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Parents of LGBTQ Korean Americans Launch Effort to Build Acceptance in Korean Immigrant Communities

Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) will kick off its outreach program in New York City with a film screening and community discussion, to be followed by a day-long seminar in Washington, D.C., for parents, activists, and allies from across the U.S. and Korea.

KARP Dol Screening

NEW YORK CITY, September 5, 2016 – Today, Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP) announced the start of a national program of outreach and education for family members and allies of LGBTQ Korean Americans.

The initiative starts in New York City, with a film screening and community discussion on September 11, 2016, co-hosted by The Least of These Church in downtown Manhattan, the only LGBTQ-affirming Korean church in the Greater New York area. LGBTQ Korean Americans will share their stories and experiences of living with LGBTQ identities while being part of a community often known to be homophobic and transphobic. The event will also feature a screening of “Dol (First Birthday),” a short film by a Korean American director, Andrew Ahn, who made the film as a way of coming out to his parents as gay.

KARP’s outreach and education series will continue with a national seminar in Washington, D.C., on October 15, 2016, which is expected to bring dozens of Korean American parents and allies from across the country and from South Korea together for the first time. This watershed event will be the first chance for parents from across the country to build community with one another and start a conversation around how to support their LGBTQ family members’ struggle for rights and acceptance. Professor Namsoon Kang from Brite Divinity School will give a keynote address on acceptance of LGBTQ people in Christian communities.

The goal of KARP’s initiative is to provide Korean American families, especially those with LGBTQ-identifying members, with tools and strategies to see beyond their initial feelings of guilt, shame, and fear – and to instead celebrate their loved ones and help make the world safer and more accepting for them.

The need for KARP’s national effort is tremendous: Even within the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community, LGBTQ Korean Americans face some of the strongest homophobic and transphobic pushback from their families and friends. Many cultural and historical forces drive Korean anti-LGBTQ sentiment. This has torn families apart, forced many Korean Americans to leave the community as they came out. And so far, there have been no known efforts by Korean American parents and allies to visibly support the LGBTQ community.

KARP – a coalition of accepting parents who openly support their LGBTQ kids – aims to change that. With the continued struggles of LGBTQ people in both South Korea and the U.S., it’s a crucial time for closeted parents and family members to come out in full solidarity with their LGBTQ loved ones.

Members of the media interested in learning more and/or attending both the New York City and Washington, D.C. events may contact Clara Yoon at karp.lgbtq@gmail.com. Interviews with Korean American parents and their LGBTQ loved ones may also be arranged by request.

NEW YORK CITY EVENT:
September 11, 2016
4-6 PM
The Least of These Church (Judson Memorial Church, Garden Room) , New York, NY 10012

WASHINGTON D.C. ALL-DAY SEMINAR:
October 15, 2016
Holy Cross Korean Episcopal Church
Fairfax, Virginia

These events are being sponsored or supported by following Korean American LGBTQ and Ally organizations:
Nabi USA – Washington DC (Butterfly for Hope Fund)
Coalition of Korean American (National and DC Chapter)
D.C. Korean Methodist Church
Holy Cross Korean Episcopal Church, Fairfax, Virginia
AAPI LGBTQ Parent Support Group of Greater Washington DC
API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG New York City (ARP PFLAG NYC)
The Least of These Church, New York, NY
Dari Project
National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)*

*NQAPIA is our fiscal sponsor.

CONTACT:

Clara Yoon – Korean American Rainbow Parents
Email: karp.lgbtq@gmail.com
Phone Number: 917.716.6705

Read PDF versions of the KARP Press Release in English or KARP Press Release in Korean.

韓裔同志社區組織與盟友們共同譴責鄭勝振之恐懼非異性戀者的言論

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2016
Media Contact: Mark Ro Beyersdorf, dariproject@gmail.com, (347) 669-2584
Organizational representatives are available for interviews

韓裔同志社區組織與盟友們共同譴責鄭勝振之恐懼非異性戀者的言論

針對州參議員參選人與韓裔社區領袖鄭勝振於8月29日刊登於紐約每日日報歧視非異性戀者的(同性戀者、雙性戀者、跨性別者、性別認同疑惑者, 英文簡稱LGBTQ)言論,韓裔同志社區組織、韓裔盟友們、以及亞太裔同志社區組織的共同聲明如下:

「鄭勝振對非異性戀族群的守舊看法,對於充滿各色各樣、非異性戀移民族群色彩的皇后區而言是落伍的。
身為韓裔非異性戀組織與其同盟,看見一位對韓裔社區有如此重大貢獻的人物發表對於非異性戀社群、婚姻以及公共教育的偏歧言論,我們深感失望。其從教科書中刪去非異性戀者存在的有害訴求,抹煞了尋求同為非異性戀者和韓裔身份認同的我們和我們家人的存在一樣。

當一個社區領袖,如鄭勝振,發表歧視同志以及跨性別(恐同、恐跨)的言論時,這無疑地將重創社區裡正在掙扎著出櫃的年輕人。身為一位社區領袖,鄭勝振有道德責任為這些年輕非異性戀族群發聲,而不是擴大守舊的偏見。

我們呼籲鄭先生徹底反省其言辭中的有害影響,重新評估他的立場,並與簽署此聲明的組織會面。」

此聲明及通信僅提供教育用途使用,並無黨派立場。不可作為支持或反對任何參選人或其辦公室的資料。

簽署者:

  • API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC (ARP PFLAG NYC)
  • Asian Pride Project
  • Dari Project
  • Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
  • Korean Americans for Political Advancement (KAPA)
  • Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP)
  • National Queer Asian and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
  • Q-WAVE

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[연대성명] 정승진 후보의 성소수자 차별 발언을 규탄한다

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2016
Media Contact: Mark Ro Beyersdorf, dariproject@gmail.com, (347) 669-2584
Organizational representatives are available for interviews

[연대성명] 정승진 후보의 성소수자 차별 발언을 규탄한다

지난 8월 29일 뉴욕 데일리 뉴스는 뉴욕 주 상원의원 후보이자 한인사회 리더인 정승진 후보의 반동성애적 발언에 대해 보도했다. 이에 한국계 성소수자 단체들, 이들을 지지하는 한인들, 그리고 아시안계 성소수자 단체들은 다음과 같이 성명을 발표한다:

“성소수자에 대해 정승진 후보가 보이는 시대착오적 시각은 성소수자인 이민자들이 활발한 공동체를 이루고 살아가는 퀸즈라는 공간의 특징을 완전히 거스르고 있다. 그간 한인 사회에 크게 기여해온 정치인이 성소수자 커뮤니티, 결혼 제도, 그리고 공교육에 관하여 이토록 편협한 입장을 드러냈다는 데, 우리 성소수자 한인과 지지자들은 참담한 심정을 금할 길 없다. 교과서에서 성소수자의 존재를 삭제해야 한다는 그의 주장은 몹시 위험하다. 성소수자이자 한인으로서 일상을 살아가는 당사자들과 이들의 가족이 지금 여기 퀸즈에 존재한다는 사실을 부정하는 것이기 때문이다.

정승진 후보와 같은 지역 사회의 정치인이 동성애 혐오와 트랜스젠더 혐오를 보이면 이는 해당 지역 사회에서 자신의 성소수자 정체성을 어떻게 드러내면 좋을지 고민하는 청소년과 청년들에게 무척 해롭다. 미국 전역에서도 다양한 문화가 공존하는 지역으로 손꼽히는 퀸즈의 정치인으로서, 정 후보는 구시대적 편견을 버리고 청소년 및 청년 성소수자들을 대변해야 할 도덕적 책무가 있다.

우리는 정 후보가 자신의 발언이 얼마나 유해한지 깊이 성찰하고, 본인이 기존에 견지해 온 성소수자 차별적 입장을 재검토하기를 요청한다. 나아가 본 성명서에 연대 서명한 단체들과 만나 대화하기를 권고한다.”

해당 문건과 관련 소통은 교육적 목적만을 지니며 철저히 비당파적이고 초정파적이다.
특정 공직 후보를 지지하거나 반대할 목적으로 작성된 문건이 아님을 밝혀둔다.

한국계 성소수자와 지지 단체의 연대 성명 명단:

  • PFLAG NYC 아시아-태평양 무지개 부모모임 (ARP PFLAG NYC)
  • 아시안 프라이드 프로젝트
  • 다리 프로젝트
  • 뉴욕 아시아-태평양 게이 남성모임 (GAPIMNY)
  • 한인 정치 발전회 (KAPA)
  • 한국계 미국인 무지개 부모모임 (KARP)
  • 미주 아시아-태평양 퀴어 연대 (NQAPIA)
  • Q-WAVE

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LGBTQ Korean American Groups and Allies Condemn S.J. Jung’s Remarks on LGBTQ Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2016
Media Contact: Mark Ro Beyersdorf, dariproject@gmail.com, (347) 669-2584
Organizational representatives are available for interviews

LGBTQ Korean American Groups and Allies Condemn S.J. Jung’s Remarks on LGBTQ Communities

Following the New York Daily News’ report of homophobic remarks made by S.J. Jung, a candidate for the New York State Senate and Korean American community leader, LGBTQ Korean American organizations, joined by allied Korean American and LGBTQ Asian American & Pacific Islander organizations, have issued the following statement:

“S.J. Jung’s backwards remarks about LGBTQ people are out of sync with a place as diverse as Queens, which has a vibrant LGBTQ immigrant community. As LGBTQ Korean Americans, their family members and their allies, we are deeply disappointed to see a man who has done such important work in Korean American communities express such bigotry around LGBTQ communities, marriage and public education. His harmful wish to literally erase LGBTQ people from school text books ignores the existence of people like us and our families, who live every day at the intersection of LGBTQ and Korean identities.

“When community leaders like Jung make homophobic and transphobic remarks, it is absolutely devastating to young people in their communities who are struggling to come out. As a community leader, Jung has a moral responsibility to be a voice for these LGBTQ young people–not a megaphone for outdated bigotry.

“We urge Jung to think long and hard about the damaging impact of his words, reevaluate the positions he has taken, and meet with the organizations that have signed onto this statement.”

Organizations that have signed this statement are listed below:

  • Dari Project
  • Korean Americans United for Equality (KUE)
  • Korean American Rainbow Parents (KARP)
  • Korean Americans for Political Advancement (KAPA)
  • Asian Pacific Islander Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC
  • National Queer Asian American and Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
  • Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
  • Q-WAVE
  • Asian Pride Project

This statement and correspondence is for educational purposes only and is strictly nonpartisan. It should in no way be construed to oppose or support any candidate for elected office.

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