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A Letter To Kim Jong-il


From the Out archives, Mo Rocca's letter to the North Korean dictator.

In June, the Associated Press reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had chosen Kim Jong-un, the youngest of his three sons, as successor to the world's only communist dynasty. That the 'Dear Leader' passed over his eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, is no surprise. (Jong-nam was caught trying to enter Japan with a fake passport in 2001 to visit Tokyo Disneyland.) But what about Kim's middle son? From the AP: 'Kim considers the middle son, Jong-chul, 28, too effeminate, according to the leader's former sushi chef.'

Dear Dear Leader:
It has come to my attention that you have selected your youngest son to run the family business: North Korea. While I'm sure he inherited his father's charm, I'm concerned by the message of your choice.

None of us expected you to name your eldest son. The only leadership role he's interested in is the Mickey Mouse Club.

But the very fact that you passed over your second son because, I suspect, he's homosexual represents a harsh blow against the hopes of gay people in dynastic totalitarian regimes everywhere.

You could appoint a monkey, an Elvis impersonator, or Debbie Reynolds as your successor and North Koreans wouldn't blink. That's how much they love you! And yet, the gay guy gets screwed again. This is wrong. What's more, it's not good for you.

Here you have a chance to strike out from the rest of that old Axis of Evil. Iranian 'president' Ahmadinejad claims there are no gay people in Iran. Yeah, right: That's why Tehran's hottest bar on Thursdays is Guyatollah's. ('It's raining clerics!') Personally, I like the Sunday beer bust on the roof of Fatwa's. Who doesn't love Persian muscle bears? But I digress.

By turning over the reins to your second son (I'm assuming he'd be known as 'Fierce Leader'?), you could show the world you are not ignorant to the reality of gay people in every, er, nuclear family.

And give me a break: It's a dynasty. The very idea of a dynasty is super gay. And, may I ask, which of your three sons was interested enough in Alexis and Crystal to watch Dynasty on pirated cable? Does he get nothing for this?

Or is there something we should know? A falling out? A father-son confrontation over Dad's hair? He's right, you know. (Your specs, on the other hand, are awesome -- and don't tell me he didn't pick them out.)

And who, may I ask, is this Chatty Cathy sushi chef? Who pissed in his unagi? What, your son insisted on brown rice sushi and put the chef in a snit? Get over it!

Please, it's not like he can't butch it up every couple of months to issue a threat or lob a missile. No one issues threats like a gay guy, let me tell you. And yes, your son probably has it in him to lob a missile, if the mood is right.

And if he can't butch it up, so what? A big part of the job is presiding over those wacky pageants: Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans jumping rope, hula-hooping, and cartwheeling in perfect unison. Obviously, someone gay is in charge already. (Did you kidnap Jerry Mitchell?)

And let's be fair, Dear Leader. You're about as butch as Linda Hunt.

Face facts, Dear Leader: You've got a gay son. Maybe two: You know that day your oldest son went to Tokyo Disneyland? Yup, it was Gay Day.

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