Seoul drag parade 01
Seoul drag parade 01

Dozens of Drag Queens Marched In South Korea’s First-Ever Drag Parade (Photos)

This last Saturday, South Korea witnessed the first-ever Seoul Drag Parade as dozens of drag queens and kings marched through the Itaewon suburb (known for its gay scene) carrying rainbow flags and wearing killer makeup and outfits. Approximately 500 people attended the May 26 parade and 500 more attended related events and after-parties. The march was intended to raise LGBTQ visibility and political issues in a country lacking marriage equality, LGBTQ-inclusive military service and the right for trans people to legally change their gender.

One of the parade’s organizers, drag queen Yang Heezy says, “When it comes to South Korea, human rights guarantees for sexual minorities are insufficient. Today’s drag parade and more queer culture festivals should take place to bring attention to sexual minorities and help those who are not from those minorities learn more.”

Seoul drag parade 02
A scene from the Seoul Drag Parade

In the lead up to the parade, local drag queens shared their thoughts on what drag means to them. A queen named RoHep Moonlight said, “You shouldn’t be criticized for being a woman.” One named Hoso Hailey Satan said, “Drag made me love the things about me that I used to hate.”

Another queen, Kuciia Diamant said, “The greatest things I achieved doing drag are confidence and love.” And one going by the name Hurricane Kimchi said, “Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will try and do that for you anyway.”

“[We’re] expecting more people in our next parade,” organizers said via Instagram. “We will be getting more professional help and better-designed organizing system.”

“We are planning to have a charity drag show where minors and youth can come and meet local & international drag artists in June,” they continued. “Through this ‘fun show even without alcohol,’ we will also be raising a fund for homeless LGBTQ+ youth.”

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Even though South Korea has never had laws forbidding homosexuality, the country’s President Moon Jae-in has said that he is opposed to homosexuality, same-sex marriage “should not be encouraged” and gay service members would undermine South Korea’s military.

The South Korean army has also been accused of using gay social apps to conduct a witch hunt against gay and bisexual male service members.

What do you think of the Seoul drag parade? Sound off in the comments.

 

Featured image by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) via Instagram