The Queer Culture Festival Rainbow 2003 (executive organizing committee chaired by Hong Ki-hoon, sys-op of Hitel's online community for gay rights 'Another Love') will be held from June 21 to 29 along the streets of Jong-no with the assertive catchphrase "Move!" This will be the fourth time the queer festival Rainbow is held. The catchphrases so far were 'Shout it loud! I'm homosexual!' in 2000, 'Take just one step forward, let's play!' in 2001, 'Don't stop, now's the time! Hearts go thump-thump" in 2002, and now "Move!" this year, portraying the homosexuals' desire to break out of the closet as well as showing an increasingly proactive attitude.
The festival's programs have taken on a greater variety, moving from the initial focus on a queer parade to other events such as discussions and forums, exhibitions and performances, film festivals and so on. Participation has also increased every year, from 2000 spectators and 50 queer parade participants in 2000 to 20 thousand spectators and 500 parade participants in 2002, a ten-fold increase in actual participants in just two years.
This year, the festival programs include an opening performance, parade, exhibition, film festival, forum, as well as a free party to add to the fever of the festivities. On the eve of the festival on June 20, a symposium will be held in Korea University in commemoration of the Stonewall incident of New York in 1969 that triggered the explosive growth of gay and lesbian rights movements all over the world. Homosexual rights activists and gays and lesbians will be holding in-depth discussions on three discussion topics, 'Stonewall and the anti-war movement,' 'Why homosexuals are oppressed,' and 'Korean homosexual movement and its future.'
At 4 pm on June 21, the festivities will start with the declaration of the opening of Rainbow 2003, followed by the opening performance, parade and other stage performances, all on Jongno-3-ga. Then from 7pm, all along Pimatgol in Insa-dong, the queers will break free from oppressive prejudices to ravel in a free party under the catchphrase 'Are You Free?' The free party will comprise of events organized by participating groups as well as a Full Monty show, drag and fashion show, macho show and band performances, bringing the Saturday night party mood to a fevered pitch.
From June 23 to 29, a 'With or Without HIV/AIDS' exhibition displaying HIV/AIDS posters from all over the world will be opening in Chungmuro. A film festival entitled 'Queers, Homos, and Us!' is scheduled from June 27 to 29 at the Art Cube in Ilju Art House. A total of nine films portraying the loves of gays and lesbians including "Her Story" will be screened, providing the audience with a chance to ponder on the meaning of labels like queer and homo that oppress the lives of homosexuals.
Rainbow 2003 has the participation of 14 groups from home and broad including the Korean Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders' Coalition for Human Rights, the Korean Sexual Minority Culture and Rights Center, a women sexual minority human rights group 'Kkiri Kkiri (meaning 'birds of a feather'),' a men's sexual minority human rights group 'Between Friends,' and an online community for gay and lesbian rights called 'Another Love.' The festival is sponsored by the Korean Culture and Arts Foundation. To participate in the parade or learn more about the program, visit the festival's website at www.kqcf.org or call 0505-339-2003.