPI (Queer and Transgender Asian Pacific Islander) condition, bringing visibility to what being queer, trans, and AAPI looks like in 2023.
According to Chen-Ran, the visibility that the runway offers is important, especially as the community has suffered through anti-Asian violence in recent years. The pageant winners will have the opportunity to promote fundraisers, spread their advocacies and go on tour.
About GAPA: GAPA, which began as a 1988 underground dance party, has turned into a vanguard for the queer and transgender Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in the Bay Area.
In an interview with the Bay Area Reporter, Chen-Ran said that the idea of GAPA was formed at a time when queer Asians were restricted from entering white LGBTQ+ spaces.
Over the years, the organization has dedicated itself to furthering the interests of the queer and trans API community by spreading awareness through community events, partnerships and political engagements. Runway is GAPA’s core celebration flaunting the talents and achievements of the community.