Syd Peterson interviews Interim Executive Director of California Faith for Equality, Pastor Samuel Chu, on LGBT POV:
What was the one BIG emotional moment when you knew you had to get involved with this work?
In fifth grade back in Hong Kong, I “shut down” my elementary school and organized a “teach-in” and assembly to teach the students what was going on with the protests and hunger strike at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. My journey to the US also played a big part in how I see my work today: the experience of leaving behind everything I knew, everything that felt safe, and forging a new identity, new relationships and status taught me how important organizing is. And I remember feeling just angry – a kind of cold anger that I continue to find productive – around how powerless organizations and institutions like churches can be in the face of injustice and inequality. I find it unhelpful when communities come together without a serious intention of building some power. I remember the great organizer, Ernesto Cortes Jr. once told me, “Why spend the effort to organize people if you are going to lose? People can lose all on their own.”