Elwood 5566

Being Gay in Korea

Posted in 'Westernization' of Korea by 노강호 on April 16, 2011

I never heard the word ‘gay’ uttered by Korean students ten years ago, now ‘gay,’ ‘ fuck.’ ‘mother fucker,’ and as of yesterday ‘lezzie,’ are all entering the Korean 13 year old’s lexicon. Not too far down the line and it will be tarty thongs for 10 year old’s and dose of chlamydia or gonorrhea to raise teen kudos. Gay liberation coming to Korea is a great thing, but much of the rest of the western cultural baggage  and western values will eventually result in Korea, like many others places simply becoming a suburb of which ever country is culturally dominant – currently this is USA but China is an up and coming contender.

Is it posed? No idea. But its cute!

In the duration, if you’re wanting to check out the Korean gay scene you might want to try the following resources:

Utopia Asia

Between Friends (chingu-sai)

For a brief insight the history of homosexuality in Korea and some academic sources: see the abstract: Homosexuality in Ancient and Modern Korea

Creative Commons License

© 林東哲 2011 Creative Commons Licence.


4 Responses

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  1. Joshua said, on April 17, 2011 at 5:30 am

    i don’t get it. you mean, gay liberation as in civil rights, making a mark in the society and stuff, or gay liberation as in the flood of all the promiscuity, hook-ups, flings, cruising, and inevitably, STDs (STIs in some countries they call, i heard)? BTW, i’m a 20-something Korean, and also a closet case.

    • Nick said, on April 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

      Joshua, I didn’t make it too clear especially if you are unaware of the broader context of my blog. Yes, I do mean civil rights. As for other less than wholesome I mean things such as the increasing westernization of Korea which leads many to seek cosmetic surgery, the increasing obesity, anti-intellectualism and the basic ‘dumbing down’ of society, etc. If I was writing a longer post I would indeed have mentioned some of the sexual aspects, eg, promiscuity.

      The west has many great advantages but is also truly fucked up and though we appear sexually liberated and ‘advanced’ we are often quite the opposite. Talk to many westerners about Korean bathhouses, or what comprises masculinity and you will very quickly get a sense of our strange values/morality. We cannot choose what cultural components to include and which to leave out and of course, Korea will retain some of its uniqueness in this process.

  2. Tommy said, on September 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    It’s funny the things that pop up in Google Search! I was looking for images of tubu chorim, one of my favorite Korean dishes, and this photo popped up! Hahah, awesome! And what a coincidence, as today happens to be the first official post-Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell day for the US military.

    • 林東哲 said, on September 21, 2011 at 1:49 am

      Thanks for your response. I watched the video on your site which brought back memories as I too came out in the British Army – twenty years ago!

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