Homosexuality has long been taboo in Korean society. The traditional
Confucian emphasis on familial bonds led homosexuality to be regarded as
detrimental to the societal order, as defined by the philosophy’s five
categories of social relationship. In the 1980s, homosexuals were widely
feared as AIDS carriers.
Today, many Koreans continue to see
the sexual orientation as deviant or symptomatic of mental illness. Some
even question its very existence: A pastor last month claimed on
national television that the country was free of homosexuality. With
such perceptions to contend with, many gay men and women hide their
identity from colleagues, friends and family.
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