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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Proud of Myself as LGBTQ: The Seoul Pride Parade, Homonationalism, and Queer Developmental Citizenship

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2018, v.58 no.2, pp.27-57
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2018.58.2.27
(University of Massachusetts Amherst)
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Abstract

This paper examines the Seoul Pride Parades of 2016 and 2017 to understand how Pride organizers and participants negotiate nationalism, developmentalism, and global human rights discourses to reconstruct citizenship and queerness in Korea. In particular, I focus on how self-affirmations of LGBTQ inadvertently intersect with, collude with, and traverse international liberal politics and Korean developmentalism in LGBTQ Koreans’ interactions with Euro-American embassies, antigay protesters, and the Korean government. Euro-American embassies have engaged with Korean LGBTQ movements by participating in recent celebrations of Seoul Pride. By contrast, antigay protesters have interrupted the parades by arguing that homosexuality ruins national development. For its part, the government has been reluctant to support LGBTQ rights. In this context, by relying on “proud of myself as LGBTQ” and using the embassies’ support, organizers not only oppose heteronormative nationalism but also produce what I call queer developmental citizenship. Through this form of citizenship, LGBTQ Koreans seek to cultivate the self and others to catch up with and align with Euro-American citizenship models, but they are less critical of liberal politics and developmental hierarchies between Korea and Western countries. I also consider how LGBTQ Koreans can nevertheless disrupt liberal developmental hierarchies by creating social relationalities and coalitions.

keywords
The Seoul Pride parade Korea queerness citizenship homonationalism developmentalism pride collective

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