Unlike some other Asian
isn't widely accepted in contemporary Korea
. 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.