Updated: Jun 6
A male employee, working at the Lotte Department Store of Italian luxury brand Gucci, was tested positive for COVID-19 last week, one of the many new coronavirus cases in South Korea which was linked to nightclubs and bars in Itaewon, Seoul.
According to Korean Times, Lotte franchise immediately shuts down the store in the morning on the same day to perform disinfection inside the entire building. With speculations arising about the infected worker’s sexual identity, a number of luxury brand within the department store, such as Gucci, are planning to “reshuffle” their staff due to suspicions on homosexuality.
A source told Korean Times:
“Brands are not trying to find out which staffers are sexual minorities. They are trying to sort out those with potential viral infection and prevent its further spread among workers"
The recent outbreak in South Korea happened on the same day as the government loosen their regulations on social distancing, with a 29-year-old man was identified as an original spreader after contact tracing. CNN mentioned various news channels across South Korea have focused on this man’s sexual orientation and reported that this man visited only gay venues, disclosing details that let to man's identity being identified.
CNN reports that gay South Koreans have received threats on the dating app Grindr, blame homosexual clubbers for reviving coronavirus.
Gay rights activist in South Korea told CBS news that the inbound inquiries are on the rise, coming from homosexual men who fear of losing their job once they are tested and needed to perform self-quarantine.
This recent outbreak of coronavirus in South Korea connected to clubs visited often by LGBTQ+ people has led to a rise of Homophobia. But this doesn’t stop here, homophobic sentiment related to the pandemic also happened in other countries. Turkey’s top Muslim cleric said in a Friday Ramadan announcement that the country condemns homosexuality because it “brings illness,” which was supported by the Turkish president, according to a report by Ekathimerini.