Dragonflies of Dallas was a social and support group for gay Asians, Pacific Islanders (APIs), and friends in the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex. Their goal was “to bring together gay APIs in a friendly, supportive, and non-judgmental setting.” They strove to promote awareness, visibility, and acceptance of gay API sexuality.
Dragonflies of Dallas was founded by Dr. Chwee Lye Chng. Dr. Chng wanted to create an organization that provides a forum and space for gay Asian men and women to feel supported, proud, and connected to both their Asian and gay dimensions. The organization was formed in January 1994.
The term “Dragonflies,” contrary to popular belief, does not exclusively mean or represent an insect — Dr. Chng, along with 3 other attendees at the first Dragonflies meeting, elected to use this term to connote “power” and “flight. (In most Asian cultures, a dragon symbolizes the characteristic of “strength” and “power”).
Making a major step in exposing gay Asian identity and pride, the Dragonflies of Dallas marched as an organization for the first time in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Pride Parade in 1998. They continued the tradition at subsequent Pride Parades.
After the 2000 parade, the Freedom Parade Committee honored the organization with the “Unity Trophy” for the Dragonflies’ float. Two years later, in 2002, the Dragonflies received the top honor at the parade, the “President’s Trophy.” The Freedom Parade draws thousands of participants and spectators each year from throughout North Texas. The success of these events has marked very important steps in the Dragonflies’ history.
On January 24, 1998 the Dragonflies held its very first annual Miss Dragonfly Pageant. Loveless (Miss Laos) was crowned Miss Dragonfly 1998, the First Lady of the Dragonflies. The Dragonflies became well known in the Dallas gay community for this exciting event.
The 6th Annual Miss Dragonfly Pageant, hosted by the Dragonflies of Dallas, was held on Saturday, April 5, 2003 at the Trinity River Arts Center. In a special promotion that year, each ticket guaranteed free admission to the Village Station after the pageant. The pageant ended with the crowning of new queen, Alma Lee.