South Korean soldier opens up about being persecuted for homosexuality

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The man, whose name cannot be revealed for his own safety, told BBC News how it felt to be a gay militant in a country where homosexuality and army are not matched. Homosexual activity is illegal in the army in South Korea, and the country still has conscription, meaning that all men will have to serve in the army for some point. 18 men are currently trialed for being gay after the investigators chased them via gay dating apps. The soldier believes that loving someone cannot be treated as a crime, and this law exists only to kill gay men. If not physically, then morally. “I was really embarrassed. The investigatory came to me all of a sudden and began to ask which soldiers I met and what I did with them. They took my phone as evidence. I’m constantly afraid that other soldiers in my battalion will find out.I’m also scared of what the outcome of the trial will be and how long I will have to spend in jail,” the soldier remembers, adding that he had been in closet and even his parents were unaware he was gay due to prejudice around homosexuality in the country. “I’m always trembling with fear. If I’m convicted I’ll have to give up my dream and leave the army. I feel betrayed by the military and by my country,” the man concluded. The sentence for those convicted is a dishonourable discharge from the army and up to two years in prison.

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