“Pushing the boundaries of gender in South Korea” Seoul Drag Parade, Asia’s largest drag parade, will be held online this year.
Inspired by domestic queer culture festivals and the international pride movement, Seoul Drag Parade was founded in 2018 by queer activists Heezy Yang (Hurricane Kimchi in drag) and Ali Zahoor. In conservative South Korea, where there is no legal protection for queer people, the event allowed a safe space for people to express themselves and break gender stereotypes through the art of drag. The parade was held in Seoul’s Itaewon in 2018 and 2019 but like last year, will be held online in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The queer community in South Korea faced a turbulent year in the backdrop of the global pandemic with queer spaces being closed and being scapegoated and blamed for spreading the virus. Therefore, Seoul Drag Parade was unable to hold its conventional fundraisers or any other offline events. However, due to generosity from supporters, a fundraiser was established, bringing in enough funds to put on a show for the queer community to enjoy, this pride season.
This year’s Seoul Drag Parade will be divided into two main events. The first is the hashtag event which will begin on 5th June via social media for participants to show off their favourite, prideful looks. Queer goods and Seoul Drag Parade merchandise will be awarded to selected participants. The second event is the bilingual online drag show which will be streamed live on June 27th. The line-up of the show includes many Korean drag artists, as well as queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race and other drag queens and kings from across America, Europe, and Asia. The line-up will be released with an official poster in June and all sexual minorities and allies across the globe are invited to watch the show and participate in the hashtag event.