Every now and then we can all do with an uplifting hug.
So the Korean chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) opened a booth at the Queer Culture Festival in Seoul and gave out free hugs to anyone who felt they could use a mother’s embrace.
What they surmised would be a brief event turned into a 3-hour hugfest.
“We were surprised that so many showed up for a hug,” said Ji-in, a mother whose son came out as gay three years ago.
“Many wept in my arms. I am glad that I did that.”
When her son came out, Ji-in realised there was nothing she could do to change him, so she accepted him.
“I love my son for who he is. They are already going through so much because of prejudice and discrimination due to their sexual identity,” she told The Korea Times.
“If I decide to reject him, who would support him? We need to unite to build a society where my son will have a better life.”
Bbomi, another member of PFLAG, said some of the people who came for hugs cried.
“Maybe they felt like it was their own mother,” she said.
“I found myself thinking how wonderful it would be if they could openly tell their parents (that they are LGBT) and be acknowledged and supported.”