Rainbow Teen Safe Space project Seventh letter for the donors
We have started up counselling and support activities for LGBTQ youth since Feb. after arranging Rainbow Teen Safe Space. A new log and name also was created. The new name for Rainbow Teen Safe Space is 'DDing Dong, LGBTQ Youth Crisis Support Center'. 'DDingDong' is the argot of showing of interest, which is used among teenager Lesbians as well as contains a meaning of welcoming LGBTQ with all our heart. We now are not able to run DDing Dong 24 hour-long cause its financial resources comes only from private donations without any governmental support but try to open 11 am to 9 pm on Tuesday through Saturday. Even where it is a little space, all LGBTQ adolescents coming to DDing Dong would have rest without being troubled by their sexuality. They can play a game, read comic books, take shower, or take a nap whenever they want. They as a welcome person and a respected existence do not need to read other people's countenance.
We are receiving a variety of counselling cases; some are considering whether to come out to a family or some are asking for a help after running away from home. It is so sad and pitiful that we cannot do everything for them but they always express their thanks to us for listening to their troubles and trying to come up with solutions together.
DDing Dong goes out to Shinlim-dong area in Seoul and progress street-counselling over night every Thursday. We have a plan to independently launch street-counselling from 2016, so the street outreach team is receiving an education from other youth organizations conducting street counselling. We also run off a social dining program on Saturdays. Food is prepared by a donor designated as a 'Today's Chef', and the program begins together with LGBTQ youth. Social Dining is the most favorite program to LGBTQ youth as they can participate without burdens, and it provides opportunities to communicate with one another.
Korean society has become more difficult for LGBTQ youth to live. Last Feb. the Ministry of Education has prepared 'Standards for In-school Sexual Education and issued the schools the instruction that prohibits sexual orientation and homoseuxal-related words and deletes the contents related to LGBT human rights. The Education Ministry says that the Standards does not contain homosexual-related contents because in terms of sexual value, homosexuality is not universally found in this society, and school education should uphold social, cultural, and religious value neutrality. Judging from this, it can be said that LGBTQ youth is deprived of a right to identify who he or she is through sex education. The adolescent to learn about 'equality' and 'respect' does not even know that LGBT friends are living around with them.
On June 28, there will be holding Korean Queer Parade in Korea. DDing Dong, Youth Crisis Support Center, will join the Parade and promote DDing Dong by meeting LGBTQ youth in person. However, it might be asked whether it is safely held. At the moment, the police does not approve an assembly notice of the Parade on the ground of the opposition of conservative Christians. The conservative Christian hangs on to their position to oppose the Queer Parade by ridiculous reason of the Parade does harm youth people and may spread AIDS, and says to block the Parade through praying.
It is a sad and aggravating reality. Every single day we witness how hard and difficult we as a sexual minority live in this society. Whenever LGBTQ youth people who are denied from their own family, and are not respected and recognized knock on DDing Dong's door, I feel relief, but on the other, I feel sad. For us, now it is time to move on. I am confident that more donors's attention and support will make DDing Dong more stable and much safer.
DDing Dong is a shelter as well as a playground, and is the only place to provide counselling and support. We invite all of you to become a reassured protector.
With thankful hearts,
Min-seok, Jeong Project Leader from Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea
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