GUEST WORDS--This weekend's Pride Parade in Seoul drew a record number of revelers chanting "LGBT is love!" as they marched through the rain under rainbow color umbrellas from Seoul Plaza to the Bank of Korea.
Hosted this year under the slogan, “There is no later - now is the time for change,” the celebration is part of a Korea Queer Culture Festival that has grown from about 50 people in 2000 to last year's roughly 50,000. This year, organizers estimated the crowd at 85,000; disapproving police said attendance was about 9,000.
While homosexuality is not a crime in South Korea, LGBT people remain largely scorned and isolated. This year's event included, along with the usual booths, the presence of many foreign ambassadors and diplomats, who hoisted a banner reading “Diplomats for Equality.”