Around this time every year, an event to fight discrimination against sexual minorities is held. This year, there is a bit of controversy as the opening ceremony is set to take place in one of the highest-traffic and public areas in the country, the Seoul Plaza.
The Korea Queer Festival is an event that has been held every year in Seoul since 2000. The organizers announced that for the first time in 16 years, the opening ceremony will be held in Seoul Plaza. However, the Korean Christian Alliance and other conservative groups are protesting against this, arguing that this is ‘encouraging’ homosexuality.
Kim Kyu Ho, the secretary general of the “Homosexuality Issue Countermeasures Board,” said, “Festival and gatherings for homosexuals should be held in their private place. It’s not right to bare themselves in front of many members of the public and make people feel revolted.”
However, the Korea Queer Festival staff maintain that they expect more than 20,000 people to come out, that they chose the spacious Seoul Plaza for safety reasons, and that there should be no problems. The organizer of the group, Kang Myung Jin, said, “To live as a member of society, we have to let our presence and our voices be known. This is going to be foundation for us to be able to coexist.”
There are mixed reactions by the public, some saying, “Why are they following foreign cultures? We never had these types of things happen and suddenly they want to do something like this.” Others like Yang Eun Bin remain much more tolerant, saying, “I think it’s great that they’re putting themselves out there and expressing themselves freely. It will take a long time but I hope they will be protected by law someday.”
The City of Seoul itself says that there are no problems with the event and that it followed the necessary steps. They also revealed that they are planning to make sure that there are no safety issues during the event.
Find out more about the Korea Queer Festival 2015 on their official website.