A festival advocating equality for sexual minorities will open at the end of May and run for two weeks in central Seoul, with the main event parade planned for June 1, organizers said Tuesday.
Under the slogan “The 20th Fight for Rights,” the 20th annual Queer Culture Festival, including a pride parade, film festival and lectures, will run for about two weeks from the end of May to early June, with exact dates to be confirmed later.
(Seoul Queer Culture Festival Organizing Committee)
The committee said it had submitted a request to the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Tuesday for the use of Seoul Plaza, the launching point for the parade since 2015.
“The government should drop its attitude of walking on eggshells around haters and instead show its willingness to guarantee universal rights for the socially marginalized, including sexual minorities,” said Kang Myung-jin, head of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival Organizing Committee. He called on the Seoul government and police to be more active in protecting their rights to hold the event and in guaranteeing participants’ safety.
One of the highlights of this year’s festival is to be the “Pink Dot” event, where attendees wear pink clothing and accessories to express solidarity with the LGBTQ community and pink lights are shone into the night sky.
Singapore "Pink Dot" (Seoul Queer Culture Festival Organizing Committee)
The June 1 event is expected to feature performances by bands, LGBTQ artists and hundreds of booths set up by human rights organizations, global companies, embassies and university circles to raise understanding.
The date of the festival has been typically kept confidential until the last minute, mindful of strong opposition by anti-gay activists. This time, the date has been made public early to confront the hatred head on, according to the committee.
Despite large-scale protests by anti-gay activists -- mostly conservatives and evangelical Christians, the parade has kept growing.
Last year’s downtown parade attracted a record 120,000 citizens. The inaugural event in 2000 in the theater district of Daehagno drew some 50 people.
More information can be found on the committee’s website at www.sqcf.org.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)