He’s in his late 20’s to 30’s. I’ve been tracking LGBT in Korea for years now. A soldier was jailed for having consensual sex with a fellow soldier fairly recently under the “National Security Law” which is pretty much written to be anything that the lawmakers want it to be. (The darker side of S. Korea). Being trans and in the army is still illegal. It took a while to get him out, but he was still expelled from the army for “sickness” IIRC.
Same sex marriage is still illegal.
The current president of South Korea, President Moon despite being a civil rights lawyer still things that being gay is “a sickness” and it’s not “traditional” even if that’s not true. There is plenty of evidence for gay people in Korean history.
And unfortunately, despite what people may see on Korean dramas, which tend to be more liberal, the problem is that a majority of people STILL think that anyone in a same sex relationship auto-has AIDS.
Trans rights are marginally, marginally better than the US in some aspects, but not really.
Hong Seok Chan related how as the eldest son he was super ashamed to be gay such that he considered suicide before publicly coming out. He’s the only one to publicly admit as an actor he is gay. (One director and one director who is lesbian [more recent]). Still, his acting gigs got cut down… though none of the other actors around him seem to mind.
It’s oppressive in a way that people don’t realize viewing it from a popular culture stand point.
It’s still to the point that people are forced to lie about their relationships and their parents try to “fix” them by forcing blind dates on them, etc, try to force them into marriage…
People were outraged when in one episode of Seonam two girls kissed. I was like so what? It was a cable station, but they still demanded the censorship board censor them.
And only last year I got into a fight with a native Korean over the idea that Korean people were historically gay. They insisted flat out that there never were any gay Korean people in history ever, even as I listed people who were historically known to be gay. They got raging upset. How dare I.
I’m pretty sure of the environment is pretty depressing. 5-10 years back, he’d have issues, especially since he didn’t live originally in Seoul.
Being out, out is tough in Korea. A lot less protections. (I do mention other real people, so it’s not boxed in…)