JEJU, Aug. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – Jeju Island’s first queer festival organizing committee was launched on Monday in the hopes of tackling stereotypes and discrimination against sexual minorities to help create a safer environment, with plans to hold a queer festival later this year.
The newly-formed committee dedicated to running a local queer culture festival on the island held a press conference on Monday morning, during which representatives said, “We’ll be holding festivals to make sure there is no more hatred and discrimination against minorities in Jeju.
“Sexual minorities, despite being the same human beings as us, have experienced unnecessary discrimination and pain because of their sexuality. In Jeju, a community of intertwined and small networks, the human rights and safety of sexual minorities have been pushed aside, let alone be protected.”
During the press conference, the organizing committee, which hopes to follow in the footsteps of Seoul’s successful Korea Queer Culture Festival that attracts tens of thousands of people every year, emphasized the serious lack of awareness of the LGBTQ community in Jeju, while urging local residents to accept the members of the queer community the same as any other Jeju residents.
The committee also announced plans to hold a queer culture festival at the end of October in Jeju, which they hope to be a “festival supported by the power of love and peace to fight against the culture of stereotypes and hatred” with the support of the local community.
The organizing committee said it chose the women’s bathroom near Jeju City Hall as the venue for the opening ceremony of the Jeju queer culture festival committee, which was the location of a violent attack against a woman last year, which the committee says represents all kinds of discrimination and hate crimes against minorities and marginalized members of society.
The committee is set to collect signatures in support of the queer festival scheduled for October through social media networks.
The Jeju queer festival committee was formed by people with similar views who met each other on social network services.
As of now, their Facebook page has over a thousand subscribers.
Support for queer festivals has been growing steadily, particularly among young people, compared to 2000 when the Korea Queer Culture Festival in Seoul first began with only dozens of participants, as LGBT festivals across the country now attract thousands of people who show up in support every year.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)