A 23-year-old Korean actor hanged himself in his Seoul home on Monday, in part because of homophobia, police suspect. Kim Ji-hoo recently came out publicly, and saw many of his scheduled appearances on television shows and at various events suddenly canceled, in addition to receiving numerous hateful messages on his website. This sad news comes right after the apparent suicide of transsexual entertainer Jang Chae-won on Friday. All of which, you know, gives one pause. Sure there is still homophobia in the American entertainment industry (and, you know, as it presents nationally recognized symbols, Hollywood as big shiny fake microcosm of the rest of the world and all that), and some talented people are forced—or at least feel forced—to keep their sexuality private lest they lose out on work. (The alleged supergays: Tom Cruise, Ryan Seacrest, John Travolta, etc.) But, compared to other parts of the "first world," the situation here is pretty superior (I mean, it's not Europe, but it'll do. For now). We have queer-friendly science fiction! And kinda shitty but still, they're there! networks like Logo and here! and Ugly Betty on ABC, and, um, all of Bravo. Plus, this whole phenomenon exists! And in movies gay characters are slowly crawling out of the gay best friend ghetto and movies like Brokeback Mountain, yeah get snowed in the end at the Oscars, but they have increasingly big, important "mainstream" presences. Obviously we've still miles to go before we sleep—like, um, where has gay Erik van der Woodsen been on Gossip Girl?—but I just thought I'd take this opportunity to give a little appreciation to a flawed but progressing community of self-obsessed millionaires. Thanks for furtively tolerating the gays, because this thing in Korea is really really sad.
Submitted discussions can be approved by the author or users followed by this blog.