• Heezy Yang

Wrapping Up My Queer And Korean 2021

South Korea Seoul-based LGBTQ queer artist and activist Heezy Yang 퀴어 성소수자 게이 아티스트 예술가 히지양 희지양 허리케인 김치
Hello. U Good?

Hello, everyone. Heezy (aka Hurricane Kimchi) here. :) In 2021, we were still in the COVID-19 pandemic, and the virus has stopped a lot of things and changed the ways we live our lives. I also had to cancel or adjust a lot of my plans but I can say without hesitation that I kept on running towards my goals and dreams. Despite all the challenges the pandemic has thrown at me, I definitely still achieved some things and enjoyed trying new things and trying old things in new ways. I hope 2021 didn’t treat you too terribly and you would be able to come out of it with some great memories and experiences.

First of all, I started this blog earlier this year, and one of my first blog posts – other than the introduction post – was about my queer artist friend Jeon Nahwan’s exhibition. It breaks my heart to say that he was struggling with his illness more than I (and many) thought he was, and he is no longer with us. He was a very active member of South Korea’s LGBTQ+ art scene, and more importantly he was a kind person and a good friend to many. I do not doubt that his soul and spirit will keep on existing in this universe in different forms, and his art and legacy will keep on inspiring me and many other people in this world.

This year, I got a lot busier than I thought I would be with life, and I was not able to blog at all since August. So here is a quick summary of things that happened and I hoped I could blog about:

I participated in Pride Expo 2021 (formerly known as Seoul Pride Fair), exhibited some of my artworks, and sold prints of my illustrations. The event was postponed once and later took place with a lot of restrictions and limits but it did take place offline, unlike the year before where it was held online – with a website with a bunch or texts, images, and links. Exhibiting and selling my work is cool and all but what was really nice was to have an event where I can be surrounded by LGBTQ+ flags, and meet other artists and art enthusiasts who are also queer or allies, for the first time in a long time.

Since the pandemic started, all regional prides – there are 9 of them now – in Korea went online, but the virus situation was better in early November, so Daegu Pride was able to organise and host an offline parade, and I was invited to perform in drag on their stage after the parade. I brought my friend Charlie Nistella along with me.

I adopted a 5-day-old rescue kitten back in April. It was really, really not easy taking care of such a young kitten but I tried my best and now he’s 8 months old and healthy. So I live with two cats now and I got them tattooed on my back. My friend who lives near me handpoked it.

Seoul’s drag scene went through tough times as much as other cities’ drag scenes did, as basically all shows got cancelled or faced severe restrictions. However, I have been more active than ever developing my drag persona and drag brand this year, and recently I started vlogging as drag queen Hurricane Kimchi too. Through the vlog, I share what’s going on with Korea’s drag scene and LGBTQ+ scene in general, and behind-the-scenes footage from drag shows and LGBTQ+ events, as well as my random thoughts and life stories. Click here to go to my YouTube channel to check out my vlog videos!

South Korea lost too many LGBTQ+ (especially tans) activists by suicide this year, and there’s only so much I can do as one person to stop things like this from happening, and I guess I need to learn how to accept and deal with situations like this and carry on, as the world keeps on turning. BUT here’s hoping there would be a little less tragedy and a little more stuff to celebrate…! Not just for me and South Korea’s LGBTQ+ community, but also for everyone in the world, and for you, too. :)

Now let me talk a little bit about what I plan to do, next year! As a singer-songwriter, I’m hoping to finish the productions and release two new original songs as singles. As a visual artist, I’m thinking about having a solo exhibition. It would be a first one in a long time. Yes I have been making new illustrations and comics but no I didn’t share them on my social media accounts yet. I’m sort of saving them for this exhibition. I don’t got details set yet so let’s see how it goes! As a drag queen, I will start a regular one-person show. I have sold out quite a lot of solo drag shows this year, and I’ve confirmed that there’s demand and room for it, so why not! Not sure it will be a weekly one or a monthly one yet though. I will keep on going to pride parades in Korea – but probably not to all of them as we have 9 of them in this country now lol and I’m old and tired – and to other LGBTQ+ art events and activism events. I’ll try to share what I see and experience through this blog and my drag vlog, as well as through my social media accounts.

Of course you do not have to have everything planned for next year, for the future, as we do not know how our future is going to unfold and we know at this point for sure that things won’t always go as planned 😭😭😭 but as a dreamer, I must say I feel good having these plans and thinking there will be fun things coming my way. Dream, with me, folks. Let’s go into and get through 2022 together, as dreamers!

South Korea Seoul-based LGBTQ queer artist and activist Heezy Yang 퀴어 성소수자 게이 아티스트 예술가 히지양 희지양 허리케인 김치
Go, dreamers!