Monday, February 22, 2010

Gumtree and Gay Men...焦树与同志....ガムトリーと同性愛者...

This post is inspired by the 2 ads I saw on Gumtree Sydney in the past couple of, there's alot of overseas students wanting to do language exchanges in Sydney and I check out the language exchange board quite often recently as I was looking for Japanese language exchange partners to restart my Japanese skills after a stop of several years. But then sometimes I will check out other ppl's ads for languages completely irrelevant to me. And, I notice alot of Korean international students wanting to do exchanges..(cos there's tons of koreans in sydney)...and i came across 2 ads by korean international male students..most were unremarkable, nothing fancy, but these 2 got my attention..the 1st time was one from this korean dude whom wanted help with his english and he started off conventional enough, with looking for english friend, welcome everyone,etc...until he ended with 'but please no gays'. And I was like taken aback, why would you say u welcome everyone, but, oh..sorry, no gays..and also it's really weird to end with this, seems like he's been meeting alot of gay men in his previous exchanges?! I didn't know gumtree's language exchange board had become a hot gay hook-up place..haha..

And then, several months, later, it happened again..but this time, in a positive way, but still specific mention of the 'gay men thingy' weird!...below is a copy-paste from the later ad: (hope there are no privacy/copyright issues!)

'hi!! my name is (korean name here). i came to Sydney for studying english. i'm 25 years old and majoring in chemical engineering. i'm looking for a friend who can speak english. but it doesn't matter you can speaking english or not. if you're a native speaker, it would be better. but i don't care. i want to swap languages but i also want to have a foreign friend. : ) and i'm male. so i prefer a female as my friend to a male. but male friend is OK. and japanese, chinese, aussie, thai, people from all over the world is OK.we can play sports among men. and i'm willing to be a friend with some gays because i'm very open minded person. but i don't wanna be your boyfriend. just friend is OK. why don't you contact me (contact details here).'

I was seriously laughing out loud (inside) when i saw's so hilarious, he's like bcos he's a guy he wants a female more..well i guess this is the case in the gumtree language boards as i 've seen several of these white/asian guys whom post ads seeking 'nice korean/japanese/chinese ladies' for 'social outings, movies, dinners.''...well, more power to them, but if i were one of these ladies, i'd never reply to a post like that...obviously interested in the romance (and not to mention sex bit) more than the language exchange bit...and then the korean guy above does this really stereotypical thing mentioning guys are ok too as 'we can play sports among men'...haha....not all guys are interested in sports ok..this IS the 21st Century ya know...and he ends again, like the last guy i mentioned, on the 'gay thingy', but this time in the affirmative, saying he is willing to be friends with gays 'but i don't wanna be your boyfriend' funny...what is it within the korean male circles in sydney that homosexual men are surfing the gumtree language exchange boards looking for korean hetero males?!! Or maybe these korean men have heard too much about Sydney (thanks to the annual Mardi Gras) being the gay capital along with San Francisco and other cities like Bangkok and Barcelona that they seem to think that gay men are everywhere on these msg boards?! Or maybe there's some truth in it..any koreans residing in sydney care to shed light on this? I just found it so hilarious that this 'gay thing' was mentioned by 2 korean men on gumtree...i certainly never heard of it before..all my exchange partners, including the men, were straight, to my knowledge..
Anyways, any korean men residing in Sydney care to enlighten me?

Or do most Korean male international students in Western Countries do this kind of thing? Gawd, it must be TOUGH being gay in Korea..

PS: I actually heard, in Korea, despite recent outward 'liberalisation' in attitudes towards homosexuality being the chic and trendy thing to do, in private/inwardly, people still despise and look down on homosexuals in Korea..sad isn't it? :(
PPS: You must be wondering why i have a photo of two naked men in homoerotic poses above..well, i've noticed everytime i have the word 'hunk' or 'gay' in my post, i get quite alot of traffic coming in from obviously gay quarters, so this one's for you gay readers and not to mention str8 female readers:-)


aimlesswanderer said...

South Korea - a country where men are Men, and engage in suitably manly pursuits such as sport, boozing (and womanising?)?

Sydney - where disturbingly large numbers of men are, like, totally gay and therefore don't go to the footy or the pub. They go to the Mardi Gras or art galleries instead. Heresy and clearly unnatural.

Never mind the whole "flower men" trend in SK where the guys look decidedly feminine. I mean, come on, the SK version of the "F4" was, literally, decidedly flowery.

Hooray for Confucian conservatism, still going strong.

hcpen said...

aimlesswanderer: Actually, S.korea is a place of contradictions in that, the men are generally very macho and most chauvinistic (when compared with men from China and Japan) but when it comes to popular culture and fashion,the men are highly feminised and metrosexual..

aimlesswanderer said...

It's all a bit strange if you ask me - very large parts of Korean culture and society are very odd and often contradictory. Be interesting to see where it all ends up in coming decades.

hcpen said...

aimlesswanderer: yea..

suituapui said...

In cultures where it is frowned upon, sometimes one wonders how many are closet gays - like "The Wedding Banquet"... Have you seen Harry Hamlin, Michael Ontkean and Kate Jackson in the movie, "Making Love"? And in "Lan Yu" too - the guys are married...or for that mater, "Brokeback Mountain".

hcpen said...

suituapui: the 'closet gay' population is definitely declining around asia i think...well at least in places like malaysia and taiwan which are more progressive..i think india and china have still large closet gay populations given their intense culture of getting married. poor wifes..

Chris said...

Long time didn't visit u. Happy CNY to u ya..

hcpen said...

Chris: Ya, Happy Cny to you too Chris!