Members of the homosexual community said they fear efforts to denounce them after a major media, Kookmin Ilbo, reported that the man had been in gay clubs in the Itaewon district of the capital. Some social media users then posted video footage of its bars and clubs, urging subscribers to donate “to help put an end to these disgusting events.”
Homosexuality is not illegal in South Korea, but discrimination remains rampant, with most Korean homosexuals choosing to keep their sexuality hidden from family members and colleagues.
“I don’t usually go to gay clubs and it’s been two years since I visited Itaewon [Seoul’s gay district]Said Hong Yoo-jin, a 35-year-old computer scientist at the Guardian. “But I have read on gay community websites that Youtubers are joining gay apps to get gay men out on the air. So myself and everyone I know deleted our photos from all of our accounts. “
Health officials say they have a list of 1,500 people who visited clubs last weekend, and authorities are asking anyone who visits the facility to be tested.
A 37-year-old computer engineer using his usual pseudonym, Jang Ji-myung, said he had been to three of the clubs after months of absence, but feared for his job if tested.
“The company I work for is a regular Korean company, which means they are very anti-gay. I participated in conversations where my boss and my colleagues said that all homosexuals should be put to death in a gas chamber, “he said.
“If they find out that I was in a gay club, they will most likely tell me to leave on another pretext or to make my life a living hell so that I have no choice but to leave.