Despite occasional rain, approximately 85,000 people attended the Korea Queer Culture Festival in Seoul, the capitol of South Korea, making it the country’s largest ever LGBTQ Pride event since its start in 2000.
The Korea Herald reports, “101 human rights organizations, global companies, embassies from 13 countries including the U.S. and the U.K. and university groups set up booths to raise awareness and understanding of gay rights, as well as to sell goods.”
The event included live performances throughout the day, various afterparties at local bars and a 2.5 mile march with music, vehicles and brightly colored floats.
Across the street from the event’s main plaza, a few thousand conservative Christian counter-protestors reportedly threw a festival of their own in opposition to the Pride event. They read prayers and sung hymns while being protected by a crowd of police in reflective yellow raincoats.
While homosexuality is not illegal in Korea, the country has no legalized same-sex unions of any sort, does not allow adoption by same-sex couples, forbids openly LGBTQ people from serving in the military and offers no legal protections via hate crime or anti-discrimination laws. To its credit, it does allow LGBTQ people to donate blood and allows trans people to change their gender on their official identifying documents, but they require trans people to undergo surgery first.
Some Pride attendees also criticized an alleged anti-gay witch hunt by the country’s military. A 2015 public opinion survey found fewer than 30% of South Koreans support gay marriage, but that sentiment could change as the neighboring island nation of Taiwan begins its implementation of same-sex marriage.
Trans marchers and allies strutted their stuff…
… and posed for some fun shots in the rain.
People literally wore their rainbows pride on their heads
Detox from RuPaul’s Drag Race even showed up!
She even posed for some pictures with fans.
Photo by cousin_queenie