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For your future - Korea was very cool to visit.
Micky Kim remembers the day two years ago when he married Tony Ruse in California. "All the people from City Hall suddenly came out and congratulated us," he recalls. "People who I don't know are congratulating our marriage. But in (South) Korea, no-one even knows my marriage and I couldn't even tell my family." As far as Micky's relatives know, Tony is just his business partner at their recording studio in Seoul, South Korea's capital.
When asked about his personal life at recent family event, Micky had his lines ready to go. "It felt like I couldn't breathe because now I had to suddenly pretend I'm a different person," he recalls. "I put on this persona, and like 'OK, I have a girlfriend and it's been a year.' I create these fake stories to cover up." He says he did the same thing when he worked as an intern at a major South Korean company.
But now he's decided to open up to help increase understanding and tolerance at home. Unfamiliarity, he says, is part of the reason why South Korea can be a difficult place for people like him to be themselves. He thinks many South Koreans see homosexuality as a foreign phenomenon -- especially the older generation.
There are some prominent LGBT South Koreans, including film director Kim Jho Gwang-Soo, who is fighting in court to have his marriage to Kim Seung-Hwan recognized, but they are few and far between in popular culture.
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