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Korean heartthrob to play gay role in new drama

Korean heartthrob to play gay role in new drama

Oh Seung-yoon will star in the new series (Photo: Facebook)

Actor Oh Seung-yoon is slated to be playing a gay role in an upcoming Korean TV drama.

Major network JTBC will air the new drama, called Romance is my Nature in Korean, in July, according to Daum.

Extreme Job director Lee Byoung-heon will direct the new series.

Oh was a famous child actor. His baby face now garners him top TV roles and hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.

There is not much LGBTI visibility in mainstream television and music in socially-conservative South Korea.

The country had its first on-air lesbian kiss in 2015. It sparked a lot of debate.

While homosexuality is legal in South Korea, powerful conservative Christian groups regularly lobby against LGBTI rights.

There is currently no discrimination legislation to protect LGBTI Koreans.

South Korean actor and TV presenter Hong Seok-cheon caused great controversy when he came out as gay in 2000.

His primetime TV presenting job fired him. People sent him death threats. The entertainment industry backlisted him.

Slipping on LGBTI rights

South Korea’s fledging LGBTI movement has triggered a conservative backlash, HRW warned earlier this year.

In its 2019 world report, HRW said leaders had done little to protect the rights of LGBTI people in South Korea.

The rights group noted 210,000 people had signed a petition against a pride parade in the capital, Seoul. Anti-LGBTI protestors also blocked a pride festival in Incheon.

Government education guidelines on sex education also discriminate against LGBT youth, HRW warned.

Organizers of the largest LGBTI pride event in South Korea this month urged the government not to give in to conservative groups and protect attendees.

Pride events in Korea are increasingly under attack from conservative Christians. The groups pressure authorities to deny permission and violently disrupt activities.

The National Human Rights Commission claimed it not ‘deny’ the rights of a same-sex couple to marry.

See also

Why South Korea must repeal its military sodomy law

South Korea rights body claims it does not ‘deny’ same-sex marriage

Pride organizers in South Korea urge police to protect their rights