Happy Wednesday! And you know what that means? I'm back again, and this time, I'm covering a subject that I've wanted to for quite a while, and I've been given the opportunity to do so from someone on the forums. This article will be filled more with factual information than my opinions on the topic, so sit back and grab something keep yourself awake, because you're going to learn some things today.
I think the first thing I need to explain when going over this question is the general view of homosexuality in Korea.
Unlike what many people believe, homosexuality is not completely shunned by Korean society. Of course, you will have those who don't accept of it, but you will also have those who don't have any thoughts on it as well as those who are in full support of it.
Most of the negativity about homosexuality in Korea comes from the older generations, who were raised to believe that it was 'unnatural' or 'wrong'. However, starting in early 2000, people, especially the younger generations, have become much more accepting about the subject with more and more representation in dramas and in the media.
One thing that many people that I've read of or listened to accounts of have come across people that they've talked to that believed that 'homosexuality does not exist in Korea'. They believe that; yes, it does exist, just not in Korea.
Another popular belief that goes along with this is that homosexuality is a 'disease brought over by foreigners'. However, the interesting thing is, if you look back into Korean history, you can find many accounts of famous homosexual historical figures.
Because of things like this circulating Korean society, many people are scared to come out. Even though there are places that are open to homosexuality such as Itaewon (the home of 'Homo Hill') and Hongdae (mainly lebian focused with 'women-only' bars), there is still the fear of coming out because it may be detrimental to your future and your relationships with family and friends.
In Seoul, there are Gay-Pride parades that are held to help these people, but visitors are warned not to take pictures of people at the parades or to upload these pictures to social media because they could be fired if their boss sees them. Many people, foreigners and Koreans, aren't open about their sexuality in their workplace because of this reason.
There are a few famous celebrities that are good examples of this. Probably the most well known and also the first entertainer to come out as being gay was Hong Suk Chun. The repercussions that came as a result were devastating. He got death threats, he lost many of his friends, his network fired him, and he wasn't allowed on television until 2007.
As a result of losing his job, Hong Suk Chun opened a chain of popular restaurants in Seoul such as; My Noodles, My Chelsea, My X, and My Thai, where Jessica of SNSD was spotted once along with many other idols.
|Even 13 years after coming out, he cried on public television and said, "I feel lonely and painful, and regret coming-out"|
Even though he made the most out of his experience, he still faces many troubles today. Even now, he cries on public television when recounting his story and his hardships. His parents still don't accept him for who he is, and "hope that he becomes normal and settles down with a woman and has a nice family".
In 2008, Hong Suk Chun helped to host the variety show 'Coming Out', where people would openly talk about their sexuality and their experiences. However, programs like these often got shut down and run-off-air quickly because of the reactions of Korean netizens on forums.
Going back to the subject of Hong Suk Chun's parents, this is not very uncommon in Korea. As I discussed in the first 'Let's Talk', parents often pressure their children (primarily their daughters) to get married and have a family. This makes many Koreans scared to come out to their parents because they don't want to upset them, and are eventually forced into heterosexual marriages. It is not uncommon that these people have affairs on the side of their marriage with the gender of their preference.
|Harisu, only the second Korean citizen to register as transgender|
I can't really say for certain if idols know who is gay among them, though there's probably at least one or two of them who are in the closet, or have told one of their fellow group members. However, if they have, their members know well not to tell anyone and keep it 'hush-hush' to try and protect their fellow member.
I'd like to know:
- Where you live, is homosexuality generally accepted, or is it seen as a taboo subject?
- And which idols do you think are gay/lesbian?
As always, if you want a subject to be covered, either leave it in the comments section below or leave it at my ask.fm. Talk to you again next week!