NOW Live from the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Vote for Indian American LGBTQ Activism in the Smithsonian Showdown!

South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association members hold a banner with "SALGA written on it.

South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association marches in 2000 India Day Parade in New York City.

Who gets to decide what is of national significance?  You.

Starting August 6, the Smithsonian Showdown asks you to vote on the “Most Seriously Amazing” attraction at the Smithsonian. The prompt challenges us to consider: What is the most iconic and impactful part of the Smithsonian?


Vote for a Smithsonian that believes Asian Pacific American and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender stories are of national significance.

Vote SmithsonianAPA


In this photograph from our exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation, the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) marches in the India Day Parade in New York City in 2000. SALGA was one of the first organizations to fight for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people within and beyond South Asian Communities in the United States. The organization had lobbied for years to be included in the annual India Day Parade, and their inclusion recognizes the critical role that LGBTQ members play in the Indian American community.

We believe SALGA is an important part of Indian American history—and American history. In Beyond Bollywood, this photo is accompanied by images from NYC’s Transgender Day 2012 as well as a portrait of D-Lo, a Sri Lankan American comic who identifies as transgender. We hope that highlighting LGBTQ stories as key parts of the larger Asian Pacific American experience will inspire other museums and exhibitions to follow suit.

Now, it’s up to you. We submitted this photo to the Showdown because we believe APA LGBTQ stories belong in the Smithsonian. Vote SmithsonianAPA.

You can vote once a day throughout the contest, so please vote again tomorrow!

Want to do more? Here’s how you can help:

  1. Vote SmithsonianAPA everyday!
  2. Encourage your friends and family to vote for SmithsonianAPA.
  3. Spread the word on social media.