caused a stir when he publicly supported sexual minorities in Korea. He has been praised by many for taking a public stance, especially when most of Korea does not see the issue the same way as he does.
It all started when the idol changed his twitter profile to the above photo of a public letter. The letter was written by a transgender bisexual student named Kang Eun Ha
, and reads as follows:
"Last April, the third attempt to enact anti-discrimination legislation was turned down because of those who loathe equality. In September, Kim Jo-kwang-soo and Kim Seung-hwan publically held a same sex wedding for the first time in Korea. There were disturbances such as human excrement being thrown onto the stage, but Kim Jo-kwang-soo and Kim Seung-hwan marched down the aisle with pride as to prove that 'love is stronger than hate.' But a few days ago, their marriage registration was denied. Also, some people voiced ridiculous claims that textbooks should discuss the issue of the humans rights of sexual minorities as a topic you agree or disagree with.
Many of you who read this will think like this: how on earth does this concern me or the state of current affairs? But because I know him [Kim Jo-kwang-su], I can tell you this. Whether you are pleased with this or not, this is the story of the world that sexual minorities, including myself, live through, who dine, take classes, study, and have debates with with all of you. This is another side of the current affairs of the society we live in.
Yes, I am a sexual minority. I am a male to female transgender person and I am bisexual. I am a woman. I am of the '880,000 Won' generation (the average young Korean works part time and earns 880,000 won a month). I am a college student. I am one of the inheritors of the working class. What more names can you call me by? There will be no end if you tried to enumerate them one by one. It's not just me, but probably all of you are living in the present, being called by numerous names.
But I am not okay, not at peace at any moment, whichever name I am being called. Today's Korean society not only can't enact an anti-discrimination law, but discriminates against sexual minorities on a daily basis, throws rampant unfair criticism and hatred towards females, exploits the young generation, forces college students to be absorbed with employment instead of academics. Which name should I be called in order to be at ease?
Someone asked us this. Are you guys Annyeong, whether we are doing well. That’s what I’m saying. Are we all well when we’re relieved that anothers’ pain is 'not mine,' growing accustomed to closing our eyes and blocking our ears in order to protect our own lives? How well can we be in a cold-hearted world when it continuously presses us to give up empathy?
I’m not saying that we all should pour out on the streets and start throwing stones. It’s just that, if this story of asking whether all of us living today are Annyeong (doing well) provides an opportunity to look into the face of the person next to you and call their name, I think this has been worthwhile. As the world becomes lonelier, I think, contrary to our belief, the way for us to become 'well is nearby. Right now, please ask the person next to you, 'Are you well?'"
From snowy Sungkonghoe University,
Kim Eun Ha, Department of Social Sciences
Translation courtesy of OMONA THEY DIDN'T
The singer took things a step further by messaging Kim Eun Ha. In the messages, the singer tells her , "I support you. As a celebrity, as a minority of a different sort facing the public, I also feel disappointment towards the world that does not accept difference. Of course, it can’t be compared to what you feel.
"I support you who are rightly exclaiming that difference is not wrong. I do not think you need comfort or concern. You are that strong. I hope health and warm is with you for this end of the year.
While some have criticized the singer for being so accepting, even more have applauded him for even talking about the issue. Like Kim Eun Ha, they thank him for his support.
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