Most parts of the Philippines have high homosexual visibility.

The first time I visited the Philippines in 1983, I stayed in a provincial town where I watched a huge gay parade with festively dressed participants marching to band music. In December 1999, during Christmastime, I went with my brother and cousins to see the Miss Gay Malabon 1999 pageant in which male contestants partook in the events of evening wear, talent, and interviews. I've also noticed that gay characters and actors have high billing in many of the Filipino movies I've seen.

It is not necessarily true that there are more gay Asians than those of any other ethnicity. Cultural differences have a lot to do with people being out.

Although the Philippines is a very Catholic country (which considers homosexuality a sin), the attitude towards gays seems very tolerant. It seems every domestic comedy contains at least one stereotypically gay character. Okay, using a gay character for comedic effect doesn't exactly sound tolerant, but it's an example of how homosexuality has permeated Filipino culture. From what I've seen of domestic films, it's been happening since at least the mid-1980's. They appear frequently in other genres, and are usually shown to be very caring and benevolent. However, if they have a partner, they never depicted engaging in any activities beyond hugging. Granted, sex scenes in Filipino movies are extremely rare, but any affection between gay characters seems taboo.

There are gay parades and beauty contests, and there are no protesters. The people come out to watch and enjoy the festivities. One thing that is different with gay gatherings (as opposed to America) is that the participants are not forcing the issue as much. They don't engage in public displays of affection.

Public displays of affection between any two people are usually frowned upon, so this isn't limited to gays. However, I think it's a major factor in Filipino culture's acceptance of homosexuality. Respect is very important in Filipino culture, and people will respect you if you respect them. The attitude seems to be, "okay, we think it's a sin, but being homosexual is your decision and nothing we say or do can change that, so there's no reason to treat you differently."

Unlike some other Asian countries, homosexuality isn't widely accepted in contemporary Korean society. Although people's feelings are not as bad as they would have been 20 years ago, a "don't ask, don't tell" attitude still exists.

The gay scene would probably be hard for a traveller to find on their own, so its advised that you use the internet to look up the names and locations of bars and clubs in the city you're staying in. If you ever do visit one of these bars or clubs, expect to see a lot of other foreigners there. In recent times gay festivals such as 'Mujigae' (which is Korean for 'rainbow') have shown that the future for gay and lesbians in Korea is looking much brighter.

Most Korean people realise that a gay scene exists in their country but would rather ignore it. Yet If you're discreet, people don't care about what you do, provided you be kind to your parents and give them grandchildren. Because of the pressure put onto people to marry, plenty of closet-cases exist and those who do come out won't always tell their parents about their lifestyle.

In the year 2000, Hong Seuk-chun became the first Korean public figure to admit he was gay. Shortly after coming out, he was sacked from his job. He might have been a children's television show presenter, but I personally believe this was a bit of an extreme reaction. The incident reflects the highly conservative and traditional nature of Korean society.

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