This year, Canada House will double as Pride House, offering a space for LGBT athletes from all competing countries.
Reprinted from CBC.ca
9 February 2018
There are 13 out and proud LGBT athletes at the Winter Olympics, out of more than 3,000 competitors.
While that number may seem low, it’s almost double the number who were out at Sochi — seven.
“I promise, for every athlete that's out, there's at least one or two that aren’t,” said Mark Tewksbury, a Canadian swimmer who won Olympic gold in 1992, and later came out as gay.
Homosexuality is under the radar in South Korea, with limited public discourse on LGBT rights, or support for the activists fighting for them.
That lack of support showed recently when organizers failed to raise funds needed for an LGBT centre at the Olympic Village in Pyeongchang. But then Canada stepped in.
Canada House will now double as Pride House. The first Pride House was in Vancouver in 2010.
A powerful message greets all visitors to Canada House in #PyeongChang2018. “This is your house no matter who you are or where you come from”
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WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE GAY IN SOUTH KOREA?
There are no laws against homosexuality in civil society in South Korea, but many LGBT people face family pressure to stay in the closet and even enter into heterosexual marriages, said John Cho, an assistant professor of global studies at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
Cho did field research on gay men in South Korea, and found that most Koreans do not consider discussion of homosexuality within the public sphere to be an appropriate topic.
Homosexuality has been politicized recently by members of the Christian right, he told The Current's guest host David Cochrane, who are using it "as a political tool to bolster its own power."
The internet has had a galvanizing effect on the gay and lesbian movement in the country however.
"A movement that had all but died in 2007," he said, "last year became this very vibrant movement that had 70,000 people show up for its pride parade."