Thousands of people demonstrated for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people at a street festival in the South Korean capital of Seoul. The highlight of the festival on Saturday was the annual "Seoul Queer Parade", in which the participants marched through the city center of the ten million metropolis despite the sweltering heat.
Many participants at the Seoul Queer Festival, which is similar to Christopher Street Day in Germany, came in colorful costumes and waved rainbow flags. The street festival near City Hall Square was organized by the South Korean LGBTQ community, which had made the fight against the exclusion of minorities its program.
LGBTQ rights are still a contentious issue in South Korea. On the fringes of Saturday's parade, representatives of conservative Christian groups protested loudly against the event. The street festival and parade were accompanied by strong police security. Before the festival, the organizing committee had protested against the decision of the city of Seoul to give the previously usual venue for the queer festival in front of the city hall to an event of a Christian group.
Numerous ambassadors from other countries declared their solidarity with the participants of the queer festival. "By participating in this festival, we want to express our unwavering support for the Korean LGBTQ community," German Ambassador Michael Reiffenstuel said in a YouTube video.
The German embassy, along with other legations, also organized an information stand, which was located alongside almost 60 other stands from various groups, organizations and associations.