The experiences of globalisation and the passage of the South Korean state to a democracy since the 1980s have brought new self-appraisals and readings of national individuality. South Korea considers it ‘s self-identification as an advanced state, a democracy, and a globalized society that has provided a status for the general populace to be comfy and sympathetic with the vocabulary of human rights. The lifting populace ‘s attending and credence of human rights issues in South Korea has resulted in discernible political alterations sing gender equality, political freedom in North Korea, migratory foreign workers, overseas Koreans, and the disableds. It seems that the “ sexual minorities ” are still in the shadows of public attending. This paper is traveling to look at the history of sexual minorities in South Korea, how they overcame obstructions in the media and other facet of life, while seeing what the hereafter holds for sexual minorities.
The whole thought of South Korean persons “ coming out ” as portion of pop civilization and life style is still considered a new phenomenon. The political position of homosexualism population in South Korea remains minimum because there is no dependable statistics to mensurate the beings of homosexual population in South Korea. The South Korean authorities does non print any official statistics sing the size of the homosexual population, nevertheless, it does estimations that there are about 110,000 non-heterosexuals. Sexual minorities in South Korea have been unpopular topic in academic Fieldss. The first clip it appeared was in the “ Everyday Oppression and Minority Rights ” , by the Korean Foundation of Human Rights in 2000. The ground for this is because of the historical and cultural narration of how Koreans think about homosexual life.1
The homosexual rights motion owes the new political ambiance, which was created by the beginning of the political liberalisation after 1987. A century after military dictatorship created political conditions that were so hostile to minorities, the government stifled broad political docket and democratic ideals from distributing solidarity and political stableness. The chief end of the motion was to acquire rid of the military absolutism and to reconstruct constitutional order, go forthing any room for minorities to be heard. The military dictatorship was unfriendly to sexual minorities because the military had adopted and enforced neo-Confucianism of the Choson dynasty, which disparages homosexualism. In Confucianism, they see that homosexualism disrupts the affinity traditions that emphasize gender hierarchy, responsibility, and household over personal penchant and precedences. Seungsook Moon asserts that the Korean military exploited and reproduced Confucian political orientation. This was needed in order to transport out the military and industrial mobilisation of the people to do South Korea a better state. This made homosexualism something that was foreign and un-Korean value.2
In the terminal of the military autocratic governments in 1987 provided an gap for sexual minorities to work together to chase away hostile and corrupting labels of the homosexual population and to construct a nascent degree of solidarity. Homosexual associations before the democratic gap in the late eightiess were fundamentally little company based associations and fellowship-oriented, that had local assemblages whose foundational ends were detached from political representations. A few illustrations would in the 1970s, a group of adult females who were taxi drivers came together to advance fiscal autonomy and the heat of commercial ties. The It’taewon Community that was created in 1980 and opened the door to both homosexuals and tribades. However, they felt that they were born as a 3rd sex or incorrect birth. The Women ‘s cab driver association merely lasted ten old ages. There is no information on why it fell apart. The It’taewon Community feared the AIDS and the association dissolved within a year.3
The homosexual rights motion in South Korea began during the 1990s ; still most Koreans were wholly incognizant of the being of sexual minorities. It was non until a group of Korean American ‘s, who were analyzing on a few campuses in Seoul who started a low key homosexual rights motion and bit by bit extended their webs. This group was formed in November 1991. It was a fraternal society of foreign and Korean tribades and bisexuals. The Korean members that participated in this society, while recognizing the wall of cultural and lingual differences agreed to establish an organisation that would travel beyond cultivating societal family among the sexual minorities. This group formed in 1993, Ch’odonghoe, the first official pan-sexual association in South Korea. It was merely two months after its creative activity that it was dissolved, and the sexual minorities created a several association called, Ch’in’gusai, in January 1994. South Korea in the 1990s witnessed a rush of networking and proliferation of organisations among the sexual minorities who used personal computing machine communicating and telephone letter box system. The publication of the Buddy and Ttodarun sesang helped advance self-identity.4
The sexual minorities groups in South Korea with community edifice had to cover with two foreparts. The first forepart was to acquire rid of the prejudice against homosexual population as promiscuous, pagan, and AIDS-spreading foreigners, who hide in the dark with a run to clean up the Pagoda civilization. The deformed and perverse images and mentions of cheery population in the mass media, text editions, and the authoritiess AIDS policy were the chief marks that these groups would protest against. At the same clip, there were groups who were seeking to do an attempt to heighten the legal position of sexual minorities as citizens with built-in rights to bask self-respect and protection of the jurisprudence. In contrast with other groups looking for rights, eg: adult females, antiwar, environment, labour, etc, the sexual minorities presented their cause as a legitimate homo rights issue. The human rights issues like all other societal issues that need to be rectified by jurisprudence. The homosexual rights motion went from a internal community-building to an external audience-seeking run to heighten the corporate image and legal position of sexual minorities.4
The first protest was the systematic carelessness of the Korean military that bred and reinforces false features of homosexual soldiers, which left them defenseless against rampant ill-treatment and force inside the barracks. There is no official linguistic communication of Korea ‘s military jurisprudence that has the word homophile ; nevertheless, the ordinances on physical scrutinies of a recruit define homosexualism as a signifier of a disease and mental perturbation. Because of this, the office of Military Manpower Administration ( MPA ) defended this pattern chiefly in footings of protecting the armed forces ‘s organisational involvements. The MPA believe that soldier ‘s of homosexualism or transgender will present a really different sexual desire than that from ordinary people.5
Once in the military, most homophiles find themselves fighting to set to the masculine civilization. The South Korean armed forces has ordinances so that the military assures that psychological guidance and medical intervention are available. It is with the mandate of the senior officer, this is of class is for anyone who is fighting with the alteration in their life, homosexual are non. But when it comes to military forces that are homosexual it is really unsafe to seek aid and counsel. The chief ground was because the senior officer will besides advise their parents of their sexual orientation. Gay military man who really sought reding testified that they were advised to be taken to military infirmaries for intensive mental attention that would sometimes hold HIV trials. Some were granted discharge from military services for medical and household ground. However, there were some who were driven to harsher situations.6
In add-on to working to protect sexual minorities in the military the groups besides launched runs to aim media, churches, and schools. These groups had issued joint statements to protest articles and studies in magazines and intelligence documents that pandered to sensationalism and provoked the populace ‘s wonder about the sexual minorities. The studies that were being put in the magazines and newspapers stated that the sexual minorities normally affiliated themselves with promiscuous secret parties and anon. sexual brushs in public toilets at coach terminuss. The sexual minority groups fought against these false images of their community against the Pan-Christian alliance of Korea. This group like most Christian groups in the western universe condemned homosexual orientations and behaviour based on the conservative scriptural reading and defined homosexualism as a mental illness.7
The homosexual rights militants besides reached out to instructors and pupils by forming cultural events, academic forums, and circulating informational to instructors ‘ , to heighten young person ‘s consciousness of sexual minorities in Korea and to besides extinguish homophobia. Their attempts focused on extinguishing any mentions and definitions of Torahs and authorities ordinances that consider the sexual minorities as disease bearers, paedophiles, or sodomists. In 2000, the Queer Cultural Festival, besides known as the Rainbow Parade, has become an one-year event in Seoul, it was to advance self-pride among all sexual minorities in South Korea and to advance a positive apprehension for all Koreans and aliens in South Korea.7
Protecting the young person from unsafe media that would act upon them about sexual minorities has been a major subject for those who oppose full political representation of the community. Article 7 of the Enforcement Ordinance of the Youth Protection Commission was revised in April 2004, which had listed homosexual behaviour as socially unacceptable act, along with intercourse with animate beings, binge, and incest. Section 1, Article 10, of the Youth Protection Law defines mediums of obscene ideas and gratifying to youth ‘s sexual desire as risky stuffs to be prohibited. These two Torahs have been the footing of much determination among Committees, such as the Committee for Ethics of Information and Communication that censors any content that favors homophiles or explicitly references them in any media.8
The homosexual and sapphic groups depended upon the widening entree of Internet in Korea to web their proliferation. However, they were attacked by the Internet Tungguche, This is a content evaluation system of the CEIC, which restricted youth entree to any content about homosexual and tribades on any cyberspace web sites. The homosexual and sapphic groups protested against this in 2000 stating that these informational sites are non sexual sites with x-rated stuff, which they in fact were merely information for young person who are covering with jobs that the Korean society can non assist with. In December 2001, they submitted a corporate request to the constitutional Court, stating that governing on whether freedom of look was violated. The group pointed out that the International Lesbian and Gay Association was on the list of 120,000 foreign web sites, the CEIC deemed hazardous and was prohibited to be view by anyone in South Korea. The CEIC besides indicated that South Korea was signer of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( ICCPR ) . They advocate freedom of look, Article 2, and rights to equality, Article 26, which includes the protection from favoritism based upon person ‘s sexual orientation in all signer states.9
In 2002, homosexual and sapphic communities organized the Solidarity for Action against Discriminations of Homosexual to protest the chief hunt engine suppliers in Korea. Yahoo Korea, Freechal, Daum and other hunt engines in South Korea one-sidedly closed homosexual and sapphic web sites with pop-ups stating that these sites were risky to underage users and would state that this is an a adult-only hunt. Besides, a computing machine plan called the Suho cho’onsa, intending guardian angel was created that automatically identifies and blocks homosexual community ‘s web site, no affair the content. 10
The groundbreaking public consciousness of homosexual issues came approximately due to the sweetening of the new millenary. In 2000, Hong Suck Chul, a good known telecasting histrion declared his homosexualism on public telecasting. He is the first coming out public figure that gave the Korean civilization a daze that bit by bit enhanced public consciousness and changed public perceptual experience of homosexualism in Korean society. South Korea started to see it in a different oculus alternatively of simply qualifying it as a foreign disease that the world of homosexualism is in every civilization. Another figure came into the eyes of South Korean society, Ha Ri Soo, a famous person who had transsexual operation before come ining the amusement concern. She had become a pop icon for work forces and adult females. She was besides given permission to alter her legal position as a female citizen in 2002. Ha continues to pull off a successful calling as a vocalist, film star, and a theoretical account for adult females ‘s cosmetics. Besides in 2005, the film Wang ui Namja, the King and the Clown, which showed the sorrow and beauty of homosexual love with extraordinary candor, became the record breakage box office hit. The mainstream of the mass media began to tap the lifting public involvement in homophiles in South Korean context. Besides many plans describing the quandary and troubles experienced by the sexual minorities, particularly those of school age came into light.11
When it comes to South Korea ‘s legal system its Torahs has been really hostile locale for homosexual seeking to do their voices heard, because of the conservative nature of the system, doing other sexual minorities in progressing political rights harder. One the other manus, the Constitution of Korea embraces human self-respect and equality as cosmopolitan rules. Article 10 of the Constitution stipulates that all citizens shall be assured of human self-respect and worth and have the right to prosecute felicity, it is the responsibility of the province to corroborate and vouch the cardinal and inviolable human rights to every person. Besides in Article 11, reads that all citizens shall be equal before the jurisprudence and there shall be no favoritism in political, economic, societal, or cultural life history of sex faith, or societal position. However, the Constitution besides endorses the construct of society based upon sexual duality, a society made up of two sexes, male and female. Article 36 of the Constitution provinces that matrimony and household life shall be entered into and sustained on the footing of single self-respect and equality of the sexes. Although the Constitution says that there is cosmopolitan human self-respect and rejection of bias and favoritism would assist homosexuals and sapphic to confirm their demand for legal justness and fairness.12
Sexual individuality is embedded in the legal constructs and linguistic communication that has undercut the political rights of Korean homosexual to the equal protection of jurisprudence in South Korea. In the South Korean legal kingdom, sexual force is entirely defined as force committed against a adult females by a adult male. This definition is so narrow that it is difficult to include any sexual force committed by adult females against a adult male or between members of the same sex. Condemnable jurisprudence in South Korea is really difficult to separate between a colza victim and a sexual assault. The lone manner to separate between them is whether the wrongdoer ‘s sexual organ was inserted in the victims sexual organ, this than is consider colza, if non than the act will be treated as a sexual assault. South Korea ‘s condemnable jurisprudence no. 297 is merely for a punyoja, a adult female who is either married or individual can be considered a colza victim. Therefore if a homosexual individual was raped by a individual of the same sex that individual will non be treated as a colza victim. The individual who did the act will merely be charged with a sexual assault and non as a raper, having a less penalty than a raper. Sexual minorities are in South Korea are non every bit protected under domestic force jurisprudence. The particular jurisprudence on domestic violience in South Korea merely considers people who are married.13
The one major alteration in favour of legal protection for the sexual minorities in Korea caused by sex offenses was the supreme Courts opinion in 1996, that for the first clip in South Korea, adopted a jurisprudence on gender-based attack in finding person gender. This reviewing of an a entreaty was because of a victim who was a transsexual, who clearly has the properties of a female, would be considered a colza victim or non. However, the tribunal kept its traditional definition to merely include punyoja, but asserted that the construct of punyoja should besides be determined non by genetic sciences, but besides in conformity with predominating societal apprehensions in South Korea. Even though the Supreme Court upheld the lowers tribunal ‘s determination to assoil the wrongdoer charged with colza on the land that the victim was still non a punyoja. But the 1996 determination set a of import case in point that a persons sexual position in jurisprudence be determined non by biological science but to include one ‘s psychological, societal, and personal facets of self-identification and perceptual experiences of other members of society in South Korea.14
The homosexual rights motions in South Korea has focused on acquiring rid of bias and false stereotypes and contending to derive equal protection rights under the South Korean Law. Gay militants have fought to right he pathologies of political, societal and legal environments where sexual minorities were hated, ignored, and punished for their sexual orientations. The relentless corporate attempt of the homosexual and sapphic organisations produced seeable accomplishments. For illustration in 2004, homosexualism was removed from the Youth Protection committee lists of socially unacceptable Acts of the Apostless and was deleted from Article 7. Besides since 2006, the Office of statistics no longer straight ties homosexualism to mental perturbation in the class of disease. Sexual instruction is manual for junior high school instructors learning them that homosexualism is referred to as another human life style and as a look of fondness. In South Korea ‘s National Human Rights Action Plan published in January 2006, which the NHRC recommended that Article 92 of the military jurisprudence be struck out, asseverating that a sexual minorities rights to life, protection, labour, and freedom of favoritism and bias must be guaranteed for every sexual minorities in South Korea. They besides issued a policy recommendation that national wellness insurance screen medical disbursal for sex-change operations.15
In November 2001, the NHRC designated favoritism based on homosexualism as one of the 19 issues for which it ‘s recommended the President ‘s office and the National Assemble exercising increased inadvertence for systemic misdemeanors of human rights. June 2006, the Supreme Court reversed a lower tribunal ‘s determination and ruled in favour of the complainant, a transsexual who appealed to alter his legal name and position in the household registry system from adult female to adult male. This was important in South Korea ‘s tribunals because the tribunals expanded their definitions of gender to account non merely biological properties but besides psychological and societal dimensions.16
Another alteration was the development of Torahs sing sexual minority ‘s rights to equal protection under the jurisprudence on Prostitution and the Sex Trade Prevention Act. Before the two Torahs came into consequence in 2004, sex trade between individual of the same sex was non charged under the Prostitution Prevention Law because the jurisprudence defined harlotry merely as an act between members of the opposite sex. These new Torahs made differentiations between sex trade affecting members of the same sex or affecting members of the opposite sex. These Torahs were truly meant for protecting minor females from the Sex trade operations and harlotry, but missive these Torahs helped protect sexual minorities.17
Many of the people in the homosexual rights motions agree that the political representation of the homosexual population has improved drastically, but faces legion hurdlers in the hereafter. To a batch of the homosexual right motions participants wonder if they should go on to trust on pan-human rights solidarity to keep the impulse of the motions due to the deficiency of organisations, The few homosexual and sapphic organisations had to hammer confederations with other human rights groups to helped pull attending and support from other militant groups and the society in general. However, such an action program was difficult to restrain the latitude of the homosexual rights motion and limited its members ability to joint political dockets unique for sexual minorities in South Korea. Besides the sympathetic support for the homosexual rights motion as another human rights issue, most groups would happen it hard or contrary to their ain organisational involvements, to recommend the serious issues for sexual minorities who are excessively different from them. For illustration, in 2003, Pusan Metropolitan Women ‘s Center ( PMWC ) did non admit members of the Pusan Lesbian Human Rights Center petitioned the NHRC sing possible favoritism. The PMWC responded that the centre was non a platform for adult females ‘s rights and its activity had no bearing on gender equality between work forces and adult females. The coaction between feminist organisations and sapphic militant has been minimum because the PMWC former remained loath to publically accept sapphic sexual discourse as an built-in portion of feminist discourse.18
Another country for concern for the homosexual and sapphic militant is the continuity of patriarchic civilization in South Korean society. In Ha Ri Soo ‘s instance sometimes the success of the homosexual rights motions at both personal and corporate degrees is nil more than a heterosexual-centered system. Ha Ri Soo acted as a transsexual that was prettier than any adult females and a individual deceasing now to hold a babe. Ha appears to accept instead than dispute the image of adult females demanded in the patriarchic society. In contrast to Ha, Hong Suk Chul, who ‘s coming out challenged the conventional duality of maleness and muliebrity was non knock person or to damage repute of anyone. Transsexuals in South Korea requests for legal sex alterations in tribunal are driven by personal wants to avoid societal favoritism but indirectly confirm the male-female duality as the merely recognized rule in finding one ‘s sexual identity.19
The last concerns for the cheery militant are the clang between single involvements and corporate involvements in life as a homosexual in South Korean society. The homosexual rights motions were really weak, but so was the subjugation of homophiles in South Korea. Such cloudy conditions of subjugation support an optimistic prognosis about South Korea ‘s credence of homophiles, when compared to Western societies. “ Koreans are non violent, At least no homosexual is beaten to decease in Korea. ” Some pointed out that many of the white neckband homophiles tend to stay in the cupboard than come-out. They feel that instead than moving upon their feelings because coming out will do a immense job for them and it easier to be in the cupboard so in the ghetto. Equally long as homosexual do non traverse the lines of ghettos set by unseeable riles in Korean society their entree to a normal life is guaranteed. The motions in Korea are non merely faced with old challenges but besides new 1s where they need to strike a balance between their engagement in the general human rights motion and independent representation of homosexual right all over South Korea.19
Despite the hostile initial conditions and staying challenges the homosexual and sapphic rights motions in South Korea, they appear to hold a made a figure of important accomplishments in heightening the legal, societal, political position of the sexual minorities in the populace sphere and moved on the following conflict. It remains to be unobserved what sort of statements, organized action programs and strategic picks the new stage of sexual minority ‘s motions will use and how they will efficaciously will they heighten the representation of their community. Analyzing the position of sexual minorities and the homosexual rights motions in South Korea, helps us to understand non merely the issues but besides both the undertone of the political relations of minority rights and democratic consolidation in Korea. There needs to be more research on this topic to detect and measure grounds that helps clear up the hereafter of the sexual minority ‘s rights in the democratizing South Korea.
There are two hypotheses research can utilize, the first, would to look at overall betterment of human rights and the homosexual rights motion in South Korea. At first glimpse the democratic motions and minority rights for sexual minorities appear to travel manus in manus. You can conceive of that the relationship between democratisation in general and the homosexual rights motions in peculiar as being by reciprocally reenforcing. It seems that a higher grade of public tolerance of diverseness and equality under the jurisprudence consequence of democratic consolidation will take to a higher grade of tolerance and protection for all sexual minorities. The 2nd hypotheses would be to research whether different minority rights are associated with each other in consistent and harmonious manner in South Korea.
Sexual minorities in South Korea are so disadvantaged of political resources, linguistic communication, Numberss and so powerless that they lack effectual agencies to claim themselves as a minority group that really exists and deserves rightful representation and benefits in the wide context of human rights in South Korea. It remains unobserved whether the sexual minorities will go a minority among minorities in South Korea.