Pauline Park

Name

Pauline Park

Age

49

Location

Jackson Heights, NY

Occupation

transgender activist

Own Words

I was born in Korea and adopted with my twin brother by European American parents in Wisconsin. So I grew up in a German American household on the south side of Milwaukee.

After doing my B.A. in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I did a master’s degree at the London School of Economics. My first career was in public relations and my second was in academia. In graduate school, I studied German in Berlin and in Regensburg, a small city in Bavaria where I lived in a 12th-century medieval tower. I did my dissertation research in Brussels and Paris and got my Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

I came out as an openly transgendered woman after moving to New York City. In June 1998, I co-founded the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), the first statewide transgender advocacy organization in New York. I was asked to lead the campaign for passage of Int. No. 24, the transgender rights ordinance enacted by the New York City Council as Local Law 3 of 2002. After the bill was signed into law, I served on the working group that helped to draft guidelines — adopted by the Commission on Human Rights in December 2004 — for implementation of the new statute.

I was the first openly transgendered individual chosen to be a grand marshal of the New York City Pride March, serving in that capacity in the 2005 Pride March.

After moving to Jackson Heights, I co-founded Queens Pride House (a center for the LGBT communities of Queens) in January 1997, Iban/Queer Koreans of New York (Iban/QKNY) in February 1997, and the Guillermo Vasquez Independent Democratic Club of Queens (GVIDCQ) in July 2002. I also participated in the founding of the Out People of Color Political Action Club (OutPOCPAC) in April 2001. I also serve on the board of directors of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF).

One important aspect of my advocacy work is training, and I have conducted transgender sensitivity training sessions for a wide range of social service providers and community-based organization.

Documentarian Larry Tung made a 32-minute documentary about my life and work (“Envisioning Justice: The Journey of a Transgendered Woman”) that premiered at the New York LGBT Film Festival in 2008.

You can find out more about me and my work at paulinepark.com.

Popular Locations

Visit KoreanBeacon.com

Latest From Our Blog

READ MORE BLOG POSTS »

Latest Tweets

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER »

Join Our Mailing List

We’ll be sending infrequent emails about new features, fun events, and cool merchandise. Sign up and be in the know!

JOIN NOW »

READ OTHER KOREAN AMERICAN STORIES

Hyojin Jenny Hwang

Age 28 | NY & NJ
marketing & web design/development

Kenneth Charles Miller Jr.

Age 28 | Las Vegas
Server @ NOBU Las Vegas

Cyndi Choi

Age 23 | Los Angeles, California
Stylist

Valissa Perry

Age 27 | Rochester, NY
Licensed Esthetician & Skincare Therapist

Chuck Joo

Age 44 | Hartford, Connecticut
Cartoonist

David Chan

Age 26 | North Hollywood, CA
Actor/Stunts/Web Design/Whatever i can get.