The Short Story
KaeLyn Rich is a queer feminist, a direct action organizer, a nonprofit leader, a word wrangler, and a sexuality educator. Her community organizing experience dates back to stuffing folders for her parents’ union meetings around the dining room table. She’s an adoptee immigrant from South Korea, a comfort food foodie, and a persistent devotee of the Oxford comma. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit.
The Long Read
KaeLyn is the Assistant Advocacy Director for Chapters of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). From 2011-2017, she was the director of the Genesee Valley Chapter of the NYCLU and served on the Genesee Valley Chapter board of directors for three years before coming on staff.
Like many millenials, KaeLyn has several additional jobs.
She’s a freelance writer and author, celebrating the publication of her first book, Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activist, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution, a YA activism handbook she published with Quirk Books. She’s a staff writer for the popular queer online publication, Autostraddle, where she writes biweekly columns on community organizing and queer parenting and other various content about queer politics, life, and culture. Her writing has been featured on Everyday Feminism, Feministe, Sex. Justice. Change., and in other online publications.
Her creative work was showcased at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference as part of the 2004 Creative Writing Series. In 2012, KaeLyn was co-editor of the inaugural edition of the ImageOutWrite Literary Journal, a collection of writing by and about LGBTQ authors. She penned a monthly queer women’s health column, The Vagina Dialogues, in the Empty Closet from 2007-2010. In 2014, she contributed to an article on feminist praxis in student leadership programs published in Feminist Community Engagement: Achieving Praxis (Palgrave Macmillan).
KaeLyn is a former professional speaker on sexuality and LGBTQ issues. From 2011-2015, she traveled to colleges and universities across the United States with Sex Discussed Here, co-presenting funny, smart, honest lectures and programs about sexual health and responsible intimacy, safer sex, LGBTQI+ issues and much more.
From 2005-2011, KaeLyn was the community affairs coordinator at Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region (currently known as Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York), where she was responsible for legislative advocacy, government relations, coalition building and the regional campus organizing program. She has also worked at Services to Aid Families, a rape crisis/domestic violence program in rural Central New York and at various jobs in the service industry.
KaeLyn is a founding board member and the first volunteer co-trainer of Connect & Breathe, a taboo-breaking after-abortion talkline. She served on the board of ImageOut: the Rochester LGBT Film & Video Festival for six years, during which served on various committees from strategic planning to special events and watched a gazillion LGBTQ+ films. She also previously served on the state board of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York.
KaeLyn holds B.A. degrees in women’s studies and English from SUNY College at Oswego and a M.A. in Liberal Studies degree from SUNY College at Brockport with an emphasis on feminist intersectionality in the nonprofit sector. She completed a graduate certificate in nonprofit management at SUNY College at Brockport in 2009. She was an inaugural 2011 National Council for Research on Women (currently known as Re:Gender) young professional fellow of their “Building the Next Generation of Women in the Nonprofit Sector” program. She is currently an adjunct instructor for women and gender studies classes at local colleges including SUNY College at Brockport and the University of Rochester.