Successful Restaurateur Seeking Local Office

Hong Suk-chun

From The Korea Times: Gay celebrity still wants to stand for local office governing Itaewon. Gay celebrity Hong Suk-chun has reaffirmed that he wants to stand in a local election. “I want to become an elected official of Yongsan District and work with my ideas for the neighborhood I love,” Hong was quoted as saying in weekly news magazine Sisa Journal. “I want to show that a homosexual can also live successfully like this in Korean society. I believe that there’s more significance in me running for elective office as a homosexual.” Yongsan is home to his flourishing restaurants, mainly in Itaewon Street, a major tourist magnet in Seoul. Since 2012, Hong has expressed his desire to become an elected governor of Yongsan District. In his latest interview, he did not clarify whether he would run for the next local election set for June 2018. “I’m not sure,” Hong said. “I need more time to think about it. If I run, it will be as an independent candidate, without help from a political party.” Hong, 46, made his screen debut in 1994 and earned fame with his comic character. He was forced to leave the screen after declaring his homosexuality in 2000. Several years later, he returned to the limelight as a successful restaurant businessman.