The UOS Times
Coming Out of the Closet
Reporter Yang Eun-jee  |
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[0호] 승인 2010.09.04  
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Ricky Martin, who sang a song, [Livin` La Vida Loca].
Jodie Foster, who is an actress of The Silence of The Lambs.
Elton John, who is an emperor of English pop.
Marc Jacobs, who is a head designer of Louis Vuitton.
Hong seock-cheon, who is a Korean actor.

Do you know a common thing among these five people? Frankly speaking, they are people who came out. What is Coming Out? It is derived from the phrase, come out of the closet. It is when a person acting, or believed to be, heterosexual reveals openly that they are homosexual. In one case, when Marc Jacobs came out, his fans were not surprised at his wedding news. The reason why they were embarrassed was his wedding photos. A man stood next to him. In recent years, many people have felt comfortable with coming out.

What Is Homosexuality?

A bisexual person is attracted to both sexes. Gay generally refers to men who are attracted to other men and lesbian refers to women attracted to other women. In history, bisexuality and homosexuality have been observed throughout society, but the term bisexual was not made until the 19th century. In the era of Plato and Socrates, homosexuality amongst men was seen friendly. The reason why they took this stance is that they considered the same sex with respect or as a complementary relationship.

For example, when an older man meets a younger man, the younger man thinks he can learn experience and knowledge of life from the older man. In contrast, the older man thinks he can keep youthful ideas and learn ambition from the younger man. This is a complementary relationship. Their idea in that era was a little different from recent times. In the past, homosexual relationships existed between teachers and students or commanders and subordinates. We find this fact in Greek and Roman mythology. As time went by, homosexuality in the middle ages was a relationship between masters and pupils.

A master was same as a king. Without a permission of his master, a pupil couldn’t be independent and should always help his master’s work. Therefore, pupils needed respect for their master. From this relationship, it seemed that their homosexuality started. In other words, through a physical union with their respectful person, they felt oneness. This type of homosexuality was especially common with artists and philosophers. A surprising fact is that 80% of the world population has bisexual tendencies and just 2% is heterosexual. In the present day, there is a controversy whether homosexuality is innate or not. In one documentary program, when a sex of an embryo is decided, if a certain DNA does not coincide its appearance, homosexuality becomes innate. For example, if a male fetus undergoes that, his hormones secrete strangely. So his brain becomes feminization. It supports the theory that homosexuality is innate. However, the conclusion of this dispute has not been finalized.

Homosexuality in the Media

Coffee Prince

In the early parts of this drama, the hero mistakes the heroine as a man, and he was tormented and worried because he could not control his sense of love. Finally he proposed to the heroine that “I love you even though you are a man. And though it is not ordinary that a man loves a guy, let’s love each other”. Later, the heroine told him that she was not a man but a woman. At last, they started a heterosexual relationship seen as ‘ordinary love’ in our society. This drama covering homosexual love fascinated viewers in Korean society, which has extreme conservation. As the pretty romantic pictures made many singles’ hearts flutter, more people accepted the truth of homosexual love by watching this drama.

A Life is Beautiful

This drama was the first public TV program dealing with homosexuality in Korea. Two heroes share couple rings with each other. And they love, date, and are jealous of one another. This is no different from other couple relationships between males and females. What we watch carefully is the difference of opinion of the two heroes’ families. One hero, Kyeong-soo’s mother is ashamed and criticizes him by calling him a monster of his family.

However, the other hero, Tae-seob’s mother embraces him. She accepts her son’s special love because he is a human and she knows that her son loves Kyeong-soo, although he is a man. This difference of opinion is easily found in present society. In our society, both agreement and opposition about homosexuality exists. As a drama’s story develops, gap of conflicts become narrower. Likewise, through a drama’s story, the prejudice of our society is reduced.

Brokeback Mountain

The two main characters of this movie met as co-workers on a sheep ranch. They were attracted to each other. They showed their feelings to each other because no one else was around. After finishing their working period, they made their separate livings in ordinary life called “normality”. However, they met after many years and they verified their love again. Because of the eyes from society and barriers on homosexual love, they kept their love by meeting only 2 or 3 times a year and did not reveal their love. One of the characters realized the shortage of their love, and he craved their love more deeply. They argued and fought over this issue. At the end of the movie one character died (or was killed!).

Although the number of screens was limited when it was released in the United States, it made a good box-office record and was a popular topic of discussion. It was awarded Best Director at the Venice Film Festival in 2005; also it was awarded an Oscar, Best Director, Adapted Screenplay, and Music Award in 2006.

A Desirable Attitude Looking at Homosexuality

Imagine that your friend comes out. How do you feeling? Maybe you are embarrassed. In our society, most people still mention the prejudice of society when give advice on homosexuality. Most people think that they have a generous understanding about homosexuality. Actually, it is not true! They just understand their friend’s orientation as a mental issue, not heartfelt issue. Due to the cold attitude of some people, sexual minorities suffer from a number of mental pains. Because of bias, sexual minorities may hide in their closet.

Our society consists of various individual lives. Therefore, we cannot invade the liberty of sexual minorities. Also their sexual preference has to be respected. The sexual preference is a territory of choice. And the dichotomous cast of dividing heterosexual or homosexual should not be made. Unfortunately, a dark side which exists in our society sets up these wrong casts. For this reason, discrimination about homosexuality in a heterosexual society is unavoidable. However by bring up the problem constantly, it is possible to break the cast and expand our horizon of thought. Via this, we can appreciate each individual as a person who has various differences.

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