generation of youth kdrama

About the Age of Youth Lesbian Thing

So there was a little controversy about the second episode of Age of Youth 2. The girls speculate that Eun might be a lesbian, and in the second episode, the girls go into one of the rooms and Eun’s possible lesbianess is brought up. Both Ye Eun and Eun Jae make homophobic statements in regard to her. Ye Eun says she’s uncomfortable about living with a lesbian and holds up her cross as a justification of her homophobia, and Eun Jae says she’s uncomfortable about living with a lesbian because it would be like living with a boy, implying that she was scared of the possibility of Eun hitting on her or liking her.

While Ye Eun and Eun Jae are uncomfortable with Eun’s possible sexuality, Jin Myung and Ji Won don’t seem to have an issue.  Jin Myung even tells the two girls to let Eun be and that they shouldn’t discriminate against her. That’s great and all, because of course they shouldn’t discriminate against her because of her sexuality and that’s important to let viewers know, but my problem isn’t that the homophobic statements are made (they are a part of Korea’s homophobic reality after all) it’s that at no point are Ye Eun and Eun Jae’s homophobic comments corrected. Ye Eun is not told that her religion isn’t an excuse to dislike Jo Eun because she’s a lesbian, and Eun Jae is not told that Eun isn’t going to perv on her just because she’s interested in women. The girls are told not to discriminate, but they’re still allowed to keep they’re terribly ignorant views.  

I’m not actually all that offended by the homophobic comments. I’m actually more upset that speculation of Eun being a lesbian was brought up in the first place, because odds are, she’s not. That sucks for two reasons. One because she and her little friend would be the cutest things, and two (the most important reason) because LGBT representation in kdramas is so very very rare (even when it’s there, it’s usually not presented well) so it would have been nice if the show actually went there. How interesting would it have been for the girls to live with Eun and through their interactions with her, learn that she’s just like them and her being a lesbian is no cause for concern?  How interesting would it have been for them to learn that it’s totally okay if someone likes the same gender? Their thoughts would have changed, they could have learned,  they could have seen how ridiculous they were for thinking like that in the first place, and homophobic  viewers could have even learned a little too. But because she’s probably not a lesbian, this whole thing will be swept under the rug and an opportunity to potentially knock some of korea’s homophobia will be missed entirely.