Only men gay Incheon South Korea
He was raised by a devout Protestant mother and taught that being gay meant burning in hell. He listened fearfully in church as the pastor preached that homosexuality was a sin and encouraging it would bring disease. But despite being fired and made homeless because of his sexuality, he holds out hope South Korea can change. He proudly showed me his T-shirt with a special rainbow logo on it, one that calls for an anti-discrimination law.
He believes a more permanent solution must be found to tackle the danger these young people face - and that involves fighting for a new law.
Homosexuality may not be illegal in South Korea - since it is no longer classified as "harmful and obscene" - but discrimination remains widespread. Just under half of South Koreans don't want a gay friend, neighbour or colleague, according to one nationwide survey by The Korea Social Integration Survey. The proportion of gay and lesbian teenagers who have been exposed to violence is also high. Kim Wook-suk knows this all too well. His mother, he says, kept trying to "save him", but her actions meant he feared his own family at times.
I was forced to go through some of these therapies, however there were times I manage to avoid them and escaped. Kim was always looking over his shoulder. He was alone in a park late at night when he was approached by a man who told him homosexuality was an unforgiveable sin and he should return home to his parents, before beating him with a bamboo stick. Right now in South Korea we don't have institutionalised measures to respond to discriminatory situations.
But the same can be said for the opposite side. The Protestant Christian Community is so concerned that homosexuality will be accepted in South Korea that it has decided to hold its first "real love" event in Busan - just a month after the Queer Festival organisers were forced to cancel their own event in the city. In September, this influential church group turned up at the Queer Festival in Incheon, South Korea's second biggest city, in their thousands. A huge screen was placed near the Queer Festival square blasting a warning video claiming that encouraging homosexuality would spread Aids and cost tax payers millions.
Getting to the Queer Festival square involved squeezing through lines of protestors offering a barrage of verbal abuse.
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Among the protestant Christians was Menorah. All day, until dark, she yelled through her megaphone from different positions around Incheon.
Virus outbreak linked to Seoul clubs popular with LGBT community stokes homophobia
We are not here to blame other people, because we really love our neighbours. Just watching them going to hell is not true love. If we truly loved them, we should say the good news and stop them from going to hell. I put it to her that perhaps she should listen to them rather than shout at them. But she was adamant. We should shout, because we don't have time. It is an emergency problem. But as the protesters yelled, two foreigners opted to show their solidarity by kissing in public outside the Festival square. Third wave of Covid looms in Japan as country preps for Olympic games.
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What it could take to deliver a Covid vaccine to the world. See mass testing scene in UK's Covid hotspot. Italian company sees US citizenship applicants quadruple since Boris Johnson: England will enter second national lockdown. More than cases have been linked to nightlife venues in the South Korean capital, and on Saturday, Seoul ordered all clubs and bars to temporarily close. The cluster has caused alarm in South Korea, which was among the first countries outside of China to deal with a large-scale coronavirus outbreak.
In recent weeks, however, authorities had begun loosening restrictions as case numbers fell.
The suggestion that the outbreak is linked to the city's gay scene has sparked a huge backlash against the LGBTQ community, including the year-old man believed to be at the center of the cluster. Local media has emphasized his sexual orientation and reported that the clubs he visited are gay venues, although the venues do not openly describe themselves as such on their official websites or social media accounts.
Renewed outbreaks in South Korea, Germany and China show continued risk as more countries seek to reopen. Read More.
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That reaction could make contact tracing harder, with people afraid to be associated with the LGBTQ community and having their sexuality outed. Although all three venues linked to the cluster asked for customers' full names and phone numbers on arrival, the city has been unable to contact almost 2, club-goers -- meaning they either avoided the calls or gave a false number, Seoul's mayor Park Won-soon said Monday.
The city has had to employ other measures to track them. Using phone signal tower records, the city found that 10, people were in the vicinity of the clubs in the nightlife suburb of Itaewon between April 24 and May 6. Authorities have texted them all, saying they should get tested. Officials have also used credit cards to track almost people, who have been asked to get tested and self-quarantine. The number of people who had been tested had nearly doubled between Sunday and Monday, after authorities began offering anonymous tests, Park said Tuesday.
A couple wearing face masks walk past a night club, now closed following a visit by a confirmed Covid coronavirus patient, in the popular nightlife district of Itaewon in Seoul on May 10, On May 7, the man tested positive for Covid At the time when the man went to the clubs, South Korea was still under strict social distancing rules, and citizens were encouraged to stay home and limit unnecessary contact with others. Those social distancing rules were lifted on May 6. KCDC deputy director Kwon Joon-wook said Tuesday that there are now two people identified as first showing symptoms on May 2 and said the Itaewon cluster may have "various epicenters or sources.
In the camp world of K-pop, it's hard for stars to be gay. Under non-inforceable pandemic reporting guidelines that were drafted by Korea's journalist associations, media are told to avoid violating patients' privacy and using sensational language in reporting.
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But as the news broke, several South Korean media organizations reported that the bars the year-old had visited were gay bars. That detail, coupled with the already-publicly available information about the man's age, district of residence, and movements, meant that the media had effectively outed him, potentially putting his employment at risk. South Korean authorities have urged the public not to target individuals or specific communities. Kwon said it was important to protect the personal information of those infected, and South Korean authorities have warned that leaking personal information of Covid patients could also be a criminal offense.