The Korea Queer festival kicked up its heels in Sinchon June 7 despite the withdrawal of support from the Sodaemun district office, which had received a number of complaints from religious organisations.

The controversy didn’t quell Mandi, one of several performers entertaining the largest crowds in festival history. Still, on the streets of the university district opponents suggested it failed to consider mourning victims of the recent Sewol ferry accident. Organisers noted the dogmatism aimed their way.

Kang Myeong-jin, Korea Queer Festival:

As this festival has grown gradually for past 15 years, the voice of groups of anti-sexual minority has grown bigger especially this year. They have never been so organised against us. The main purpose of this parade is to communicate with the society on sexual minority issue so that society can have better image and opinion on the issue. And also, this helps sexual minorities themselves.

This year’s festival featured the slogan love conquers hate. Confrontations were generally limited, with everyone free to express themselves.

Park Young-ryul Korea Addiction Problem:

The Bible says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. Therefore, we can’t go the right way without Jesus. But they are not with Jesus. Sodom and Gomorah collapsed because of homosexuality.

Kim Ye-eun of Ewha Womans University sought to cover up the hate on her placard with messages from those in support of the queer community.

Kim Ye-eun, Ewha lgbtq human rights:

The most important aspect of lgbtq (lesbian, gay bi-sexual, transgender, queer) human rights movement is “coming out” or letting people know the existence of ltbtq people so that they don’t just remain as minorities. So we are here as a human rights movement.

Foreigners came from all over South Korea.

Hannah Barrett:

I came here today from Daegu. You never really see gay people in Korea. You never see couples walking down the street holding hands, so. I think it’s really nice for them, for everyone to be out today and just being proud of it.

With the participation of the embassies of the U.S., France, and Germany, the event garnered a lot of international support.

The Korea Queer Festival did not go off without a hitch, as some Christians held up the parade with a sit in. Although that may have disrupted this years event, polls show the queer community in South Korea – and around the world – is gaining wider acceptance.