Life and Death in Queer Korea


Eine Artikelreihe auf The GULLY über die Situation Schwuler und Lesben in Korea, einem der konservativsten asiatischen Länder.
Life and Death in Queer Korea. Intro: Appetite for Conformity – Isolated South Korea fears and rejects difference, Part 1: A Queer Exorcism – How religion and violence shadow lgbt Koreans, Part 2: Homo Koreanus – Under the official microscope, Part 3: Civil Rights and Wrongs – Taking on Korean law, imagination, and Internet.

„I remember very clearly the first time my cell phone rang late at night on the Spring of 1995. I answered it and a male voice hissed in my ear, „Go burn in hell!“ The next night, another anonymous phone voice spat, „I‘m gonna kill you.“

Almost every night for a year my cell phone was bombarded with hateful, threatening voices. I had done something terrible and dirty. I had become a public homosexual, co-founding Come Together, South Korea’s first queer student activist group.

My life on campus changed. Violence became a daily possibility, sometimes a reality. Once, friends whom I had known since elementary school physically assaulted me for being a gay man.

That Fall I organized the first Sexual Politics Festival on campus. Right after the festival started, a group of Christian fundamentalist students holding red crosses marched on the LGBT students‘ exhibit. They circled our kiosks, praying and singing hymns. I realized they were reenacting that passage in the Book of Joshua where God tells the people to circle the town of their enemies seven times while praying and when they do so the town is demolished by God’s hand. In this case, when the kiosks didn‘t come tumbling down, the Christian fundamentalists tried to smash them with their crosses. „