12:20 am - 01/22/2019

Hong Suk Chun On Coming Out: “I Needed To Live Honestly If I Wanted To Live Happily.”

Hong Suk Chun talked about making the decision to come out even though he knew his career would be affected.

On the January 20 broadcast of SBS’s “My Ugly Duckling,” Park Soo Hong visited the home of Hong Suk Chun, his friend of 24 years.

Hong Suk Chun gave his friend a tour, and Park Soo Hong spotted a safe in his friend’s study. When Park Soo Hong asked about a document in the safe, Hong Suk Chun explained, “It’s something that says where to bury me if I happen to die from an accident.” Park Soo Hong asked, “You did this in 2003?” and Hong Suk Chun answered, “Yes. I overcame a near-death experience then. After coming out in 2000, I was back and forth a lot.

After the house tour, the two friends headed to the kitchen where Hong Suk Chun began making a crab dish.

Hong Suk Chun’s mom said to Park Soo Hong, “[Hong Suk Chun] is the youngest and has three older sisters. My parents-in-law worried a lot because I only gave birth to daughters. At the time, you were treated well after giving birth to your first son. They weren’t happy that I gave birth to three daughters in a row.” She continued, “After I gave birth to him, they were so happy, and I was treated well. I had a really good conception dream when I had him. I knew at the time that it was an extraordinary dream. Rice plants were plentiful and grew really well and made up a wall around our house. I still remember as if I had the dream yesterday.

When Park Soo Hong asked if she was happy when Hong Suk Chun moved to Seoul to become a celebrity, she answered, “I was happy. I was happy then, but I was upset when he came out when he was 30 years old. I was so disappointed. I had big expectations and I never thought he’d do that even in my wildest dreams.

I [came out] when I was really successful,” commented Hong Suk Chun. His mom wondered why he didn’t just keep the secret, since no one would know, and Hong Suk Chun answered, “I was so frustrated about living life while hiding it.”

At the studio, Shin Dong Yup commented, “That’s true, because he would have to continue lying.” Tony Ahn’s mom added, “Right. If you lie once, then you have to lie again.

Hong Suk Chun continued, “Since I was hiding it, it was difficult to meet someone, and it was more difficult when I did meet someone. So I thought, ‘I need to live honestly.’ I realized that I needed to live honestly if I wanted to live happily.

In his mom’s perspective, it’s not something that’s easy to understand,” said Seo Jang Hoon. “It’s how you’re born, and it’s not something Hong Suk Chun chose.

Shin Dong Yup asked the moms in the studio how they would respond, and Park Soo Hong’s mom replied, “You have to accept your child.”

Special guest Shin Ae Ra commented, “How painful must it have been for him to hide and lie about it, and not be able to be sincere with people he met. It must have been so painful for him to do it even though he knew how much it would hurt his mom. It must’ve taken a great deal of courage. My heart hurts thinking about how much pain he must’ve been in on his own.”

Hong Suk Chun debuted in 1995 and was the first-ever Korean celebrity to come out when he did so in 2000. He briefly halted promotions after coming out and has since returned, leading a successful career as a celebrity and entrepreneur.

“My Ugly Duckling” airs on Sundays at 9:05 p.m. KST.

Sources: Naver (1, 2, 3) via Soompi
lil_poisonfrog 22nd-Jan-2019 12:54 pm (UTC)
He is so incredibly brave and ahead of his time. Honestly it's wild that no other k-celebs have willingly come out since then (that I can think of?)
myungung 22nd-Jan-2019 01:17 pm (UTC)
I feel like Jo Kwon is the closest to even an inkling of it
lil_poisonfrog 22nd-Jan-2019 01:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah...I get not wanting to come out before finishing your military service for sure though
nana_the_dwarf 22nd-Jan-2019 02:59 pm (UTC)
Isn’t LE being suspected atm? There’s an ig friend that she’s been so close to that it’s got some people wondering. She’s also been showing up in a lot of gay clubs lately.

Also, I’ll be very surprised if Heechul isn’t gay. He’s living in a transparent closet with that Gu-something friend of his.
lil_poisonfrog 22nd-Jan-2019 03:32 pm (UTC)
That's the first I'm hearing about LE, but interesting...

Tbh if Heechul is I'm kinda sad for him bc I'm p sure he's denied it multiple times already. So if he is gay, it doesn't seem like he'll ever come out.

The only other person I can think of is Key. Some Shawols suspect a model he was hanging out with a lot a while back was his boyfriend.
jillyjellly 22nd-Jan-2019 03:40 pm (UTC)
Based on some things he's said, I have a feeling Key will come out. But after his military service
kenata 23rd-Jan-2019 07:37 am (UTC)
as a locket, i agree. i'm honestly pretty sure he's out in his personal life, and he talks a lot not hiding away his identity in his public life as well—but that's something i don't see him doing until he's done military service!
babyjenkski 22nd-Jan-2019 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah Heechul and Gunhee has been through this many times. Heechul denies it and I'm ok with it. If in time he does admit to being gay, I'll still be happy for him.
tungatunga 22nd-Jan-2019 06:59 pm (UTC)
His tv career now is playing up to every gay stereotypes, so I'm not surprised no one already semi successful don't want to risk coming out, even if public perception is bit more welcoming, people who have power over their career are the same old farts.
myungung 22nd-Jan-2019 01:16 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised at how positive this whole segment went, as from the transcript. it's nice that he gets support, and his career is resurrected again
thatchicksaywha 22nd-Jan-2019 05:02 pm (UTC)
I'm not necessarily surprised that no Idols haven't come out at this time.. it's obvious that Hong Suk Chun still suffered a lot immediately after he came out, and i can only imagine the wave of hatred increasing tremendously for idols, given their humungous fanbases. I'm being pessimistic though lol, i can only hope that one day idols will be able to come out with a lot of positive public support!
ohbubbajoan 22nd-Jan-2019 05:15 pm (UTC)
"I realized that I needed to live honestly if I wanted to live happily.”
this is very true. straight people can't really grasp the mental burden it is when you are in the closet.
chimpansee 22nd-Jan-2019 07:16 pm (UTC)
I want to watch this episode but I'm afraid it'll wreck me
spread 23rd-Jan-2019 02:59 am (UTC)
He's such an inspiration.
lightframes 23rd-Jan-2019 03:15 am (UTC)
I'm happy for him!
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