Feelings for knowledge: Reflecting on bodies, borders, and bacteria at Queer Asia 2018

QA Blog Series: QA18 Bodies X Borders: Reflections on the conference and film festival

Posted on 27/08/2018
Heather Jaber participated in ‘Queer’ Asia Conference 2018.

The work I have been most inspired by draws unconventional links between social contexts, historical periods, and disciplines. William Connolly’s (2008) work, for example, finds parallels between discourses of the evangelist right and US capitalism. Paul Amar’s (2013) The Security Archipelago looks to Cairo and Rio de Janeiro to find similar securitization discourses around particular gendered and classed subjects. Donovan Schaefer (2018) explores the affectivity of secularism, complicating the clean division between religious fervor and scientific ­dispassion.

My experience at ‘Queer’ Asia 2018 provoked similar questions. During the opening panel, Geeta Patel did this by bringing the notion of bacteria into the conference theme of bodies and borders. Evoking Foucault’s biopolitics, she asked how we turn dirtiness into cleanliness and exterminate, using not only language, but also more literally. She referred to a visit to the hospital where this link became resonant, discussing the automated mechanisms and logics which have us turning to anti-bacterial ointment to remove the bad bacteria and probiotics to usher in the good ones.

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This metaphor about a hospital nurse compulsively disinfecting her hands became a metaphor for the everydayness of political projects, colonial and otherwise. Patel also reminded the audience that the word “normative” is a statistical term, and urged us to think about what it means to use it as a descriptor. I think that it is partly Patel’s background in the sciences which provokes the kinds of metaphors that draw three-dimensional lines between frameworks we think of as disparate. It reminds me of the gracious, curious orientation of Eve Sedgwick, whose work on affect was a major contribution to queer theory.

This metaphor about a hospital nurse compulsively disinfecting her hands became a metaphor for the everydayness of political projects, colonial and otherwise.

Affect theory, for me, has become a way to talk about what, as Deborah Gould has remarked, is “often experienced at the very edge of semantic availability.” Schaefer has also noted that “[a]ffect theory’s project is to question the extremely tight fit between language and power.” It’s a way to think about that which is inextricably linked to cognition and language, but which we don’t have very precise words for yet.

Eve Sedgwick herself was inspired by the work of psychologist (and something of an interdisciplinary curiosity) Silvan Tomkins who drew from a range of disciplines to inform his theory of affects and later script theory. At the University of Pennsylvania, he would study playwriting, psychology, and philosophy, going on to run a series of experiments on facial expression which would likely have both the humanities and the social science camps puzzled today (and likely even then). But what he produced from those experiments was a freeing idea. Rather than an infinite number of affects, or some kind of binary state of affect/non-affect, his experiments led him to form a framework of nine affects.

Sedgwick later took this work and used it to intervene at a time when the high humanities tradition was questioning whether science could actually do what it claimed. She waived a white flag on behalf of the former and asked just what might happen if these perspectives met. Putting aside whether there were in fact nine affects (or more, or fewer), Sedgwick championed an ability to think between infinity and the binary, making it an important component of not only queer theory, but for virtually all disciplines.

She understood just how difficult it is to “unthink” a paralyzing binary (freedom/oppression, hegemonic/counter-hegemonic, public/private, normative/nonnormative) and suggested that we wade into other disciplinary buckets to see just what we might find. This was what she called operating within the middle ranges of agency—existing within a space where there is less to know or claim for certain, and even thriving there. It seems like a simple thing, but what it did was give us something graspable to work with. Having a finite number of elements, but also more than an on/off switch, dislodges us from the kind of paralysis we often encounter when thinking about power, especially in the contemporary moment. I think this can do much to alleviate what feels like a paralysis of the right now.

This is something I thought about in relation to my own work throughout the conference. Just before my panel, I got into discussion about my research into the crackdowns around the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila in Egypt and Jordan within the last few years. The band has been banned from performing in these spaces amidst controversy and panics around the lead singer’s sexuality (he is openly queer). I’ve been curious about not only the way the band has been celebrated by Western outlets as something of revolutionaries, while they have been barred from playing in several spaces in the Arab world. I’ve been looking at not only the way that dominant discourses in Egypt and Jordan construct homosexuality as inauthentic to the region (because this is not a new narrative), but the way it has become an issue of national security. At once, these minority bodies have been simultaneously hailed by those in the region as symbols of pride, but also as anxiety-provoking, both through an affectively charged link to the “global.”

I’ve been curious about not only the way [Mashrou Leila] has been celebrated by Western outlets as something of revolutionaries, while they have been barred from playing in several spaces in the Arab world.

One participant asked me whether those in the Egyptian community identified as queer or homosexual. Or alternatively, did they identify as something else altogether? Questions around language are important ones, and it’s especially critical to understand the nuances of particular identity formations and the material effects they have on the way that we live in and experience the world. But in thinking about how to answer, I also thought about what Chris Nickell called “the absurdity of speaking for (and to) an entire region at once in the crosshairs and in the spotlight” (p. 9). He was referring to remarks by Mashrou Leila lead singer Hamed Sinno to the audience at a US concert following the Orlando shooting at Pulse Night Club, where he called attention to the impossible spaces occupied by those at the margins: “This is what it looks like to be a terrorist and a faggot.”

“This is what it looks like to be a terrorist and a faggot.” – Hamed Sinno

I now realize why my initial question of whether a queer space was opening through the globalization of this band and their performance sites was not a question I was comfortable with answering, and one I had not really been trying to answer. What would it mean to say yes or no? Perhaps it is a worthy question for someone to answer, but to say that Egyptians authentically identify using the words queer, homosexual, gay, or mithaliyin, or whether these spaces are queer or un-queer, feels in some ways like it is falling into the trap that I am trying to evade.

In recognizing the disparities and power imbalances intensified by colonialism, postcolonial theory has given us vital tools to name those dynamics and try to highlight, understand, reverse, archive, fight, and move beyond them. And while it is important to recognize these differentials, it is even more important that we don’t risk reaffirming them. I think here of work which, in its quest to uncover these legacies, ends up constructing the colonial and colonized as part of a global/local, authentic/inauthentic binary, whereby all those who identify with broader collectivities risk being labeled foreign, deviant, or the output of penetrating, imperialistic projects. As I think of the recent crackdowns in the Arab region and beyond, I remember that there is great violence associated with this kind of posturing.

So while we are examining these disparities, we must at the same time recognize our convergences, shared realities, and the interconnections among the global phenomena we are experiencing. I am thinking of Marwan Kraidy’s recent work calling for attention to these interconnections, and I would add that it is perhaps through attention to affect that we might have the tools to do so. There are also other ways of producing knowledge about the things we consider worthwhile, and I think those can be discovered through gracious and curious exchanges of knowledge between historians, statisticians, playwrights, neuroscientists, economists, psychologists, artists, and other theorists and practitioners.

For all of us who find ourselves steeped somewhere between the humanities and social sciences, I would say that this is perhaps the most productive place we can be right now. As Schaefer has noted, we would do well to consider the way that producing knowledge feels, not only for academics, but in our day-to-day, as humans. I do not yet have a solid answer for what that looks like for my own research, or what unconventional places I may turn to, but I imagine that this is something that takes time and effort to cultivate. And a lot of gracious curiosity.


Heather Jaber is a researcher from Beirut and Boston. She holds an M.A. in media studies from the American University of Beirut (AUB), where she studied the emerging visibility of characters coded as homosexual in Lebanese musalsalat, or Arabic-language television dramas. As a doctoral student, she is interested in the intersections between gender, sexuality, popular culture, and geopolitics in the Arab world and beyond, and particularly in interrogating the symbolic function of deviance in the construction of the nation.

Read More about the upcoming CARGC-fellows biennial conference, Popular Culture and Coloniality: Decolonizing Global Media and Communication” at the University of Pennsylvania on March 28, 2019. Interested participants can send their abstracts by September 15, 2018.

Resistance and Subversion: Queer Movements Across Asia – Lebanon

Written by Ismail Shogo for the QA Blog series Resistance and Subversion curated by QA 2018 committee member Ismail Shogo.

The Arab world witnessed its first gay pride event in Beirut early this year, a culmination of years of efforts of various Lebanese grassroots organisations. Beirut Pride however was far from replication of traditional pride parades in the West, calling for neither legal rights for same-sex marriage nor a repeal of Article 534 of the penal code which prohibits sexual acts “contrary to the order of nature”.  Instead the event sought to denounce “all kinds of hate and discrimination”, specifically that against sexual minorities.

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Campaign tags for Beirut Pride 2017 (Image Credit: CNN)

However, Beirut Pride is no indication of a new open Lebanon. Lebanon, unlike most Arab states, has retained some political space for civil society to flourish: an impetus for LGBTQ+ resistance as pro-rights activists and support groups organise to effect change. Yet many conservative (religious) segments of society have sought to clamp down on pro-queer civil agendas. In March, Hezbollah Secretary General, Hasan Nasrallah, rebuked homosexual relations for “defy(ing) logic, human nature and the human mind”. In addition, extremist Sunni groups also successfully disrupted plans for activities days before Beirut Pride.

As a result, the modus operandi for most of Lebanon’s pro-queer campaigns has been, as Beirut’s sui generis pride illustrates, a negotiation between the relatively open civil space and conservative religious backlash. In the past, local groups had sought to deflect conservative pressures by pairing LGBTQ+ resistance with wider political currents. In 2003, HELEM  (Himaya Lubnaniya lil Mithliyeen wal Mithliyaat/Lebanese Protection for Gays and Lesbians) – the first LGBTQ+ organisation in Lebanon (and the Arab world) – joined Lebanese mobilisations against the Iraq war, flying a rainbow flag that attracted attention from the media. Similarly, during the 2006 Lebanon war, the group castigated Israel for its incursion into Lebanon, as well as provided a sanctuary for refugees caught within strife. Beirut’s LGBT compound became one of the city’s most active relief centres during the four-week bombing campaign, earning even the praise of conservative Islamist group Hezbollah. Today, HELEM has broadened its agenda to include the protection of domestic workers and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, as well as campaigns against Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories.

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“No to violence…no to discrimination…no to homophobia”, at a gay rights protest in Beirut. (Image Credit:Al-Akhbar)

This deft re-configuration of HELEM’s activism blueprint has lent to its prominence, which is necessary to effect change in Lebanon. This has included a ban on coercive exams that previously sought to acquire evidence of sexual (mis)conduct, following state-orchestrated ‘virginity’ (hymen) tests in 2011 in Egypt for female demonstrators during the Arab Spring. Although the Lebanese Syndicate of Physicians and Ministry of Justice enacted bans only for anal exams on male bodies, the change was considered a victory for many. The extent of such initiatives has transcended beyond Lebanon. Across the Middle East, LGBTQ+ associations have developed in areas like Palestine and Tunisia. In addition, the decisions of the Lebanese Medical Association and the Lebanese Psychiatric Society to declare publicly that homosexuality is not an illness have influenced attitudes on LGBTQ+ issues across the Arab world.

Through clever manoeuvring, Lebanese civil movements have averted social pressures to advance various agendas, much to the benefit of the local LGBTQ+ community. With the recent resignation of Prime Minster Hariri however, Lebanon may find itself one again at the centre of great instability. This may entail greater challenges for civil movements and queer resistance in the region.

Ismail Shogo reads Political Science at the National University of Singapore, and was a former research assistant at the Middle East Institute in Singapore. His interests are in authoritarian resilience, political violence, gender, and human rights in the Middle East and Africa. He tweets at @ismailshogo.

In this series: 

Overview Of LGBTQ Activism In South Korea


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LGBTQ activist holding a sign to protest against the anti-LGBTQ law in Korean military
Photo by Kim Min Soo & Korea Queer Culture Festival

Written by Heezy Yang, South Korean LGBTQ artist and activist

Even though South Korea has become a culturally very influential Asian country (in such a short period of time with the rise of K-pop and its entertainment industry in general, as well as its economic growth), non-native South Koreans outside South Korea are often only able to access limited bits of the country’s culture due to the language barrier and South Korea’s unfamiliarity with foreigners. South Korea’s LGBTQ culture is especially something that is hardly exposed to people all around the world. As an English-speaking South Korean who’s been fairly active in South Korea’s LGBTQ scene and movement, I get asked a lot of questions by foreign academics and I receive interview requests from media. Something that I can assure you is that South Korea does have a rapidly-growing and unique LGBTQ culture and that behind it there are many hard-working LGBTQ activists. Through this article, I would like to share my knowledge and experiences regarding LGBTQ activism in South Korea. This article will be presented through specific categories which will aim to deepen the reader’s understanding regarding this topic.

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Tens of thousands of people marching in a Seoul Pride parade
Photo by Heezy Yang

Korea Queer Culture Festival (Seoul Pride) 

Korea Queer Culture Festival (also known as Seoul Pride) is the most visible form of South Korea’s LGBTQ activism. The festival started back in 2000, with 50 participants. I attended the festival for the first time in 2011 and I remember seeing a couple of thousand people participating in the parade. This year, at the 18th festival, over 85,000 people gathered for the show and the parade. Because LGBTQ people are socially and politically still not accepted in South Korea, the festival faces many obstacles and interruptions by religious groups and the government (in a subtle but effective way) in the process of organising, every year. There are hundreds of stalls, performances and fun music to dance to at the festival, but according to people who have been to pride parades in western countries, the atmosphere is very different because the Korea Queer Culture Festival is not commercial at all (the festival financially completely depends on donation) and it still feels like a protest and a statement rather than just a festival. Over the last few years, I have seen more and more straight allies attending the event and also families bringing their kids to show them what acceptance and diversity are.

Note: The size is much smaller but Daegu (a city located in the south of South Korea) has been holding a Queer Culture Festival since 1999. Busan (Korea’s second largest city) and Jeju (an island province with a population of 600,000) are planning to have their first Queer Culture Festival later this year as well.


2017 has been a memorable year for LGBTQ people in South Korean politics. The presidential election was held in May and one of the five major presidential candidates, Sim Sang-jung, supported LGBTQ rights openly during her campaign. Also, for the first time, homosexuality was mentioned during a live television presidential debate. However, LGBTQ people were enraged and frustrated by what was said by then-most-popular candidate and current president Moon Jae-In. When Moon was asked whether he opposed homosexuality by conservative candidate Hong Jun-pyo, he replied “I oppose”. Moon was a liberal candidate and former human rights lawyer. Many see these kinds of anti-LGBTQ speeches of politicians as a result of powerful Christian influence in politics. Christianity is the most popular religion in South Korea and their powerful lobby has been stopping politicians from passing an anti-discrimination law. Sim Sang-jung’s support toward LGBTQ as a major presidential candidate was welcomed by the South Korean LGBTQ community and Moon Jae-In had to face a guerrilla protest by LGBTQ activists during his speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, after the television debate.

Lately, the only openly-gay South Korean celebrity Hong Seok-cheon has revealed his interest in running for head of Yongsan-gu district (which has a famous gay neighbourhood in it). He owns a number of restaurants in Yongsan-gu district. Some LGBTQ people support his ambition in hopes of having the very first openly-queer politician, however, many LGBTQ activists are not so supportive of him and there is a reason for that. Earlier this year Hong met former presidential candidate Ahn Hee-jung who originally supported LGBTQ rights publicly and the meeting was shown to the public on Facebook live. Hong said “It is a disadvantage for a politician (in Korea) to support us (LGBTQ people) openly. You are smart so I wonder why you would openly say that (you support sexual minorities) during an interview?……You can withdraw your statement if you think that’d be better for the election. We (Korea’s LGBTQ community) would understand even if you did” to Ahn and Ahn later really did withdraw his support for sexual minorities.

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Over 300 protestors gathered up in front of Namdaemun police station and waved rainbow-coloured lanterns on the last day of the protest.
Photo by Heezy Yang


Aside from the previously-mentioned protest against Moon Jae-in which took place during his presidential campaign, there have been many more memorable protests led by LGBTQ activists.

In December of 2014, the Seoul Metropolitan Government had scrapped plans to legislate a human rights charter after protests from homophobic groups. I remember hundreds of people gathered up at the lobby of Seoul City Hall and went on stay-in strike for five days, after the disappointing decision was made by the government. The decision was not overturned, however, the protestors have received an apology from the mayor Park Won-soon.

Korea Queer Culture Festival parade was almost cancelled in 2015 because all the places in Seoul that festival organisers were considering booking for the parade were already booked by Christian groups, with the intention of stopping the parade from taking place. So the festival organisers, without choice, decided to move the parade to a later date, and to another place which was Seoul Plaza. According to the city rules, you can book a place for a gathering as early as one month before the gathering. However Namdaemun police station (Namdaemun police station has authority over part of the parade route near Seoul Plaza) changed the rules for booking the specific date the festival organisers were planning on booking. The police station, out of the blue, announced that they will accept the request of the first person or group that starts queuing up and waiting, 7 days before the booking opens, in front of the police station. Festival organisers went to the police station to be the first in the queue, right after the announcement was made but there were members of Christian groups waiting outside the station, being the first people in the queue. The sudden change of the rules of booking and Christian groups informed about it first have led people to think that the police is in favour of Christian groups. Enraged and frustrated after losing the possibility of booking the date, LGBTQ activists decided to still queue up behind the Christians and turn it into a protest and a statement. During the 7 days of queuing, at least hundreds of LGBTQ people and supporters came by to show their support. There were queers, straight allies, LGBTQ-supportive religious people, teenagers, older people, Koreans, and foreigners among the protestors. And they brought lots of food, water, blankets and other supplies for those who stayed in the queue continuously. On the last night of protest, over 300 protestors gathered up and waved rainbow-coloured lanterns. Eventually the Christian groups succeeded in booking the date, however, the festival organisers appealed to the court and the court decided in favour of the organisers and the parade took place successfully.

There are so many other meaningful protests and campaigns I have heard of or participated in. There were relatively small protests such as the protest against an anti-LGBTQ concert inside a Christian university, and there were bigger ones such as a series of protests against former president Park Geun-hye. LGBTQ activists and allies marched, holding rainbow flags in the rally of over a million Seoul citizens demanding then-president Park Geun-hye to resign in 2016 and 2017 to show people that sexual minorities are also an important part of the country that deserve equal rights.

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LGBTQ activists and allies marched, holding rainbow flags and signs in the rally of over a million Seoul citizens demanding then-president Park Geun-hye to resign.
Photo by Kim Min Soo


While LGBTQ may not be visible enough nor have political power in South Korea, there are so many LGBTQ-related organisations in the country that it’s impossible to keep track of all of them. It seems, to me, a few new organisations are created every week. The problem is that, as far as I know, all of them completely depend on donation from individuals and fundraiser events because the country does not yet have an environment where corporations and groups that have market power can openly support the LGBTQ community and maintain the power at the same time. Below are brief introductions of some of the LGBTQ organisations I am familiar with.

Dding Dong, Haengsungin (Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea), Jogakbo, Chingusai are among the bigger and well-known organisations. Dding Dong is the first and only LGBTQ youth support centre in Korea that was established in 2014. It offers LGBTQ minors a safe place where they can be fed, educated, and given consultations they need and its activists and staff also run outreach programs regularly. Haengsungin started as ‘LGBT Association of Korean Universities’ in 1997 and changed its name to Haengsungin, which means solidarity of active sexual minorities, in 1998, and has been hosting and/or participating in numerous events and protests. It is hosting a fundraiser show to celebrate its 20th year on the 16th of September. Jogakbo is an organisation that is run by transgenders and for (mainly) transgenders. Its organisers and members have been raising their voices to make transgender issues visible for many years now and their main focus is on providing transgenders a safe space where they can share their experiences and learn how to build a sustainable lifestyle as a transgender. Chingusai (translated as friendship) is a Korean gay men’s human rights group and is one of the oldest LGBTQ rights organisations that was established in 1994.

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Logo of LGBTQ Youth Support Centre Dding Dong

There are other organisations that are not the most well-known, biggest mainstream organisations in the scene but are just as important. Open Doors Metropolitan Community Church (formerly Korean Rainbow Christian Fellowship) is an affirming and inclusive church, and the majority of its members are LGBTQ. Its pastors have been foreigners since its foundation, and they offer services in both Korean and English with the help of bilingual church members. LGBTQIA And Allies In Korea is an organisation that started as a Facebook group for English-speaking LGBTQ and allies in Korea and for those who are interested in Korea’s LGBTQ issues. Its main goal is to connect Korea’s LGBTQ community with English-speaking LGBTQ supporters all over the world and bring international support and attention to South Korea.


LGBTQ-related issues are hardly mentioned in mainstream Korean media and if they are, they are usually distorted. For many years, television and online news have been under-reporting the number of participants in the Korea Queer Culture Festival when they have reported news about the festival. Also, when a group of people, who happened to be gay, were arrested for using drugs, the media presented as if they used drugs because they are gay.

Lately, there have been relatively newer, rising, online-based media platforms that have been in favour of the LGBTQ community. Huff Post Korea has ‘Gay Voices’ category and it has been not only translating foreign LGBTQ-related articles to Korean but also writing about the issues specifically that Korea faces. I have been writing about Korea’s LGBTQ issues for Huff Post Korea since I was asked to become their blog writer last year as well. DotFace (also written as .Face) is a liberal, online-based media platform that creates and shares viral videos through social media. Currently, LGBTQ is one of their main focuses along with feminism.

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Artwork created by Byun Chun for ISHAP’s safe sex campaigns

Entertainment & Art 

Vita Mikju, Kuciia Diamant, More, Bori, and Anessa – these are names of people who have some fabulous things in common. First, they are South Korean drag queens, and second, they have been in the music videos of K-pop singers or bands. Definitely it is drag queens who are leading Korea’s LGBTQ entertainment scene. Most recently in K-pop, two drag queens and a transgender performer starred in mainstream K-pop legend Girls’ Generation’s music video for a song called All Night. Exposure of LGBTQ culture through mainstream K-pop videos and various (drag and other fun) shows hosted in many different regions in Korea has been cheering up and encouraging countless insecure, unconfident, or closeted queer people.

While there’s no doubt that drag queens are dedicated artists that bring fashion, love, and important messages to the stage and to the screen, of course there are different types of talented artists as well. Byun Chun is a gay comic artist who has been creating comics and art for over 10 years now. He has collaborated with ISHAP (Ivan Stop HIV/AIDS Project – ivan is a Korean slang for homosexual) and made comics and posters for their campaigns. He also publishes a new episode of gay comics, every week, on gay men’s online comic site Kkatoon. Kkatoon has 7 artists at the moment. In such a conservative society as South Korea, existence of a website like Kkatoon is very important. By reaching out to closeted and inexperienced people with easily accessible and fun cartoons, the artists let the readers experience LGBTQ experiences they never had.

I strongly believe that art has an important role to play in activism. As an art creator and performer myself, I have been using art to make rather political statements lately. ‘Unjustifiable’ is a performance art piece I have been performing in streets of Seoul since 2015. When I perform it, I sit in a box that says ‘I am gay’ on it with a bunch of stuffed animals in boxes next to me. This performance draws attention to the fact that there are a lot of homeless youth abandoned by their families because of their sexuality. This year, in South Korea, a South Korean soldier was sent to jail for having a consensual gay relation with another soldier and many other queer soldiers are still under investigation. (Same-sex sexual activity is not illegal in South Korea, with the exception of those serving in the military.) Shortly after I heard about the news, I created a poster with an image of soldiers shooting each other and two Korean soldiers kissing, to criticize the society where it is normal for soldiers to kill each other but it is not even legal to love each other.

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Me holding a poster I designed, in front of Seoul City Hall
Photo by Kim Min Soo & Korea Queer Culture Festival

In this article, I have talked about seven different categories in LGBTQ activism in South Korea based on my own knowledge. Finally, below is a short interview I had with a South Korean LGBTQ activist to also provide you insight from a different perspective.

Interview with Edhi Park

Edhi Park is a transgender, LGBTQ rights activist and entertainer. She previously worked as a member of Korean transgender rights organisation Jogakbo, LGBT youth support centre Dding Dong, and Open Doors Metropolitan Community Church. She participated in every major protest for LGBTQ rights for the last five years and she also hosted various LGBTQ events including Korea Queer Culture Festival.

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Edhi Park hosting 2017 Korea Queer Culture Festival
Photo by Kim Min Soo & Korea Queer Culture Festival

Q.Where do you think South Korea is with LGBTQ activism?

A. We are in a time of transition at the moment. As the LGBTQ community in Korea started to raise its voice strongly and become more and more visible, anti-LGBTQ Christians also started to fight back harder and harder. These Christians have so much power in politics, and politicians – including presidents – are so scared that they tiptoe around them with LGBTQ issues. Besides, so many of the people who have the power (to make laws to protect LGBTQ people) are conservative older people who are not educated about LGBTQ people. Younger generations know how to use the internet and other new technologies to learn about new concepts and they are used to accepting them. The older generations with political power, however, are not like that.

Q. What do LGBTQ people in South Korea have to do to achieve equal rights?

A. What we need to do is not win every fight. What we really need to do is keep on being who we are and staying strong. Change takes time and that’s inevitable. Sometimes we may win and sometimes we may lose. Eventually the change will come and the world will be ready to accept us. We simply need to not give up and get through this tough time.