No Homo


There are going to be a lot of posts this year about gender, sexuality and the whatnot this year. a) because I’m me, and I love talking about that stuff, duh, and b) the ideas here are super interesting…

Pretty soon after my arrival, I noticed two men or two women holding hands as they walked down the street. Keep in mind, they are generally homophobic here, so this threw me for a huge loop.

Then in my some of my older classes, I have noticed similar behavior. One day when we were having a discussion, two of my boy students held hands for like twenty minutes. At the same time, one male student was playing with another boy student’s hair for about the same length of time. It was never mentioned or acknowledged, but it just kept happening.

As I have started witnessing these instances on different occasions, I have come to think that most of their homophobic attitudes come from the fact that so many of their day to day actions are totally homo. A foreigner friend that I went out with last night put it best when he said “Koreans say that nobody in Korea is gay. That’s because everybody is gay.” Clearly this is a vast simplification of things, but to a certain extent its totally legit. These kinds of actions aren’t specific to only kids and teens, I have seen adults commit such PDAs.

Well, my break is nearly over, so I had better get back to teaching my little Koreans!




One thought on “No Homo

  1. The same-sex PDA in the younger people is something I saw when I went to Japan. The kids would just hang all over each other. When other members of the group I was with asked our host students about it, they were really surprised that Westerners perceived a sexual/romantic connotation in those actions.

    Adults doing the same thing, I’ve never heard of; I assume that’s a difference between Japan & Korea in this phenomenon. Japanese kids can act however goofy/affectionately they want but are expected to be more and more at-arms-length as they get older.

    This has been a rather long comment. Sorry. All of my Japanese friends are an eency bit racist against Koreans, whether they’ll admit it or not, and there’s a lot of resentment between the two cultures. So it amuses me whenever I find cultural similarities like this.

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