' THEY '
' THEY '
  • 장시원
  • 승인 2020.04.29 09:00
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Attitudes towards Gender Identity Are Changing
[Infographic] Different kinds of gender
[Infographic= By reporter, Kim Eun-seo] Different kinds of gender

There is a growing movement to respect different genders worldwide. In 2019, Merriam-Webster, the American language dictionary, selected 'They' as the word of the year. In addition to the plural pronoun, the meaning of the term, 'an individual who is neither male nor female', has also been added. Some governments, including Hawaii, Australia, and Canada, have added ‘X (the others)’ along with 'M (Male)', and 'F (Female)' to the list of identification cards and passports and have eliminated the duties of gender markings. Facebook is also offering American users 59 options including bigender and agender in the gender distribution column.

Taking the campaign to remove gender inequality since 2013, Gucci has displayed costumes with the theme of the 'Persona' in the 2019 F/W collection. In Latin, the concept of Persona was shown with an actor's mask which presents the actor's role in a play, rather than showing the actor's real face. The mood of the models in the fashion-show is shown using ambiguous genders or bisexual settings of men and women. This is consistent with how gender neutrality has been considered one of the most important trends in the fashion industry.

However, 'gender destruction' has started in Korea. According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, up to 250,000 people in Korea are estimated to be capable of transgender. Several media outlets have given voice to this population as more transgender characters have been part of popular shows. ‘Itae-won Class’ found on the JTBC channel is a drama based on a web cartoon. In it, one of the main characters is a transgender person. The hit character of EBS channel, 'Pengsoo', announced "I am neither man nor woman". In the popular reality show 'Mr. Trot', a singer who is 'half a man and half a woman' appeared. The singer dressed up as the 'Baron Ashura' and even performed a duet song alone. He participated in YouTube as two identities, Han Yi- Jae and Han Yi-sun, which quickly attracted 50,000 subscribers.

The icon of a new culture is 'Drag'. Drag which is already a subculture of Quier Club in Itaewon refers to a person who is acting with exaggerated make-up, wearing, and behavior. Examples of this can be seen in Drag Queen artist Nana Kim and 'their' group Neon Milk. They have appeared in various fashion brands like Converse, H&M, and also in music videos. It is not necessarily a woman dressed up as a man but a way to express feelings by wearing shocking clothes or make-up, something that the conservative society does not wear.

Dr. Jo Ji-seon of Yonsei University’s Institute of Human Behavior said, "Asian societies, including Korea, often are put to inconvenience when there is a heterogeneous group because these societies traditionally value authorities, orders, and experience-centered cultures" It is not easy to live as a sexual minority person in Korean society.

Nowadays, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are political and economic issues around the world. Experts insist that discussions about cultural diversity should be brisk. In Korea, a law recognized a transgender person who did not remove his genitals as a woman. The law was passed on March 16, 2020. Hopefully, there will be no instances of people abusing this law, and this will be useful to those who need the law.


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