SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – A handful of LGBT activists marched through Insa-dong, central Seoul, on Thursday at noon. But unlike usual LGBT parades and assemblies, they held no pickets, nor did they scream for equal rights. Instead, they wore hanbok, Korea’s traditional clothing, although for members of the opposite sex.
The march was arranged to protest against the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), which only grants free entry to visitors at Seoul’s ancient palaces if they’re dressed in gender-appropriate hanbok.
Entrance fees to the historic sites are waived for those dressed in hanbok. However, the CHA’s free entrance policy states that it only recognizes men in male hanbok and women in female hanbok as complimentary guests.
“Women wearing jeogori (upper garment of the hanbok) and chima (skirt), and men wearing jeogori and baji (pants) will be recognized as being fitted with appropriate hanbok attire,” reads the CHA policy guidelines.
“This gender-dichotomous regulation can be problematic,” said 24-year-old Kim Woo-ju, who took part in the march. “Such guidelines can even come across as a form of violence, particularly to sexual minorities.”
The group walked some 2.5 kilometers from Insa-dong towards Bosingak belfry, past Jongno 2-ga, and back.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)