Transgender Identities & Spiritual Traditions in Asia & the Pacific
Every pre-modern Asian and Pacific Islander culture had a third sex/third gender subject position for males who identified as women, and in many of these societies, such figures played significant roles in the religious and spiritual traditions of those cultures, often as shamans. New York-based activist and author Pauline Park will examine those shamanic traditions and the lessons that contemporary LGBT/queer APIs can learn from them in terms of identity formation, spiritual growth, community construction and political action.
Info: Jess Delegencia, API Roundtable Coordinator - jdelegencia[at]clgs[dot]org
Pauline Park (paulinepark.com) is chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) (nyagra.com) and president of the board of directors as well as acting executive director of Queens Pride House (queenspridehouse.org), which she co-founded in 1997. Park named and helped create the Transgender Health Initiative of New York (THINY), and as executive editor, she oversaw the creation and publication in July 2009 of the NYAGRA transgender health care provider directory, the first directory of transgender-sensitive health care providers in the New York City metropolitan area. Park led the campaign for passage of the transgender rights law enacted by the New York City Council in 2002. In 2005, she became the first openly transgendered grand marshal of the New York City Pride March. In January 2012, Park participated in the first US LGBTQ delegation to Palestine. Park did her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.Sc. at the London School of Economics and her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana.
CLGS is committed to providing programming and support for research, resources, education for leadership, and community-building/advocacy. All programming is devoted to carrying out the Center's fundamental mission: To advance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people and to transform faith communities and the wider society by taking a leading role in shaping a new public discourse on religion and sexuality through education, research, community building and advocacy.
The Asian and Pacific Islander Roundtable, a project of CLGS, envisions the emergence of coalitions and networks of API LGBTQ and API allies across the country that affirm the dignity and spiritual wholeness of API-LGBTQ people of faith.
In order to empower and resource such coalitions and networks, the API Roundtable is focused on mobilizing and supporting pastors/church leaders, academics, and community leaders that are committed to producing resources and spaces that promote this vision.
The Network on Religion and Justice for Asian and Pacific Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People (NRJ) is a culturally respectful, LGBTQ-affirming, spiritually grounded, justice seeking network of
• API-LGBTQ organizations and individuals
• their faith communities, family and friends
• working to nurture and support efforts toward a fully LGBTQ-inclusive Asian Pacific Islander faith community
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