2013: A Year in Review

In January, Hong Seok-cheon appeared on Radio Star, and Korean Netizens didn't hate him. This made me very optimistic for the year. The next week Human Rights Korea did a report on a soldier's suicide resulting from intolerance toward sexual minorities in the military. Also, Sarah Shaw at Mapping Worlds did an interview with a gay expat in Korea that still pops up on Twitter every once in a while. I'm glad that she did the interview, but I think the expat was quite far from being an expert. I also found Korea's Pink Map in January, which you should be using if you are looking for something queer near you.

In February, Solidarity for Human Rights held a workshop to talk about queer issues in Korea. I visited KHAP to get tested for HIV, and also got a great free gift. Hong Seok-cheon had a great interview on Healing Camp that was much talked about and improved his image in Korea. I went to screenings of Suddenly Last Summer, White Night, and Going South as well as heard an interview by queer director Leesong Hee-il. I also went to the Philippines and Malaysia ^^

KWOW did a video about homosexuality in Korea at the beginning of March. While Hong Seok-cheon was stepping out into the limelight, banners promoting sexual minorities' rights were banned in Mapo. Also, the South Korean court ruled that transgender individuals could change their legal gender status without genital surgery.

April was a little less news heavy. However, Ban Ki-moon did speak of the struggle for LGBT rights and some male and female expats wrote about the queer experience in Korea.

A Ugandan lesbian was granted asylum in Korea in May, Harisu starred in a musical in Daehang-no called Drag Queen and Kim Jho Gwang Su decides its time to get married to his boo. This decision will put him in the news for the rest of the year. TKQ met Harisu after a performance, and man, has she had lots of plastic surgery.

June is pride! The month started off with an apology from SNL Korea for a skit with a stereotypically gay nurse, because apparently it offended nurses. The parade moved to Hongdae and it was a blast. The Queer Film Festival also took place, but I didn't go to a single film. Oops. The Korea Times did a piece on queer Koreans' struggle for acceptance and judges urged Mapo to allow the sign promoting gay rights. Finally, a poll was conducted that showed Koreans were warming up on the idea of homosexuality.

In July I hit one million views! I also wrote a post about Park Geun-hye's views on homosexuality (with a beautiful rainbow suit image). Sexual minority students wrote to their teachers about the effect of discrimination on their education. Oh, and Jo Kwon (gayest Korean ever) was caught going into a gay bar in Thailand.

I traveled around the southern coast of South Korea in August, but made sure to keep my readers updated. Charice came out, and Seoul Beats wondered if there would be a Korean Charice. I translated an MBN report on homosexuality and prostitution. I had another blogger (Kimchi Americano) join my team, but he didn't last long. At the end of August, I left Korea for graduate school in San Diego.

Kim Jho Gwang Su's wedding was celebrated in September. This was the biggest queer news in Korea and was reported by all of the major newspapers. CNN had a special report on gays in South Korea. Seoul Beats posted a couple of articles on idols and androgyny.

Todd Henry spoke on Arirang News about gay rights in Korea in October and the gayest thing ever was released by N.O.M. Seriously, that video is G.A.Y.

In November we learned that Korean youth are gay friendly but xenophobic. Daniel Payne of the Open Doors Community Church was criticized for protesting homophobic text books. NK News wrote a great piece on being gay in the DPRK. Also in November, the Gay Short Films Festival took place in Seoul. Ewha University had a lesbian festival, and netizens criticized football player Park Eun-seon for looking like a man. South Korean lawmakers also overturned a ruling that would have made a film with a same-sex kiss adult-only.

Last month, I made a Favicon for my blog (do you like that rainbow K??). The Rainbow Teen Space project got under way in Seoul. Also, Shinee's Jonghyun believes in gay rights, which is fantastic. December also saw Kim Jho Gwang Su battling for full rights in regards to his marriage. While Hong Seok-cheon had a pretty great year, a lot of netizens do not like Kim Jho Gwang Su, so we will see where this battle takes us in 2014.

And that is the year in review. Did I miss anything? Leave comments below ^^