By Park Si-sooStaff ReporterWhen it comes to sex, whether it refers to gender or sexual intercourse, Korea, built upon Confucianist ideals, has stayed very conservative.But the strictness on sexual relations has become radically relaxed in recent years to the level that people believe women who keep their virginity until marriage are virtually "an endangered species."Hostility against sexual minorities such as homosexuals and transsexuals, however, still remains robust, providing the grounds for many sexually straight people to see them as potential criminals, trouble makers or even transmitters of disease.This invisible but obvious antagonism against sexual minorities here has served as an invincible hurdle to those trying to venture out of the closet. A couple of celebrities including male-turned-female singer Ha Ri-su, who made her debut in 2001, and Hong Seok-cheon, a male model and actor who came out as gay in 2002, have launched campaigns aimed at removing the negative images associated with those with a different sexual identity, but they have fallen short of getting rid of the deep-rooted sentiment.Choi Han-bit, a 22-year-old male-turned-female fashion model, has recently added her energy to what critics call a "fruitless" campaign with the hope that her efforts will help advance the equal treatment of people regardless of their sexual identity.Choi made her surprising debut as the first transsexual fashion model in July through a beauty pageant sponsored by SBS. Though she failed to advance to the finals, her passage in the preliminary stage was intriguing enough to draw huge public attention. Capitalizing on the popularity, she now features on a variety of TV shows as a guest, and hopes to become an actress.....
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Posted by De Sube at 11/29/2009 09:26:00 PM