Although countries such as the US and Canada have achieved much progress in terms of LGBTQ acceptance, other countries such as South Korea, a country that has long had traditional and conservative values, still hold very strong opinions towards homosexuality and the LGBTQ community.
In South Korea, same-sex marriage is illegal and many of the citizens hold the belief that spousal love and marriage should be exclusive between a man and a female.
South Korea is a traditionally collectivist country in which the status quo is highly adhered to and deviation from the norm is uncommon. Out of fear of isolation, many of the homosexual citizens of Korea choose to blend in with the rest of the country, rather than openly come out. In many cases, we see homosexual individuals posing as heterosexuals who have relationships with the opposite gender and even have biological children.
According to Kim, “It felt like I couldn’t breathe because now I had to suddenly pretend I’m a different person,” he recalls. “I put on this persona, and like ‘OK, I have a girlfriend and it’s been a year.’ I create these fake stories to cover up.” (CNN, 2015)
Another situation involves a transgender woman named Ha Sun-hye, who was assigned a male at birth but began to identify herself as woman in her late teens/early twenties.