South Korea sees a peak of homophobia during a new cluster of Coronavirus cases

South Korean LGBT+ community has been in the target of newspapers and media that accuses the community to be guilty for the spread of coronavirus in the country.

As te Guardian reported in this article, almost 100 new cases of Covid-19 have been linked to bars and clubs in Itaewon, the city’s underground gay district in South Korea. But the newspapers and media got too far now: they revealed personal information of a gay man in the city who tested positive to Coronavirus, putting his life in big danger.

South Korea is a country where speaking about sexuality and sex remains a real taboo and where pornography is banned. Some politicians have tried to ease the tension and this increasing homophobia, but they have never publicly acknowledged the LGBT+ community.

Last Saturday 9th May, South Korea’s prime minister, Chung Sye-kyun, urged the public to “refrain from criticising a certain community as it will not help efforts to contain the coronavirus spread”.

While Ministry of Health official Yoon Tae-ho added on Monday 11th May, that there had been “criticism and hate against a certain group to which the infection occurred.” Yoon also said that “Leaking personal information of confirmed patients or spreading baseless rumors not only harms other but could be criminally punished.”

Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea could not stand in silence, and released a statement where they publicly slammed and ashamed newspapers and media for what they have been doing so far and for the false accusations to the LGBT+ community of the country. The group also added: “The attitude of media, who are obsessed with revealing the sexual orientation of the confirmed case and digging up information that has nothing to do with the disease, is adding a stigma of the disease to the hatred of minorities that has been prevalent in Korean society.”

South Korea is still a country where people pretend not to see the elephant in the room and where there is little (or even less) legislation that protects LGBT+ people. 

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