SOUTH KOREA: Just Short of Wedding Bells

RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – The South Korean LGBT community has struggled with discrimination throughout the country’s history, but there are some signs that the tide is changing. In May, South Korean film director Kim Jho Gwang-soo revealed plans to hold a ceremony in September to celebrate the commitment between him and his partner, Dave Kim.

Gwang-soo and Kim are holding the ceremony in lieu of a wedding because LGBT couples are still unable to legally wed in South Korea. The couple hopes their ceremony will bring more attention to the inequality and lead to the government passing laws guaranteeing equality.

Gwang-soo is the first South Korean celebrity to come out since Hong Suk-chon revealed he was homosexual in 2000. Unfortunately, Suk-chon was met with public backlash and his career went downhill. Luckily, South Korea’s citizens have received the recent couple’s announcement positively, which shows that public opinion has changed for the better.

Other signs that South Korea may be opening itself up to the LGBT community include the popularity of LGBT-themed television shows and movies. Further, some current celebrities are also transgender. Hopefully this openness with the media will soon be reflected by the nation’s government.

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