Rose Wong grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and spent her early years as the ambitious, quiet, “only son” of a Chinese-immigrant family. At the age of 15, having found she was ill-suited to becoming a man, Rose began coming out as a queer trans woman. During her senior year of high school, Rose applied to Smith College (a historical women’s college), and the school twice refused to read her application based on the “male” gender marker on her financial aid papers. In response, she started a national campaign which led to over 12 women’s colleges– including Smith–to adopt trans woman inclusive policies. Her activist work has been featured in Time, The New York Times, and other media outlets. As she connected with labor activists and feminists of color during the campaign, she broadened her understanding of systemic oppression and began considering ways she could help marginalized communities to thrive: this is what brought her activist heart to medicine. Rose graduated from the University of Connecticut as a pre-medical-track English major. At Stanford Medicine, she planned to pursue an MD/MPH degree, and to one day serve as a clinical academic caring for patients’ hormonal health while contributing research to nonprofits that benefit LGBT youth. She was especially interested in improving trans health outcomes, finding out the long-term effects of hormone therapies, and working to ensure that the next generation inherits a health care system that serves all of us.
Rose is remembered as a dear friend and fierce advocate for the trans* community who was an inspiration to many.