23rd Seoul Queer Culture Festival gets support from US, other embassies 

The Seoul Queer Culture Festival (SQCF) returned as an in-person event after two years and 13 embassies in South Korea including the US supported it. 

On July 16, the 2022 23rd Seoul Queer Parade (SQP), one of the two main events of the festival, was held at Seoul Plaza, drawing thousands of participants including US Ambassador to Korea Philip Goldberg. 

This year’s festival has the theme “Live On, Stand Together, Go Onward.”

Envoys from different embassies in Korea hold a rainbow banner that read "Diplomats for LGBTI+ Rights” (Screenshot from Seoul Queer Culture Festival video on YouTube)
Part of the crowd at the 23rd Seoul Queer Parade (SQP) held on July 16 at Seoul Plaza (Screenshot from Seoul Queer Culture Festival video on YouTube)
US Ambassador to Korea Philip Goldberg (left) shakes hands with a representative from the British Embassy at one of the booths at the 23rd Seoul Queer Parade on July 16 at the Seoul Plaza (Twitter)

Across the road from Seoul Plaza, members of various Korean gay-hating religious groups held a rally opposing the festival and homosexuality. 

Despite this, the participants at the Seould Queer Parade were undeterred, waving rainbow flags and showing solidarity. 

According to organizers, about 135,000 people attended the event on July 16. 

At the Seoul Plaza, there were 72 booths set up by foreign embassies, National Human Rights Commission and companies like Google Korea. 

Diplomats from the US, Sweden, UK, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Ireland, Sweden and the European Union went on stage and held a banner that read "Diplomats for LGBTI+ Rights,” the Korea Times reported.  

In his speech before the participants, US Ambassador Goldberg underscored the commitment of the US to fight discrimination. 

“I just arrived this week but I wanted to be a part of this event to express the strong commitment of the United States to ending discrimination wherever that occurs and ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and humanity,” he said. 

Goldberg added, “We simply cannot leave any of you behind. So thank you for this warm welcome for all of us. We are with you. We are going to fight with you for equality and human rights."

In a tweet, Goldberg said, “No one should be discriminated against because of their identity. I join with @POTUS in standing with the LGBTQI+ community and applaud all those working to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons in . 

Also part of the festival is the 22rd Korea Queer Film Festival (KQFF) wherein online screening of films will be from July 15 to 31.