Is it dangerous to be openly gay in South Korea?

My boyfriend and I have been living in Canada for 2 years now, but he wants to visit his family for a month or two and wants me to come along. The issue I have is that I'm aware it's a country that isn't too accepting of differences and of course we'd get stared at and possibly made fun of if we held hands or something, but is it dangerous? Will people pick fights with us or start trouble in general, refuse to serve us, etc? I'm not saying Koreans are violent but in Canada most people just accept it or ignore it, and i've never been to an asian country before. Forgive me if I come off as ignorant, i don't intend to.

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  • 3 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Probably less so than in most small towns in Texas.

    South Korea can be expected to be more conservative than Canada, so your behavior when out and about should be more conservative, too. South Korea has never had a law against homosexuality, and homosexuality is legal among both men and women. However, evangelical Christianity is big there, and very vocal in its condemnation of homosexuality, so that it can appear as a hot-button issue from time to time. The Christians are politically organized and influential, and they are turning support of LGBT rights into an acid test in the current presidential election. (2017 is an election year, and if their election should take on some of the aspects of last year's American election, then there could be some incidents, so stay aware of the news.) Same-sex marriages do NOT exist. Also, homosexuality in the military is forbidden, and politicians claim that tolerance of homosexuality in the military weakens the country's defense. (Keep in mind that a state of war continues to exist between North Korea & South Korea and its U.N. allies, temporarily suspended by a cease-fire - so defense is a BIG THING for South Koreans.) Being a conservative society, there are other issues that might arise, such as the the fact that you are not Korean. Racism can be a problem, although foreigners who are not tourists, and who are from other Asian nations seem to suffer the most. Women also are sometimes victims of what would be considered hate crimes in Canada. However, as a Canadian you are most likely to be welcomed as a visitor, and if your relationship with your boyfriend should be guessed at, it might be disapproved of, but as things stand, it is very unlikely that anyone would express that disapproval to you.

    It is always best, no matter where you are in the world, to avoid public displays of affection (regardless of your sexual inclination) because many societies frown on that. Even in North American and Western Europe, if you let it be seen that you are a member of a sexual minority, you can never completely rule out the possibility that a nut-case might appear out of an alley, or in a passing car. It happens.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Yes, it is dangerous.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    If you want to be with him, you should visit his family. There is no getting out of it. It's your duty.

    You are going to have to be low key. So yes - holding hands in public should not be done. And you need to get over it.

  • 3 years ago

    I wouldn't go. Not trying to scare you, but with all the crap going on even in North Korea I wouldn't go out there. Best of luck!

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Yes.

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