Pauline Park is the chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy and president of the board of directors of Queens Pride House. She co-founded Queens Pride House in 1997, the first LGBTQ community center in the outer boroughs, and she is a transgender woman – meaning she was born male but felt from a young that she is female, and so she transitioned and now lives every day as the woman she has long known herself to be. She went on to serve as the first openly transgender person and the first person of Asian descent to be the executive director of any LGBTQ community center in the state. Pauline has learned through her advocacy that it’s vital for transgender people everywhere to make their story heard.
“We have to keep on pressing, not only for legal and policy change,” she said, “but for broad social change – the goal has to be nothing less than transforming the way society understands gender. Law and public policy are ways of advancing acceptance and social inclusion of humankind, but we also need to embrace a philosophy that recognizes our common humanity. We ought to be judged not only by how we try to help those who are like us, but also by how we try to help those who are different from us.”