Metro Weekly

Openly gay North Korean defector: I didn’t know what homosexuality was

“I didn’t know until after I arrived here that I was a gay, or even what homosexuality was.”

Credit: J.A. de Roo / Wikimedia
Credit: J.A. de Roo / Wikimedia

Jang Yeong-jin, the only openly gay North Korean defector living in South Korea, speaking with the New York Times.

Jang has written a book, “A Mark of Red Honor,” in which he describes his experience as a gay man in the isolationist North Korea. There, Kim Jong-un’s Communist government mandates a life of “sound mentality and good morals,” which doesn’t acknowledge or allow homosexuality.

“In North Korea, no ordinary people conceptually understand what homosexuality is,” he said. “It was always treated as some strange, vague mental illness afflicting subhumans, only found in the depraved West.”

“There are many homosexuals in North Korea who live a miserable life without even knowing why,” he continued. “What a tragedy it is to live a life without knowing who you are.”

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