Pauline Park

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Pauline Park
2016-07-24 Pauline Park in New York City (IMG 2942).jpg
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison, London School of Economics and Political Science, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
OccupationTransgender activist

Pauline Park (born 1960) is a transgender activist based in New York City.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Korea, Park was adopted by European American parents and raised in the United States. As a child, she attended public schools in Milwaukee. Park received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, an M.Sc. in European studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


In 1997, Park co-founded Queens Pride House, a center for the LGBT communities of Queens, and Iban/Queer Koreans of New York. In 1998, Park co-founded the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), the first statewide transgender advocacy organization in New York.

Park served as coordinator of the work group which led the campaign for the transgender rights law enacted by the New York City Council (Int. No. 24, enacted as Local Law 3 of 2002).[1] She 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.[2]

Park negotiated inclusion of gender identity and expression in the Dignity For All Students Act (DASA), a safe schools bill enacted by the New York State Legislature in 2010,[3] and the first fully transgender-inclusive legislation introduced in that body.[4] She also served on the steering committee of the coalition that secured enactment of the Dignity in All Schools Act by the New York City Council in September 2004. In 2005, Park became the first openly transgender person chosen to be grand marshal of the New York City Pride March, the oldest and largest pride event in the United States.

In January 2012, Park participated in the first US LGBTQ delegation tour of Palestine. In June 2015, she was the keynote speaker at the Queer Korea Festival/Seoul Pride Parade, the largest event in the history of the LGBT community Korea up to that date, with a crowd estimated at more than 35,000. In 2009, Park was named 'a leading advocate for transgender rights in New York' on Idealist in NYC's 'New York 40.' In December 2011, she was designated one of the 'official top 25 significant queer women of 2011' by Velvetpark. In October 2012, Park was one of 54 individuals named to a list of 'The Most Influential LGBT Asian Icons' by the Huffington post. In November 2012, she was named to a list of '50 Transgender Icons' for Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012.[5]

Pauline Park's Visibility Project portrait


She is the subject of Envisioning Justice: The Journey of a Transgendered Woman, a 32-minute documentary about her life and work by documentarian Larry Tung that premiered at the New York LGBT Film Festival (NewFest) in 2008.[6]

In 2010, Park recorded "Barricades Mystérieuses", which includes keyboard music by Couperin, Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin, and Debussy.[7]

In 2015, Park joined a group of Korean adoptees returning to Korea in search of information about their birth parents and relatives. Park's trip, which also coincided with the Queer Korea Festival that preceded the Seoul Pride Parade of that year, was the subject of a biographical documentary short film, Coming Full Circle: The Journey of a Transgendered Korean Adoptee, also directed by Tung.


  1. ^ KEVIN ALLISON (2003-07-18). "Parking rights Pauline Park is fighting for transgender rights". New York Blade Online. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  2. ^ McGroy, Winnie (2005-04-21). "Turning Law Into Action". Gay City News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
  3. ^ "Bills". Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  4. ^ "NATIONAL NEWS NYAGRA: An ongoing crusade". New York Blade Online. 2003-07-18. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2012-01-30.
  5. ^
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Further reading[edit]

  • Park, Pauline. "Homeward Bound : The Journey of a Transgendered Korean Adoptee." Homeland : Women's Journeys Across Race, Place, and Time. Ed. Patricia J. Tumang and Jenesha De Rivera. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press, 2006. 125-34.
  • Park, Pauline. "An Interview with Pauline Park." Embodying Asian/American Sexualities. Ed. Gina Masequesmay and Sean Metzger. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books, 2009. 105-113.
  • Park, Pauline. "Transgendering the Academy : Ensuring Transgender Inclusion in Higher Education." Trans Studies : The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normatives. Ed. Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016. 78-80.

External links[edit]