International Call for Solidarity with LGBT youth in South Korea for the 10th Memorial Service of the Late Yook Woo-dang


March 26, 2013


In 2003, both adolescents and “homosexuality” were key words in Korean LGBT discourses, and it was the first time that LGBT issues were nationally discussed.

The Juvenile Protection Act(JPA) included homosexuality within the category of what is ‘harmful’ to adolescents, until the National Human Rights Commission requested its removal from the list in April 2003. This transformation did not come without backlash from conservative Christian associations, which argued that the government promotes the spread of “homosexuality” among adolescents.


Yook Woo-dang was an 18-year-old member of Donginryun (Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea), but on April 25, 2003 he committed suicide in the Donginryun office. He left a note, which expresses criticism and desperation about the homophobia and discrimination against sexual minorities common in society and especially within conservative Christianity.


Since Yook’s death, Donginryun has held memorial services every April 25th, to commemorate him and to discuss LGBT youth issues more broadly. During these ten years, the LGBT movement has developed and gained broader support from other sectors of society. Also, more efforts have been made which focus on LGBT youth issues in the area of education, counseling, and policy-making. As a result, some local government offices of education, including Seoul, legislated the Student Human Rights Ordinance and banned any kind of discrimination, including discrimination due to sexual orientation or gender identity. At the same time, conservative groups’ backlash also intensified. The new Education Superintendent in Seoul, Moon Yong-lin, is trying to amend the Ordinance without including any mention of sexual orientation and gender identity. Other local governments are doing the same, continuing to argue that “homosexuality” is harmful to adolescents. Conservative groups also oppose the introduction of the Anti-Discrimination Law, claiming it promotes homosexuality.


This is the 10thanniversary of Yook Woo-dang’s death. In the last ten years, there have been many LGBT people who have encountered different types of discrimination, violence, hate crimes and suicide. In an effort to stop the hate and discrimination against LGBT people and specifically to prevent more deaths among LGBT youth, Donginryun is preparing a more special memorial service this year.


We would greatly appreciate a solidarity message from your organization for the 10th memorial service of the late Yook Woo-dang. We will publish your messages on our web page for international viewing, as well as reading or presenting them on video during the memorial service.


Send your solidarity message by April 21 on


We also welcome your generous donations. Donations can be paid directly into our bank account and the details are:


-          Name of Bank : Kookmin Bank


-          Address of Bank : 9th FL. Sewoo Bldg. 10, Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu,
Seoul, Korea


-          Swift Code(for foreign transfers) : CZNBKRSEXXX


-          Account Number : 032901-04-226666


-          Name of Account : Kwak Ekyeong


-          Phone Number : 82+70-7592-9984


For more information, please email us.




Donginryun(Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of S.Korea)



Tel : 82+70-7592-9984

Website :

Email :

Twitter : @lgbtaction

Facebook : lgbtaction              


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