Been awhile since i last posted so i will post a few more posts as is my habit to post alot after a loooong lull. I hope more people leave comments, as u can tell my blog has a variety of posts relating to all kinds of topics of interest to me and so it can't really be classified into any of the conventional categories for blogs such as 'korea blogs' or 'chinese blogs' or 'history blogs' or 'women's blogs' cos i post on a range of issues....u can find all different kinds of posts dealing with issues ranging from women's rights, the chinese dress, japanese war compensation and apology, to korea and south korea's current trends and film reviews and gay issues...so u can find everything here whereas in other blogs they will prob only deal with one specific issue only...such as gay stuff for 'gay blogs' and korea stuff for 'korea blogs'...yes i know i am shameless and conceited but i am proud of my little blog here so pls feel free to comment liberally, all constructive comments are welcome....The few posts below are part of my continuing series on 'Homosexuality in Asia' and part of the 'Gay Korea' series which is to inform the greater public on the gay side of South Korea given that i have interest in both South Korea and gay issues, i thought of matching the two up and given the dire lack of info on gay korea (as opposed to gay china and gay japan) out there in english...hope u find it interesting!.
Group Denounces Abuse of Gay Conscript Chosun Ilbo Article (February 16 2006)
A coalition of civic groups has denounced the treatment of gays in the Korean military. The leader of Solidarity for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Human Rights of Korea, one of the groups, on Wednesday told reporters of the case of one private who asked to speak to his superiors about his homosexuality and was asked to bring photographic evidence showing him having sex with another man (ridiculous lar!) He was in effect the victim of sexual harassment, the leader said.
The Human Rights Network called on the government to resolve the issue, saying the incident was a clear example that the military is in a blind spot in terms of human rights abuses, and demonstrates just how serious human rights abuses of homosexual soldiers have become. A spokesman for the military said the forces await for the outcome of an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission. He said the private petitioned the NHRC on Feb. 9, and the watchdog has been investigating the facts at the unit where the incident took place since Tuesday. Depending on the results, the military will decide whether to launch its own investigation.
HIV-Positive Man Held for Endangering Sex Partners Chosun Ilbo Article (13th March 2006)
An HIV-positive man has been arrested for having sex with other men without warning them that he was infected with the virus, police said Friday. Incheon Metropolitan Police said the 24-year old, who contracted the virus through homosexual contact in 2002, is charged with having high-risk sex with seven men he met through an Internet forum in 2004.
Police said the man had sex with another, whom he had met online, at a hotel in Incheon as recently as a week ago. Police quoted him as saying he was unable to suppress his sexual urges and had sex “even though I knew I shouldn’t.”
The arrest came as part of a crackdown on obscene websites( in S.Korea laws banning dangerous sites for children and minors have been used to shut down certain korean gay sites and restrict access to others by requiring keying in ID no and 21 yrs above requirement as 'gay material' is considered 'harmful' to children and minors) Police have asked health authorities to test the man’s sexual partners for the virus and are determining whether there were others.
A Good Time for Gay Movies in East and West Chosun Ilbo Article (March 13 2006)
Planning on “coming out?” Now might be a good time, as a slew of recent hot-topic movies produced and released in Korea, the U.S. and Japan are drawing attention to the topic of same-sex love affairs and perhaps making the idea more accessible to the conservative masses.
Above all, the recent hit Korean movie "The King and the Clown" just became the biggest blockbuster of all time here by attracting more than 11.8 million viewers nationwide as of last week( this has been the talk of town in South Korea for the past few months and is ground-breaking given that it is a gay themed film and a gay themed film has become South Korea's No1 Box Office in its entire 60 yr history smashing even the well known 'Taegukki' by JDG and Won Bin, i will post more on this film when i have a chance to see it when it comes to the korean DVD rental here which i am sure it will most definitely). It focuses on King Yeonsan (Chung Jin-young) and his love for the clown Gong-gil (Lee Joon-ki). The milestone puts the movie ahead of patriotic blockbusters like "Silmido" or "Taegukgi." Homosexual themes, however, are fairly discreetly woven into the tapestry of the film, even if the original Korean title itself -- which translates as “The King’s Man” -- is fairly unequivocal in its connotations.
In Hollywood, "Brokeback Mountain" directed by Ang Lee has been no stranger to public controversy either. Set on a ranch in Wyoming, the movie deals with the love shared between two cowboys -- not an icon one would usually associate with homosexuality. Its commercial success, too, has gone beyond all expectations, with the film picking up four Golden Globes and Lee’s winning the Oscar for Best Director. Back in the East, "La Maison de Himiko," which deals with a gay man in love with a straight woman, an unusual topic even for an art film, drew some 30,000 viewers in three months since its release in Japan in October.
So far, homosexuality has been dealt with mostly in independent movies. In Korean society, which traditionally doesn’t look to kindly on gay relationships, the success of "The King and the Clown" therefore seems an even more exceptional feat. The major force of the movie lies in its solid storyline, but the kiss scene between Chung Jin-young and Lee Joon-ki( LJK has become immensely popular in SK from being a nobody to many a high school girl's dream boy, he is part of the new wave 'pretty boy' look popular with some korean girls, indeed he looks ALOT like a woman, many a western expat from the korea blogs have commented 'why the heck would any guy wanna look like him?' i admit he isn't my cup of tea too but i always think the greater the diversity the better! the West should pick up this trend of 'pretty boys' which is popular in South Korea and also Japan for the sake of giving women more options.)seems so natural that viewers almost forget to squirm. That such stories have moved into the mainstream can be attributed to the watchwords of cultural diversity and political tolerance of the early 2000s. The film critic Shim Young-seop says the result has been mighty step forward for Korea, which now seems able to approach homosexuals as human beings.
(this just goes to show how much times have changed, i mean would anyone in their right minds have ever thought a mere 10 yrs back that a gay themed movie could become deeply Christian and Confucianist South Korea's No1 Box Office hit of all time ...i think NOT!)
Below is my translation on a Japanese piece dealing with Gays in Korea's Military (note its just a summary translation of the gist of the article, not a word for word one, and i am proud i have come to be able to read Japanese articles, newspapers, novels,etc esp after my exchange in Tokyo last year, sad to say the same can't be said about my speaking skills which are like still at primary level,hehe)
ニュース from Gay Japan Web (a very useful Japanese language resource by the way)
韓国LGBT人権連合（Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea）のファン・ジャンクォン氏は、今月の初めに一人のゲイ兵士から助けを求められていたことを明らかにした。その兵士は、ゲイであることを証明するために性交渉の際の写真を強制的に提出させられただけでなく、同意無しにエイズ検査も受けさせられ、軍当局は彼のプライバシーを保護しなかったという。彼は除隊を望んでおり、同連合も彼を早期に除隊させる方向で動いているという。
韓国性暴力救済センター（Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center）もまた、軍隊内でのゲイ兵士に対する差別を激しく非難しており、ゲイ兵士を任務から除外する規定を変更するよう要求している。厳格な儒教とカトリックの影響の強い韓国において同性愛がある程度受け入れられてきたのはここ数年のことである。韓国では現在、独裁的な王と2人の道化師を巻き込んだゲイの三角関係を描いた映画『王の男』が大ヒットを記録し話題を呼んでいる。
English Translation: In 2005, the Korean military has admitted that 8 gay soldiers were expelled from the korean military on the grounds of their homosexuality which was first reported in a local media. This is the 1st time that the Korean military has publicly revealed that it does keep a record of the number of soldiers expelled from the military on the grounds of homosexuality. Although the Korean Military Law does not allow for gay men's entry into the military, due to the compulsory national service in SK, all men must do 2 yrs compulsory service. The military officials have to talk with men who proclaim that they are gay as well as seek the advice of medical professionals to ascertain whether or not those who say they are gay are genuine cases or merely attempting to escape from military service. A Korean NGO has said this month, there was a case of a private who was asked to produce photographic evidence of him havinf sex with another man to prove his homosexuality as well as forced to take an AIDS test, thus the military having failed to protect his privacy. The KSVRC has severely criticised discrimination against gays in the korean military and have requested that the rules whereby gay soldiers must be expelled be amended. In strongly Confucianistic and Catholic South Korea, the acceptance of gays to a certain level has only occured in these few yrs. In South Korea currently, the film about a ruthless dictatorial King and his gay relationship with 2 clowns has become a huge hit.
Ok one thought i have is how does the military decide who is gay and who isn't? Do they just pick out the effeminate looking ones? I mean how do they found out or do gay soldiers just volunteer the information? I remember reading somewhere that the famous Korean transgendered singer HaRiSoo managed to skip NS by getting a doctor to write that she had 'severe mental problems' which is one of the only ways to get exempted given the korean military doesn't like exempting ppl. This definition in itself is a problem given that by categorizing gays as those with 'severe mental problems' they are put in a similar category as to schizos and deranged people...
Well, hope the above gave my readers some more insight into Gay Korea and gay related issue currently in South Korea.......
AND LASTLY....PrinzJ i still have no reply from u, dun u wanna know ur senior in law school?i realised like what u said there aren't alot of malaysians in law school as compared to sg,etc...at least even if u refuse to give an email, have the courtesy to reply and give me some dumbass excuse, but not replying at all is NOT going to give me a good impression, still like a contact but dun wanna lose a loyal reader....so either give me a contact or give me a dumbass excuse, either way a reply means u will continue to be very welcome to leave comments here, not replying however will be just the opposite.....this shall be my last attempt....
15 hours ago