Hi, I’m Ehra Amaya. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me 🙂
I came to San Francisco in 2011 from the Philippines with just my mother and brothers. No legal documentation. No money. No support. But there has always been a fire in me. A fire to make a difference in the lives of the people around me.
I came here with dreams of becoming a nurse and serving my community, so that no one would have to feel alone and helpless – so that no person would have to feel what young Ehra felt 10 years ago.
With my ambition to help those in need, it was only natural that I would end up using drag as a vehicle for doing good in the world.
I was blessed to serve as Imperial Crown Princess in 2016, my first involvement in the Imperial Council of San Francisco – the oldest surviving LGBTQ+ charitable organization in the world. It’s many wonderful members embraced me despite my immigration status, and have treated me with respect and dignity when so many other institutions would not. It is an organization that protected me and encouraged me to be a better individual, community leader and an essential part of the healthcare world.
Just a year later, I continued to serve our community as Miss Gay Asia Pacific Alliance (also known as Miss GAPA). Alongside my drag sister, Mimi Osa, we raised funds in support of LGBTQIA+ individuals with a background similar to mine, looking to better themselves and their families through education.
Over the past 6 years, I’ve raised vital funds for various non-profit organizations, including: Alexander Hamilton Post, a predominantly LGBTQA+ Veterans association; The San Francisco Aids Emergency Fund; Sequim Food Bank; and Philippines Volcano Relief, among many other amazing organizations.
Through personal sacrifice and with the help of the LGBTQIA+ community, I managed to rationalize my immigration status, uplift my family and achieve my dream of becoming a nurse.
As an Infection Preventionist, I have spent the past year fighting the pandemic on the frontlines. It has been beyond tough. It has stretched my limits. But my fellow essential workers have also shown me a level of compassion I never thought possible. Without doubt, the hardships of this year have redoubled my commitment to our community.
As we tiptoe closer to some sort of normalcy, I want to make sure that our family and our community remain vigilant. The end may be in sight, but the journey is far from over and setbacks are likely. When we are eventually able to share a drink together, I want everyone to still be at the table. Presenting my professional knowledge through my drag persona, I aim to provide a beacon of hope and humor to lead us safely back together.
The pandemic is not just a health crisis, but an economic one too. We know all too well that financial insecurity disproportionately affects us in the LGBTQIA+ community and especially those of color. With the EssentialEhra team, I intend to raise funds to be distributed to the people and businesses hardest hit so that, when the worst is over, we are able to patronize the safe spaces we love.
Thank you so much for your support. I look forward to working with you for the betterment of our community.
Yours humbly and essentially,