Contact tracing South Korea’s latest coronavirus outbreak exposes LGBT+ people to hate


A new coronavirus outbreak in the South Korean capital, Seoul, has also seen a rise in homophobic hate speech. The southeast Asian nation has achieved enviable results in flattening the coronavirus pandemic curve. But the latest outbreak has seen around 79 cases linked to nightclubs and bars that one patient visited a week ago. The 29-year-old went barhopping around Itaewon Dong. The neighborhood is the city’s international district, popular with tourists. But it is also a center for the LGBT+ scene and includes an area dubbed ‘Homo Hill’ or ‘LGBTQ Street’ – a relatively safe space for the community in a country where many remain in the closet. Now officials are trying to track down thousands of people who were in the area. But many do not want to come forward, fearing that if they identify themselves, they will be outed.

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