Monday, November 25, 2013

Reflection #2

Studying homosexuality in class is a very interesting topic because it is something that everyone in New York City has come in contact with. Whether we identify as gay or know people who are. This is a topic in which everyone has something to say, and because it is in the public eye as much as it is, it is a topic that is talked about often. Although it is incredibly familiar to us, it is not to everyone. It is also important to note that even the acknowledgement of homosexuality is a new thing in our country. As we saw in class, it was a censored topic, and those who identified as such were marginalized and demonized as a result. It is terrible that so many people still don't understand and also don't bother to understand homosexuality. It is no different from being racist; it is discrimination against a group of people because of the way they are born.

This makes me look back on my time in Korea. I was appalled by the country's complete rejection of homosexuality. I have a gay friend who taught there for two years and he told me there is a part of Seoul called "Homo Hill" that is where all the foreign gay people go. It is also a famous tourist destination. One thing that is very noticeable there is that there are very few Korean people there. Of course there are Korean homosexuals who are never able to come out because of the shame it would bring them and their families, but the argument that homosexuality is genetic makes me question whether there are more or less homosexuals within certain ethnic backgrounds.

One ironic thing to note is that because Koreans don't believe in the existence of homosexuality, this makes many things that would be considered 'gay' to us very common between same sex friends. It is not uncommon to see two men walking hand in hand (I've seen elderly men do it too) because they are close friends. They may even be wearing the same clothes.

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