With that being saod, there are still some unique parts of Korea's gay culture many still don't know about, and today, light will be shed about the topic here. Check these interesting bits of information on Korea's gay culture!
Believe it or not, Korea is home to a lot of Drag Queens. Some may think "If Koreans don't believe in homosexuality, would I even see a drag queen?" The answer is yes. At gay clubs, art showcases, nightly performances, comedy shows and even protests, Drag Queens can be seen throughout Korea more than you'd expect. Well, at least in Itaewon. A couple of famous Drag Queens hailing from Korea are Hurricane Kimchi and current TV sensation, Kim Chi. Talk about pride in one's country, huh?.
If you're not familiar with Gay dating apps (which I'm sure most people aren't), then you may mix up the gays from the straights in Korea since most of the men are a tad bit more feminine than you'd expect. All this aside, Korea's government actually bans the usage of popular gay dating apps such as 'Grindr' (Gay Tinder, but gays had it first!!) and many others. However, some tech-savvy naysayers developed apps of their own in search of their fellow friends. Believe it or not, Seoul is littered with gay men and you can't even get past the 100th man mark in the app before it reaches the '1 mile away' status.Even Youtubers can't resist talking about it.
In a society that shuns gay people due to a multitude of reasons, it may be hard to live comfortably or find peace within yourself. Luckily, Korea offers a plethora of support groups that cater to gay culture in their own unique way. Not only is there an annual Gay pride but also there is a fun rainbow walk through the streets of Itaewon, mini concerts in support of awareness, Facebook groups to join, gay choirs, and, one of the cutest advocates yet, 'Parents of LGBT Children.'
'Parents of LGBT Children' are a group of mothers that walk around during LGBTQ events to give hugs and share the love with the gay people of Korea. It is quite an emotional display as some of the people break down in tears from the warm embrace of an ahjumma saying they will love them unconditionally. TT_TT
Now don't think gay people are just horny or incarnations of the devil -- they are human and have needs, too. So some vendors support those needs and are gay-friendly by selling sexy underwear, clothing and other erotic accessories. There is actually a shop in Seomyeon, Busan for those who are curious. I'd say tell 'em I sent you, but I won't be in Korea anytime soon myself.
Gay Towns & Saunas
Now this is a definite 'hold da phone' moment as even I was not prepared for seeing this when visiting Korea. Believe it or not, there are many gay oriented jimjjilbangs (saunas) in Korea that have some unique rules when attending (be aware of which tub you decide to bathe in).
But allk_maknae, how do you know you're in a gay jimjjilbang? Usually Korean spas, saunas, and gay friendly bars offer a bit of symbolism or signage (such as rainbow stickers and such) outside the door or by the register so you can identify it as gay friendly. However, in places like Jongno it may be a bit more difficult. It only recently became a place of gay nightlife and is evolving rapidly with more bars, but it is mainly among Koreans themselves who spread the word through the grapevine, leaving 'Homo Hill' in Itaewon more of a place for foreigners if anything.
Gay Seoul Guide
Just in case you were curious of where to go, what to do and where to stay when visiting Korea for any gay-related reason, there is actually a useful resource made just for the LGBTQ community! The Gay Seoul Guide of 2016 (which updates every year) gives you all the trending information such as where the hottest bars are, which hotels are cheapest and closest to gay nightlife, and it even offers sites such as 'travelgayasia' for you to discover the gayest parts of Seoul and more!
Next time you visit South Korea, you may be more aware of the gay community now!