Monday, 4 November 2013

Gay Guy Goes North Korea - what's gay about DPRK?


Gay Korea

North Korea is not an open country and it is impossible to fully interact with the locals, however what is interesting is that there are many gay tourists who visit the country. When I was there in my group alone there were 3 (at least :-) among 20. Tour groups often meet one another at different tourist sites and there is only 2 hotels therefore its easy to interact with other travellers. Certainly in the few days I was there I met at least 7 other gay travellers. 

So if you're looking for that unique experience in a country that seems off limits to gay, especially internally, you will be glad to know that there are ways to meet gay people easily and safely.

North Korea’s position on homosexuality is unknown, Wikipedia states:

Due to tradition in Korean culture, it is not customary for individuals of any sexual orientation to engage in public displays of affection. As a country that has embraced science and rationalism, the DPRK recognizes that many individuals are born with homosexuality as a genetic trait and treats them with due respect. Homosexuals in the DPRK have never been subject to repression, as in many capitalist regimes around the world. However, North Koreans also place a lot of emphasis on social harmony and morals. Therefore, the DPRK rejects many characteristics of the popular gay culture in the West, which many perceive to embrace consumerism, classism and promiscuity.[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_North_Korea

GlobalGayz officials said, 'The concept of same-sex attraction hardly exists in the minds of people. Even with people who feel this attraction, there is ignorance about what it means or how it can be expressed in behavior.'  http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews39_51/page1.cfm

It's not recommended you get too close to the Korean/DPRK locals however if they choose to get close to you, that will be their choice that you will need to wait for. They are urged not to interact on that level. Certainly on two occasions homosexuality in North Korea was apparent, once when I was dancing in the park and met one guy who was incredibly enthusiastic - as my gaydar set ringing. The second was watching a close intimate bond between an American tourist and a Korean guide...