The need for a group like Q-WAVE was realized at the Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference, held at New York University in March of 2004. This was the first gathering of its kind on the east coast in over a decade. The conversations focused on a long-recognized absence of a group that addressed the needs and issues of queer API women in New York City. Earlier attempts had been short-lived or had been too narrowly-focused, either solely on social or solely political agendas, for example.
That June, the Women’s Caucus from the QAPL conference and the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) hosted a “Gender and the Queer A/PI Experience” workshop. Attendees discussed their experiences and then formed working groups-- men’s, women’s, and multigender. Participants in the women’s group decided to march together in the upcoming Dyke March that month. We used that opportunity to publicize our queer A/PI organizing. We set up an online mailing list, found some meeting space, and spread the word: there was a new organization in town!
Our first meeting was held in late July 2004 at NYU. It drew nearly thirty women and has since continued as a monthly meeting in various locations throughout New York City. As a loose structure to guide our activities, we established four central pillars to represent our needs and interests as a community: social, empowerment, visibility, and support.