John is a queer 2nd-generation Korean American cis man who lives in Berkeley, California. For nearly 30 years, John has been an activist, advocate, facilitator, and leader in communities and movements addressing LGBTQ rights, racial justice, immigrant organizing, and HIV/AIDS/community health. In the 1990s, he worked in HIV/AIDS prevention for youth through peer education, activism, and direct action with ACT UP/NY. He was a member of early Korean LGBTQ groups in New York in the 1990s and 2000s including Chingusai and Iban/Queer Koreans of New York. In 2004, he co-founded the Dari Project which published the first bilingual stories by Korean LGBTs and their families.
He currently serves in leadership of KQTx National Network which began with the 2018 KQTcon national conference which took place in New York City. He has served on multiple Boards of Directors, including The Audre Lorde Project, CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, and Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT). Professionally John is a Human-Centered Designer at IDEO, a global design and innovation company, where he co-leads the Last Mile Money CoLab, an innovation program focused on promoting financial inclusion for low-income people in emerging markets.
Samuel (he/him) is a 2nd gen Korean American gay cis man born and raised in Madison, WI. Sam has been cultivating new roots in Washington, D.C. for the past two years while working at the Human Rights Campaign. To him, love and community encompass labor rights, his used bike, and copious amounts of tea.
Young Sun Han
NYC / Portland, ME
Young Sun Han (he/they) is a queer/genderqueer 2nd gen Korean-American and permanent resident of New Zealand. They grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and is based in Brooklyn, New York and Maine. Young is an artist, performer, and part-time lecturer at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
They are passionate about combining their background in the arts and grassroots fundraising to create unique events that bring communities together and generate resources for positive change (e.g. nastywomenexhibition.org). As a descendent of North Korean refugees, Young’s art and research also concerns issues of demilitarization, reunification, and political action to formally end the Korean War as a member of the Korea Peace Network. He loves to cook pan-Asian recipes and is currently learning American Sign Language.
Dahn Bi Lee-Hong
Dahn Bi Lee-Hong (they/them) is a non-binary, queer second generation Korean American artist and organizer. Born in Oakland, California and raised in Los Angeles, Dahn Bi moved to Boston in 2012 where they studied at Simmons College (now University) for four years. In 2016, Dahn Bi co-founded ANGRY ASIAN GIRLS, a collective dedicated to community building and the sustainable empowerment of API young people through art and activism.
Their work explores the intersections of racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and communal liberation and has been featured at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Converse Headquarters, UMass Amherst, and the Boston Globe. Dahn Bi is passionate about the color blue, allowing folks to lovingly step into the fullness of themselves, and cooking meals with their friends.
Mi Row (they/them) is a queer, genderqueer, 1.5 gen Korean American born in Seoul, raised in Cleveland suburbs, *refined* in Columbus, and moving on up in Chicago! ;) Mi is currently working at the HANA Center, serving the immigrant & undocumented communities of Chicagoland. Growing up in a small, majority white suburb, Mi finally took the space to explore and begin to process their Korean Americanness at Ohio State. Through mentors, mentees, and transformative friendships, they are learning how to create & maintain healthy communities. Mi is a proud advocate of therapy, holing up in blankets, and homecooked meals. They spend most of their free time playing games with friends, reading manga, embroidering their newest project, or working on their spiritual practice.
Sandy (he/they) is a 2nd gen Korean American person of Queer and Transgender experience based in Queens, NYC. Sandy first came into KQT organizing as a facilitator serving the core organizing team of KQTcon 2018. Sandy was also a presenter at KQTcon, moderating a conversation on the intersections of spirituality and social justice, where topics such as the Donghak Peasant Rebellion and Minjung Theology were discussed to illuminate the roots and relevance of Koreans struggling and mobilizing towards emancipation.
Prior to serving in leadership with KQTx National Network, Sandy served as the co-founder and director of New Women Space, a community-based event space in Brooklyn, NY where 100% of programming is created by and for women, transgender, gender non-conforming individuals. Sandy believes in movement building as an ever-emergent process of relationship-making, moving at the speed of our trust, our well-being, and our connectedness to heart.
Janghoon (he/him) is a 1.5 gen Korean (not American yet!) living in Durham, NC! He was born in Seoul, Korea, and he moved to the U.S. in 2002. He works at a lab in Duke University, studying transplantation science, but he’s also been helping organize some LGBTQ+ student groups at Duke. He also has been a part of LGBTQ+ communities around Durham, such as Triangle Asian and Pacific Islander Queers (TAPIQ) and House of Coxx.
He also dabbles in drag as Lil’ Dumpling, learning about self-expression, creativity, self-love, genderbending and more! My favorite kind of food is Korean, of course, but I really do love all kinds of food. My favorite soft drink is boba (with taro milk tea), evidenced by my nickname, “Boba Monster.”
Pauline (they/them) is a genderqueer lesbian and 2nd generation Korean American living in Seattle, WA, where they have been for the past 14 years. Pauline is currently in their first year at the University of Washington pursuing a Master of Social Work and plans to go into community mental health and/or private practice for counseling upon graduating. Their current internship focuses on care and case management for Indian American seniors.
They are passionate about health disparities for people of color, having worked in global health for six years, and especially mental health care utilization and alternative resources for QTBIPOC communities. Much of their volunteer experience and community leadership comes from working with churches and other faith-based organizations for the past decade, including Seattle Progressive Asian American Christians and Beloved Arise.
Pauline can talk for one million years about social justice, cats and animal welfare, kpop, Ghibli movies, TV shows, therapy, any of the previous topics as "therapy," and also vegan food.
Tate (they/them) is a genderqueer transmasc biracial Korean individual living in Brooklyn, New York. They were born and raised in Minnesota. Another part of their identity is being a youth worker (previously at GLSEN, The City of Saint Paul, and Youthprise) in which they have focused on building opportunities for queer and trans youth to thrive, be joyful, lead, feel at home in their bodies, and be proud of their differences. At their most recent job they created resources and managed youth engagement trainings for volunteer Chapter programming throughout the U.S. They’re currently working on their Masters in Social Work at Hunter! They also love plants, cartoons, cooking, and their cat Tortellini.