‘We exist’: S. Korea’s first LGBTQ councillor tackles inclusion


South Korea’s first openly gay legislator may have cracked the ruling party’s rainbow ceiling but admits there is a long way to go to make the country’s politics inclusive. In a milestone celebrated by the LGBTQ community, Cha Hae-young was elected to the Mapo district council on June 1, 2022 — the same day as Seoul’s annual LGBTQ Pride march. Two years later, Asia’s largest queer festival is once again being shunted away from the capital’s central plaza after city officials said Saturday’s planned celebrations could “provoke social conflicts”. The annual event attracts support from across the region, as well as strong opposition, especially from Christian groups.

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