GAY POLYNESIANS SET UP UTOPIA WEBSITE

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By La Poasa

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (May 22, 2000 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---There is a website for everything in this world.

Any organization aiming to promote their goals and objectives can create a website anytime online to make known their group exists.

One interesting website that was recently brought to Samoa News' attention is the United Territories of Polynesian Islanders' Alliance (UTOPIA) which can be accessed at www.polyutopia.com

According to the website, UTOPIA is an organization created to "provide support to the [worldwide] Polynesian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."

The group is based in San Francisco, California and was founded in March 1998 as GPAC, an acronym for Gay Polynesians Alliance/California but last year, the name was changed to UTOPIA.

According to an-email response from UTOPIA President Iereneo T. Ve‘ave‘a, there are five officers and currently 30 members.

"However, supporters that attend any one of our events have been around 200 to 300," the e-mail said.

Ve‘ave‘a said that the group exists to "promote unity and strength among Polynesian gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, to become aware of the difficulties they face and propose potential solutions, to share culture with greater community through traditional songs and dance and address the problems faced as recent immigrants to the United States.

"At this time, we are able to secure a spot on public access TV in San Francisco and will be airing videos of the many Polynesian events here and in the islands," wrote Ve‘ave‘a.

Ve‘ave‘a said UTOPIA has members from Samoa, Hawai‘i, Tonga, New Zealand, Fiji and the Cook Islands that are now residing in California.

"At this time, our group is a social group and is moving to become non-profit in the near future. We hope to be of service to any Polynesian who may need our help," Ve‘ave‘a said.

The website also includes various essays written by UTOPIA members on their views about their difficulties struggling in society as well as a calendar of events.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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