Wednesday, June 28, 2017

An insight into Daegu Queer Culture Festival 2017

Daegu Citizen Press 2017

Daegu Queer Culture Festival 2017
Interview with Heezy Yang: LGBT activist, performer and entertainer 

South Korea has always been keen to champion leading thoughts and open-minded ideology. DQCF was a great chance to see how Daegu people respect those who have different views on a sensitive issue like LGBT rights. At DQCF 2017, I was able to meet with my friend Heezy Yang: an activist, performer and entertainer who happens to be gay.

Before I go on to my interview with Heezy. I would like to state my motivation for attending the DQCF. It was simply to do with that fact, I wanted to understand how far the LGBT movement in South Korea has progressed. 

Heezy, is an openly gay. He is a happy go-lucky person and was also interviewed recently on BBC World News. However, he spent his teenage life living with this secret. He knew he was gay from age 13. It was not until he was 22, he decided to inform his family. He states “Korean society is conservative, and that’s why it took so long. I was able to build courage because I hung out with artists and open minded foreigners”. 

Moving on, I asked Heezy what his overall plan was for the day. Aside from being one of the main leaders on the float, he would perform and also be holding handmade sign during the festival. It was his 2nd visit to the DQCF. 

We spoke about many things, even about the current president of South Korea`s specifically about his views on the LGBT community. Heezy simply said “it was a rather sensitive political issue during the election. There's a possibility he is not actually against the LGBT community and I Hope he is not." As Heezy spoke those words, I just took a look around me and nodded my head in agreement. It was obvious that this festival was happening and many people were out here to support the cause. 

I wanted to dig deeper and see far the LBGT community has come and not just at face value. I asked what support structures are there for those who feel the pressure to keep their sexual preference hidden for many years. Heezy said this “just look around people, you’re not alone and ask for help! I know many LGBT people who provide help to others.” 

I asked Heezy, his final thoughts and message for the readers of Daegu. Heezy replied “Change is coming. Come out and support us. Don`t let people bring you down. Change is coming.” Since Heezy`s time was limited due to his prior commitments. We wrapped up the interview. 

As I walked around I was able to grasp how differently people react to this festival. Notably the police presence. Around every corner were 20-30 uniformed officers alongside detectives hidden in certain retail outlets. Around the corner, further down the street. I could see protesters. 

There were many booths that were selling items like T-Shirts, badges and pro LGBT material. Equally, I was impressed to see the American Embassy with a booth showing their support. 

I met some wonderful people at the festival. From one gay gentleman asking for my phone number, to an over friendly protester telling me to believe in the son of God. Also, I would like to further add that there is a shelter for people that have been made homeless due to their sexual preference and tailored towards folks from the LGBT background.

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