There is such fear and secrecy and propaganda about many aspects of North Korea that it’s difficult to find anything reliable about everyday life there–and doubly so about homosexuality. The concept of same-sex attraction or ‘Gay Life in North Korea’ hardly exists in the minds of people. Even with people who feel this attraction, there is ignorance about what it means or how it can be expressed in behavior.
The status of gay rights in North Korea is unclear due to the country’s secrecy regarding its internal affairs. Though homosexuality is not officially criminal in North Korea, the government condemns the practice as a vice caused by the decadence of capitalist society, and denounces Western gay culture as promoting consumerism, classism, and promiscuity. "Violating the rules of collective socialist life" can be punished with up to 2 years imprisonment. It is unclear whether this code of conduct is implemented to punish homosexuals. North Korean defectors claim that homosexuality is simply not discussed in the country, and most have no idea of the existence of such sexual practices until leaving. It is therefore suspected that most North Korean homosexuals are conditioned or coerced into marriage without fully comprehending their feelings.
Being gay in North Korea: finding insightful information about LGBT life in this closeted country is like trying to find water on Mars. This overview by a British writer suggests, among other things, that the only North Koreans who know about homosexuality are ones who escape into South Korea where gay life is more known.
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