As mentioned in the post about KARA’s Gyuri going clubbing, there’s been homophobic backlash as a result of the new outbreak being linked to gay clubs. Effectively, many people in South Korea have begun to say what they silently think about LGBT individuals out loud and it’s understandably concerning to the community there. As such, one of the few out celebrities, Hong Suk Chun, took to Instagram recently to post a message.
“This is a time when we have to be brave. It is a basic fact that sexual minorities are afraid of revealing their identities to their family, to their acquaintances, and to society. That is why this requires courage. As someone who has been part of the Itaewon neighborhood for a long time, I am very concerned and saddened about this incident. More than anything, I am worried that too many people are not responding to contact [tracing] and not getting tested. I know better than anyone else that the fear of being ‘outed’ is real, but right now, the most important things are the health and safety of yourself, your family, and the public. Thankfully, it seems like ‘anonymous testing’ is possible, so you must get tested right now. This is a difficult time for all of us. We are all pooling our strength in order to get out of this situation together. In order to not hinder the efforts of the public health authorities, health care workers, and citizens, I earnestly advise you to be brave and get tested.”
Honestly, he has nothing to do with this and he doesn’t owe anybody anything (and he’s being harassed for it despite this), but Hong Suk Chun has always seemed aware that fair or not he represents gay people to many in Korea, and encouraging people to do the right thing for society at large here is a helpful step.
Of course, it’s obviously still easier to say than do, especially because the government says it’ll be anonymous … but how much do you trust that? This is why many activists are saying it should be a wake-up call against homophobia (instead of for it) because the fear of coming out could be deadly in a situation exactly like this. Well that and, you know, basic humanity.