On JTBC‘s Talking Street, Hong Suk Chun cautiously revealed that he was sexually assaulted by bullies when he was in middle school, for being different.
In the year 2000, Hong Suk Chun made history by being the first celebrity to openly come out as gay. He was shamed for doing so and banned from appearing on television. In September 2010, he started a show called “Coming Out“, a show aiming to help other gay men come out. With this program, Hong Suk Chun quickly became a well-respected celebrity as he helped change the views of homosexuality within South Korea.
On JTBC’s Talking Street which aired on February 1, Hong Suk Chun revealed a story from his childhood when he was sexually assaulted by bullies in his hometown of Cheongyang in the Chungnam province.
Coming from a fairly rural area, the bullies would pick on students who were slightly different from other students, so he was a frequent target to the bullies in school. He explained that he was dragged by these bullies to a hidden place, beaten, and sexually assaulted.
He didn’t go into any details about the incidents, but described the experience as “something I don’t want to tell anyone about.“
He went on to explain that due to the extremely traumatic experience of being sexually assaulted, his grades started dropping, despite being a very bright and high-scoring student. This started to confuse his parents and teachers, who didn’t know about his suffering. Hong Suk Chun then revealed he was able to move on from the incident by deciding to forgive those who assaulted him. After several years of contemplation, he mustered up the courage to visit the bullies at his hometown and let them know that he had forgiven them for the incidents.
He added that he is on good terms with the bullies, explaining:
“It was truly a nightmare back then, but I feared that my life would be in shambles if I hadn’t forgiven them, so I let go of it.”
– Hong Suk Chun