Open Dialogue on LGBT and Pacific Islander Mental Health: Lived Experiences of a Veteran  

Come join in on the next webinar in the ‘Ohana Center of Excellence web series focused on the intersection of LGBT Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander mental health.

K Mataōtama Strohl (they/them) will be sharing their lived experiences at the intersection of being a Black, Sāmoan, Queer, Transgender, and disabled veteran with ADHD, PTSD, and substance use disorder. The presentation will focus on K’s experiences in order to educate and increase awareness for those in the LGBT, Black, Sāmoan, and veteran community as well as their providers. Dr. Lesther Papa (he/him/siya/esuna) will be hosting this open dialogue and encourages attendees to be open, curious, and ask questions to learn more about K’s experiences together.

This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Presenters

In 2018, K decided to take their own life after internalizing the behavior of an unsafe workplace. After years of working in Aviation Maintenance and Human Resources (HR), K made a pivot towards work that would allow them to continue to serve others. They now work with organizations to create psychologically safe environments for people who share their identities or their lived experiences and coach individuals on how to make boundaried decisions that prioritize their mental health.

K is Black, Sāmoan, Queer ,Transgender and a disabled veteran. K lives with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and a Substance Use Disorder.

Fostering Dialogue on Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health in AANHPI Communities

Join us for an engaging workshop where facilitators will openly discuss their personal experiences and professional contributions in the fields of gender, sexuality, and mental health within educational and clinical contexts. Throughout the session, we will explore a diverse range of topics, including the transformative journey of coming out, the significance of visibility, effectively navigating generational disparities, recognizing the strengths and challenges in mental health, and the influential role of advocacy.

Who should come?

  • Educators
  • Mental health professionals
  • Community members for AANHPI communities

This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Facilitators

Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi (she/her or they/them) is a co-founder of International Safe Zone and the Queer Educators and Counselors Network. She fosters a safe space for college students, university staff, and faculty across various campuses (domestic and international). In her role as a professor in the Department of Counselor Education at San Jose State University, she teaches counseling theories and techniques for master’s level students in the field of school counseling and college counseling. To learn more about Dr. Kyoung Mi Choi’s work, please visit the following links: 


Dr. Lesther A. Papa (He/Him/Siya/Esuna) is an assistant professor of psychology at San José State University’s (SJSU) Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. He was born and raised on the westside of the island of Kauai to immigrant Filipinx parents.

Dr. Papa’s research focuses on the experiences of minoritized people in the form of microaggressions and examines racial/ethnic microaggression detection in higher education, misgendering of trans/non-binary individuals, colorism within the Filipinx community, and intersectional microaggressions toward queer/trans Black, Indigenous, people of color (QTBIPOC). His lab also focuses on training students who have minoritized identities as well and together they focus on making a difference in the lives of minoritized people.

Read Dr. Lesther Papa’s full bio.

Continuing Dialogue on Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health: Afakasi Experiences

We’re continuing the dialogue on gender, sexuality, and mental health and focusing on the experiences of LGBTQ+ Afakasi! The session will feature Stanson Afoa and Li‘olemāsina “Li‘o” Pele Lubanski who will be hosted by Dr. Lesther Papa. Throughout the session, we will explore a diverse range of topics, including navigating Afakasi/Queer identity, experiences with mental health, and messages for both members and providers of the Samoan community.  

What will you learn?

Experiences navigating intersectional identities and mental health.

Who is this for?

Members of the Samoan community and providers who serve them.

This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Presenters

Stanson Afoa is a Content Creator on TikTok where he has curated a following of over 117,000 people. His content predominately revolves around the intersections of his identity as a queer, mixed-Samoan born and raised in Alaska. He utilizes his background in Communication Studies to inform his content style, utilizing both serious and humor-forward approaches. He has been able to use his platform to connect and create cultural conversations that have gained traction in the diaspora, in the islands of Samoa and across Oceania.

Li‘olemāsina “Li‘o” Pele Lubanski (li-oh-leh-MAH-see-nah PEH-leh loo-BAN-skee)

Li‘o’s mom is from Mālie, Sāmoa and their dad is from Fox Lake, Illinois.  Li‘o was born in Southern California and raised in Arizona where they still live. They have always wanted to know more about fa‘asāmoa especially what life was like before colonization. This led them to majoring in Asian & Pacific American Studies at Arizona State University where they were the first to graduate with that degree in 2014.

They are an alumnus of the 6th cohort of Pacific Islander Leaders for Tomorrow (PILOT) through Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) and was asked to return as a Mana Mentor for the 10th cohort. They currently serve as Community Organizer for Arizona Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders for Equity (AZ AANHPI For Equity) and as board member and secretary for Island Liaison.

Li‘o is trans nonbinary (culturally fa‘atama), queer, ADHD, and Autistic and has always advocated for underrepresented people like them. They believe taking into account a person’s whole identity and understanding cultural history are keys to uplifting one another in community. This shows up in their Community Organizer work facilitating healing circles for their local Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Li‘o hosts these circles as spaces to discuss mentally and emotionally heavy topics like climate change, LGBTQ+ issues, intergenerational trauma, and more.

In their free time, Li‘o loves to draw, write, sing, and cuddle up with their partner and 3 cats.