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Reading Out of the Closet: New Queer Voices from Korea

Posted on June 08, 2021

                           Clockwise from top left: Soje, Choi Jin-young, Lee Hyemi, and Anton Hur

In a moving essay about translating the Korean lesbian love story "Genesis," Anton Hur writes:

Queer people and translators are more often than not invisible, but we are, more often than not, here. We write the words you read, the very words that make you think and feel and cry and laugh. You may not always see us, but sometimes, if you are reading very closely, you will sense us. We cannot come out of the closet, but perhaps, with your help, we can be read out of it.

Phases of the moon (CC0 Public Domain)

This Pride Month, WWB Campus is highlighting LGBTQ voices from Korea, many of which appear in our new collection of Korean writing on this site. Click the tabs next to the literature for multimedia resources and teaching ideas.

  1. "Genesis": A tender science fiction story by Jeon Sam-hye, translated by Anton Hur
  2. "The Cupboard with Strawberry Jam": A sensuous love poem by Lee Hyemi, translated by Soje
  3. "Tree of Kisses": A story about a teen girl growing up with a cross-dressing father by Kim Bi, translated by Sora Kim-Russell and Eunjung Kwon-Lee
  4. "Dori and Jina": A post-apocalyptic romance between two girls by Choi Jin-young, translated by Soje
Man carrying Puerto Rican flag in San Francisco Pride parade. By Steven Damron, 2013. (CC 2.0 licence, image has been cropped and color-optimized.)

P.S. For more queer voices: