Not a football fan? Celebrate gay pride in Seoul instead
I've never been much of a soccer fan, so I'll be celebrating with the LGBTQ community at the gay pride festival in Seoul painting the city in rainbows. Celebrating 11 years of queer Korea, the Korean Queer Cultural Festival (KQCF) will host a colorful pride parade this Saturday, June 12th in the heart of Seoul. Festivities will commence at 12:30pm at the Berlin Plaza in Jongno where you can take part in a playground of activities ranging from games and contests to face painting and booth-browsing.
A diverse line-up of song and dance performances, including guaranteed-to-be-memorable renditions of your favorite K-pop compilations will keep you entertained until the start of the street parade which kicks off around 3pm. Join in the celebrations by marching around the Chunggye River with a diverse crowd of dancing drag queens, enthusiastic youth and topless men dancing on floats or marching to the melody. From the gracious to the salacious, performers at this years event are not to go unnoticed.
Don't head home just yet -- the end of the parade marks the beginning of the pride party “Touch”. Catch a free shuttle bus to Club Energy Factory in Itaewon for some queer pride pop, dance performances, go-go boys and a rainbow bazaar (8pm-late, 1 free drink 15,000 won). Get your ticket before hopping on the shuttle bus to guarantee entrance (four shuttle runs starting at 7pm).
As a side note, for those of you interested in taking pictures at the parade, please be respectful regarding the discretion of the participants at the event. If you wish to take photos of people, you can pick up a Permission ID Card at the booth when you get to the plaza. Please see the KQCF website for more information regarding this situation, or for more detailed information including directions and a map.
About the author: Kyle Burton is a writer, photographer, English teacher and neo-bon-vivant currently living in South Korea. For more information check out his website www.ketwam.com and blog ketwam.blogspot.com.
Kyle submitted this piece and Gay Bangkok: The essential bar and club guide as part of CNNGo's CityPulse section. To find out what other stories we are looking for, go to our CityPulse page.