Queer parade to take place in central Seoul on June 1

By Kim Dong-young Posted : May 7, 2024, 17:41 Updated : May 7, 2024, 23:46
Holic chairman of the organizing committee of the 25th Queer Culture Festival speaks during a press conference at Hyangrin Church in Jongno-gu Seoul May 7 2024Kim Dong-woo
Yang Sun-woo, also known as Holic, chairperson of the organizing committee of the 25th Seoul Queer Culture Festival, speaks during a press conference in Seoul on May 7, 2024.  AJU PRESS Kim Dong-woo

SEOUL, May 07 (AJU PRESS) – The organizers of Korea’s largest LGBTQ festival on Tuesday announced plans to stage a Pride parade in central Seoul on June 1, criticizing the city government for rejecting its application to use the event's traditional spot of Seoul Plaza for the second consecutive year.

The Seoul Queer Parade, a key event of the Seoul Queer Culture Festival (SQCF), will be held in the capital's Euljiro and Jongno districts, hundreds of meters from the familiar grassy plaza outside City Hall, the organizing committee said.

The metropolitan government did not permit the group to use the site because of a book reading event to be hosted by the city-run library there the same day. The city also denied its requests to use other public venues for forums and lectures during the festival.

The 25th annual SQCF, aimed at promoting the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, is scheduled to take place from May 27 to June 18.

The parade had been held at the plaza since 2015, except for 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 and 2023, when the venue was used for a youth Christian concert.

“The city refused to rent venues citing SQCF events would cause serious social conflicts. What the city must block is hate groups that inflict unilateral violence against the weak. If it fails to fulfill this role, it is no different from hate groups,” Yang Sun-woo, also known as Holic, chairperson of the committee, said during a press conference.

The committee said it is discussing details of the parade route with the police.

The first SQCF was held in 2000 with around 50 participants marching. It has since become the largest queer festival in Korea, taking place every summer in the capital.

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