Gay South Korean Actor Found Dead in Apparent Suicide

South Korean actor Kim Ji-hoo took his own life earlier this week, the Korea Times reports.

JihooA note at the scene read: “I’m lonely and in a difficult situation. Please cremate my body.”

Kim was 23: “Police said his suicide reflects public prejudice toward gay people and their difficulty in succeeding in the entertainment industry. Following the announcement of his sexual orientation, Kim’s management agency did not renew his contract and many TV programs and fashion shows cancelled his appearances. His blog was bombarded with numerous messages denouncing his sexual orientation. ‘He underwent many professional and personal difficulties following his coming-out,’ Kim’s mother said during police questioning.”

Gay Actor Found Dead in Apparent Suicide [korea times]


  1. Cj says

    This in beyond sad. So many individuals either take their own lives or have their lives taken because of situations exactly like Kim’s Ji-hoo. Sadly his story falls on deaf ears more and more. Rest in peace my friend, rest in peace.

  2. Maxwell says

    This story brings me to tears. We have so much more work to do not only nationally, but in our international community to rid ourselves of this extreme hatred of the GLBT community. This young man lost his life because of the hatred of many.

  3. philbert says

    Sad indeed that this man took his life because of the hate filled rhetoric of some Koreans. If there is a God these people will burn in hellll Shameful, just shameful!!!!!!

  4. Mikeyman says

    Margaret Cho may be Korean, but she’s one of the few who are enlightened and accepting toward gays. I spent a summer in Seoul and I’ve never encountered a more blinkered, backward, homophobic society. I totally get how Asian cultures are focused on family and hierarchy, but it’s at the expense of individuality — especially us gay guys. Some — repeat, some — Koreans are absolutely VICIOUS gay-haters.

    It’s too bad our immigration system in the USA isn’t more open and easy. Had it been, the poor actor in question could have emigrated to LA and settled in Korea Town.

  5. alfredo says

    There is blood on the hands of everyone that preached the hate, people like James Dobson, Reggie White, Anita Bryant, Tony Perkins, Beverly LaHaye, Jerry Fallwell, Pat Roberston, Gary Bauer, Pat Boone to name but a few

  6. Strepsi says

    MIKEYMAN is right — even in North America, where immigrants used to tend to be the most Liberal (enjoying coming to a free-er society, etc.) recently some of the most vicious opposition to gay equality has come from Evangelical Koreans. Which just goes to show that fundamentalist religion fucks up ALL races.

    This story is very very sad. Prayer for Kim Ji-hoo.

  7. mike says

    Where I live here in NYC, the Koreans are extremely conservative, evangelical and Republican. AND, they are as homophobic as any group I’ve ever encountered.

  8. RP says

    Another South Korean actress, Choi Jin-sil, recently committed suicide about a week ago also.

    In both cases online bullying seems to have played a part. In Jin-sil’s case rumors that she played a part in another South Korean actor’s suicide appeared to have influenced her. While in Ji-hoo’s case remarks posted online are apparently also being blamed.

  9. anonymous commenter says

    This is the third suicide in the Korean entertainment industry in the last month or two.

  10. Um says

    This is, undoubtedly, a sad story…but he committed suicide. No one killed him, he made a choice. It is sad this career plummeted but is being famous worth more than being alive?

    I’m also assuming he did not come out by choice. Any information on how that happened?

  11. Brendan says

    My ex is Korean and he never plans on coming out to his parents. When we lived together we had a pact that I would stay at a hotel if his parents ever came to visit NY.

  12. patrick nyc says

    Where I live here in NYC, the Koreans are extremely conservative, evangelical and Republican. AND, they are as homophobic as any group I’ve ever encountered.

    Posted by: mike
    Not just homophobic MIKE but racist as well. I was not aware of this until my sister-in-law told me that when she walked into a Korean owned store out in Queens they would not even talk to her. She said a Korean friend told her afterwards that it was the norm.

    Whitestone and Flushing are the two largest Korean-American populations in the states. Funny how they were viewed as a ‘better’ alternative, than blacks and hispanics, now they are proving to be just as bigoted as the whites who were there before them.