Everything You Need To Know About South Korean Dramas And Movies That Have LGBT Themes
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are still considered taboo by most Asian people. the people who fall into this category don’t get separated from blasphemy and social treatment that is considered bad. In this day and age, many dramas and films that touch on LGBT themes are worth watching to add social insight. The theme of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) identities has become old material for various dramas and films.
The LGBT story has also been raised in several Korean dramas and films. Some of the following titles even clearly describe same-sex love, but some are just included in the story just to make the plot interesting. At present, the LGBT community is no longer a taboo in South Korea. A series of music videos, films, and even popular dramas have begun to include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in them, whether it’s in the elements of the story or the characters. Although not so many, over the past few years popular dramas and films have seemed less reluctant to show the LGBT community. Some even got praised for their actions.
Characteristics of same-sex lovers are often present in every drama and film we watch. Not only that, it seems that Korean actors and actresses also seem to have no objection to portraying someone who likes partners of the same sex. For them, for the sake of their careers, they have to be professional with whatever challenging roles they are given. Do you want to know what South Korean dramas and films have dared to use LGBT themes?
In this article, Byeol Korea will show you some South Korean dramas and movies that are bold and clearly show same-sex love or LGBT themes. So, stay tuned!
Moment at Eighteen
18-year-old Choi Joon-woo (Ong Seong-wu) has gotten used to being lonely. He is not good at expressing his emotions, but he has a sweet side to him. He moves to a new school, where he meets Yoo Soo-bin (Kim Hyang-gi). Yoo Soo-bin is a top student, but her life is controlled by her mother. Yoo Soo-bin herself dreamed of becoming an independent person. After meeting Choi Joon-woo, she underwent a small change in her life. Meanwhile, Ma Whi-young (Shin Seung-ho) is a student who looks perfect and full of tenderness. He acts like a strong person, but he is actually a shy 18-year-old boy. After Choi Joon-woo moved to his school, his life began to change.
One of the characters, played by ASTRO’s member Moon Bin, comes to realize that he has different feelings for a classmate. He felt it was strange and unnatural because of falling in love with the same sex. One touching conversation about this:
Moon Bin: “I’m weird, aren’t I?” / Ong Seong-wu: “No, that’s just your feeling” / Moon Bin: “That’s right. I am also confused how I feel.”
Yoo In-soo: “Why is this strange? He just likes someone else. You are even stranger. Just go back to playing games.”
Love With Flaws
The Korean drama “Love with Flaws” is a romantic comedy that tells the story of a woman who hates boys who have beautiful faces. It also centers on a man who is obsessed with his good looks, when he overcomes prejudice against people with disabilities. Jo Seo-yeon (Oh Yeon-seo) is a middle-school track coach. She grew up with three beautiful and handsome brothers. But the ideal type that Jo Seo-yeon hopes for is a man who is not handsome, and has a normal face.
On the other hand, there is Lee Kang-woo (Ahn Jae-hyun), a man who believes and considers that the world is centered around him, and he enjoys getting the attention of many others. Lee Kang-woo also became obsessed with his external appearance. He previously had an ugly appearance in the pas,t that he has discarded and tried to forget.
“Love With Flaws” has a tougher part about the LGBT community. One of the supporting characters in the drama, played by the late Cha In-ha, works at a gay bar. Previously, he was told through hard times to confess about his sexuality to both of his parents. After his attempted suicide, finally both parents provide support for his choices.
The Korean drama “Reply 1997” tells the story of a high school student named Shi Won (Apink’s Jung Eun-ji), who is crazy about a boy group which came out in 1997, named H.O.T. Of all the members of the group, she was crazy about the member named Tony Ahn. For Shi Won, her idol is everything, rather than selfishness. Because of her madness for Tony Ahn she was often scolded by her parents for her poor performance. She was willing to skip school just because she wanted to watch the H.O.T Concert; not only that, she also suffered in front of the idol’s house just to meet him.
“Reply 1997” seems to be one of the most popular K-dramas featuring LGBT stories in it. Stories about the LGBT community in this drama even have a sizable portion. In the drama, the high school student character played by Hoya falls in love with his best friend, played by Seo In-guk. Although finally the love is unrequited, the twists and turns of Hoya’s character become a breath of fresh air in this drama.
Kim Jin-hyeok is a rich person who one day suddenly quits his comfortable job opening a cake shop. Only he knows the reason. Kim Jin-hyeok was kidnapped for a long time, and finally returned safely. He remembers nothing about his kidnapper, except for one thing; every day the kidnapper always gave him a cake. When he returned to his house, every time he ate a cake he always vomited, at first he did not understand why, until a little memory of the kidnapper had returned.
A Pattisiere who graduated in France, Min Seon-woo applied to work at Kim Jin-hyuk’s place. Kim Jin-hyuk realized that Min Seon-woo was his friend who when he was in high school claimed to love him, and Kim Jin-hyuk rejected him harshly. The problem was that Min Seon-woo was a man. Min Seon-woo also shamelessly admitted that he was gay, and he was not an ordinary gay, he was nicknamed the “Demonic Charm.”Ggay men and straight people would all definitely fall in love with him.
Because of hiring Min Seon-woo, Kim Jin-hyuk could not hire female employees because of Min Seon-woo’s fear of being near women. Kim Jin-hyuk was upset! Eventually he recruits the former Asian Light Weight Champion, Yang Ki-bum, and his family’s rigid and careless bodyguard, Nam Soo-young. Both Yang Ki-bum and Nam Soo-young look like they have feelings for Min Seon-woo.
This story tells about three young women in their 20s who work in television networks. Im Jin-joo (Chun Woo-hee), Lee Eun-Jung (Jeon Yeo-bin), and Hwang Han-joo (Han Ji-eun) are best friends, and they are all 30 years old. Im Jin-joo is the writer of a drama series. She experiences emotional ups and downs. Her personality is rather unique. Even though she is the writer of a drama series, she tries to write her script in a literary style. She also chatted with fancy bags in a shop window.
Lee Eun-jung is a documentary director. She has enjoyed documentaries since she was a child. She runs her own production company, and she is the only staff member in the company. One of her documentaries became an unexpected hit. Hwang Han-joo is the head of the marketing team for the drama series production company. She is a single mother. Hwang Han-joo struggles to balance her work and raise a child.
Actually, this drama does not show any of the characters as a lover of the same sex or LGBT. But one of the characters, Im Jin-joo (Chun Woo-hee), is a drama writer. The way she designed the drama script is quite surprising, because it was designed as literature.
Behind her passion to become a drama writer, it turns out that there are dark facts. She was disappointed with how her boyfriend treated her, because her boyfriend had turned to another woman. This disappointment could be buried by being accepted as a drama script designer.
The Boy Next Door
Based on the webtoon about two neighbors who started living together. Rich student Park Gyu-tae is a neighbor to Seong Ji-jae, while Kim Min-ah is good friends with the two of them.
Actually this drama does not raise the theme of LGBT or same-sex enthusiasts. But it is more about Bromance. This drama tells the story of two students who live next door in the same apartment building. They are Park Gyu-tae (Choi Woo-shik) and Sung Gi-jae (Jang Ki-yong).
Whenever they meet, Park Gyu-tae and Sung Gi-jae often act awkwardly with each other. But uniquely, they continually meet. One day, because Park Gyu-tae’s room was being renovated, he moved to Sung Gi-jae’s room. This is what made them finally develop a bromance relationship. But because they are almost always in a position that others can easily misunderstand, people think they are gay!
Seonam Girls High School Investigators
Five students are members of the private detective club at Seonam Girls High School. The five students faced problems such as private education, abortion, intimidation, and suicide. They do their best to solve these problems.
This drama tells the story of a group of high school students who joined a detective club and solved various cases that happened at the high school. In one of the cases, there were lovers who were both women involved in the case. In the drama, one episode featured a kissing scene between two women.
The drama ‘Secret Garden’ is about the life of Kim Joo-won (Hyun Bin), a handsome young man whose life is luxurious and smart. He is trusted to manage his family’s shopping center. One day, he meets Gil Ra-im (Ha Ji-won), who works as a stunt double.
The unintentional incident finally dragged them to a mysterious place called Secret Garden. There, the owner of the place kept giving them alcohol to the point that they fell asleep. When they awoke, they were surprised that the bodies of Kim Joo-won and Gil Ra-im had been swapped. Since the incident took the people wrong, their love story began. Kim Joo-won fell in love with Gil Ra-im.
The drama “Secret Garden” is more about the two characters who have switched gender when they go to a place called Secret Garden. The soul of Kim Joo-won, played by Hyun Bin, is confused with the soul of Gil Ra-im, played by Ha Ji-won. The same-sex enthusiast is played by the handsome actor Lee Jong-suk. Lee Jong-suk plays the role of a sexually oriented writer, creator, and songwriter as a gay.
Cheese In The Trap
The drama “Cheese in the Trap” tells the story of an ordinary student who has a beautiful and good face. The student, named Hong Seol, was played by actress Kim Go-eun. Even though she was still in school, she also worked to fulfill her daily needs. There is also a man who has a handsome face, and is rich in the bargain. He is named Yoo Jung, and is played by actor Park Hae-jin. One day, Hong Seol and Yoo Jung met and they started dating, but Yoo Jung also had another side to his personality. Because of his personality, their relationship was often not good.
Hong Seol’s neighbors are a gay couple who keeps their relationship hidden from family and friends; they are Gong Joo-yong and TA Heo Yoon-seob. In their story, gay discrimination is still being faced, but Hang Seol and his friends support them. Even though they face a struggle, their relationship is not subject to gay stereotypes: they are only two men who fell in love.
This Korean film is about a man named Yoon-jae, played by Choi Tae-joon, who is an exchange student at his new high school. He befriends a mysterious student named Lee Se-joon, played by Kim Shi-hoo. They both involve a middle school student named Eun-youn, played by Moon Ga-young, in a case they have.
In this film, many bromance scenes are shown. At first, the audience will be made to think that Yoon-jae and Se-joon are a gay couple. Both are seen falling in love with each other, but in the end it is told that this film does not take the homosexual theme.
“The Depths” tells about a Korean photographer, Bae-Hwan (Kim Min-Jun), and Japanese gay hotel employee, Ryu (Hoshi Ishida), working together on a series of photographs. Their relationship crosses from friendship to love while they also each struggle against the scars within themselves.
This is a historical movie set in the Goryeo dynasty, that focuses on the relationship between a king and his bodyguards. Under the domination of the Chinese Yuan Dynasty, the king of the Korean Goryeo Dynasty was pressured to produce successors to the throne. Unable to make love to his queen because he loved his bodyguard, Hong Lim, the king asked the two of them to sleep together. This sexual contact formulated a forbidden love between Hong Lim and the Queen.
In the film “Frozen Flower,” it was told that the king of the Goryeo dynasty, played by Joo Jin-mo, loved one of his bodyguards and his sleeping companion, Hong Lim, played by Jo In-sung. The King cannot have offspring with his queen because of his sexuality. The king is known to be gay.
Sook-Hee (Kim Tae-ri) is assigned to work as a servant to a rich woman, Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee). She looks like an innocent and kind woman, but Sook-hee is actually a con artist who cooperates with “Count Fujiwara” (Ha Jung-woo), who wants to take Hideko’s wealth.
The film, starring Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo, and Jo Jin-woong took the LGBT theme; the film dared to show adult scenes of the two female characters.
Long Time No See
The famous killer nicknamed the Flying Dagger crashed into ‘Wild Dog,’ who, by chance, was also a hitman for a mafia named “Black Leopard.” While the two of them try to disguise themselves, they can’t help but fall in love with each other.
However, Wild Dog has a secret that he cannot tell the Flying Dagger. After all, Flying Dagger and Wild Dog revealed their secret identities to each other during the battle led by their superiors. They are in danger because gangsters have branded them as traitors.
“Long Time No See” tells the story of a gangster and also a man’s love for another man. But they have to separate because of the hostile work between the mafia.
Man On High Heels
The film is about Detective Ji Wook (Cha Seung-won), a detective who has an extraordinary ability to catch criminals, he is also respected as a legend. During his teenage years, he wanted to be a woman and almost made a gender change. Will he do that, and what actually happened?
Ji Wook is hiding something about his sexual orientation and gender. Since junior high school, he realized that he likes men and wants to dress up like women. Unexpectedly, his classmate felt the same way. Finally, Ji Wook and the other student decided to become friends. Ji Wook also knew his friend’s sister, named Jang Mi. Unexpectedly, his friend died. Since then, he has buried his desire to be a woman. Secretly, Ji Wook also searched for Jang Mi’s whereabouts, and monitored her from afar. He felt guilty because he made her brother commit suicide at that time.
When not on duty, Ji Wook looked for clinics to do surgeries and hormone injections. He was determined to become transgendered after he resigned as a police officer. After officially leaving the police force and about to undergo an operation, Ji Wook was targeted by mafia forces he had arrested before. Ji Wook doesn’t want to interfere, but the mafia takes Jang Mi as a prisoner. Inevitably, Ji Wook postponed his plan to save the younger sister of his precious friend from the past.
Yong-joo is an honest and expressive child when it comes to expressing his feelings. He does not hesitate to encourage Gi-woon, who is diligent about skipping school to return to school. In addition to his persona as a model student who has aspirations to continue studying at Seoul University, he is also gay. He has long liked Gi-woon, and can’t reveal his true identity to anyone.
Gi-woon is a punk who doesn’t care about the rules. He works part time in the dark world, getting paid to beat people up. He also tried to find his father who reportedly had died while in prison, but in fact, the father worked at a building construction site secretly, without returning to his family again.
This drama tells the story of Park Sae Ro-yi (Park Seo-joon), who is uncompromising in facing injustice when he fights the food industry conglomerate in Itaewon. Meanwhile, Jo Yi-seo (Kim Da-mi) is a very smart sociopath with an angelic face, but a completely different personality. Finally, Oh Soo-ah (Nara) is an honest and confident woman who is Park Sae Ro-yi’s first love, and is now a rival company’s employee.
The character Hyun Yi, played by Lee Joo-young, steals the attention in “Itaewon Class”. Hyun Yi is said to have been born a male. It’s just that he was trying to raise money to have sex change surgery (gender reassignment surgery or GRS). “Itaewon Class” also became the first popular K-drama to carry a story about a transgender person.
The first story starts with An-na, played by Seohyun. She lives with her mother, Mi-young, played by Lee Ji-Hyun. An-na lives her life according to her mother’s wishes, but she has a secret that she can’t tell anyone.
Second Story: Starting from a rebuilding project in the area where Yoo-ra (Go Na-hee) and her family lived. Yoo-ra and her family must leave the neighbors.
Third Story: about Seo-yeon (Lee Joo-bin), who is an indie band vocalist. She is obsessed with superstition. Seo-yeon can’t forget her ex-boyfriend, who left her a year ago.
In this drama, the youngest member of Girls Generation, Seohyun, plays a lesbian character. “Hi, Dracula” tells how the character played by Seohyun experiences loneliness because her mother does not support her sexuality. When she was in middle school, Anna realized the fact that she liked the same sex. She hoped her mother would defend her, but unfortunately, Miyoung refused. Anna is not accepted unconditionally by her mother. That’s what makes Anna frustrated.
Anna’s life continues to wobble. After eight years of trying to survive, she received a call from someone she loved the most, Sojung (Lee Chung-ah). After receiving the call, Anna got a new dilemma. She wants to meet her mother and ask to be accepted, but at the same time, Anna also wants to stay away from her mother forever.
That was all for the information about South Korean dramas and movies are bold and clearly show same-sex love or LGBT themes. Don’t forget to give your thoughts in the comments below!