Kpop Takes Steps Forward For LGBTQ+ Inclusivity
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Kpop Takes Steps Forward For LGBTQ+ Inclusivity

Hopefully, this is a sign that times are changing.

Kpop Takes Steps Forward For LGBTQ+ Inclusivity
Ludovic Bertron

The Kpop community saw a huge step forward in inclusivity on January 21 when openly gay idol singer Holland made his debut. South Korea is notoriously against LGBTQ+ rights and very few Korean celebrities have come out of the closet. As it was, the music video for Holland's debut track, titled "Neverland," (which does include a scene where two male characters kiss each other) was marked as rated R on YouTube and as 19+ in South Korea. However, he will be allowed to promote the track on music shows.

It would be wrong to acknowledge the brave steps that Holland took without acknowledging other LGBTQ+ celebrities in South Korea, the most notable of which is Hong Seokcheon. Hong is an actor and TV personality who came out in 2000. When he first came out, he was fired from his network and advertisement deals, and stopped receiving acting roles. He instead started a restaurant chain and returned to acting a few years later. He has since appeared in a number of television shows and films, has adopted two children, and is currently running for local office. If elected, he will become South Korea's first openly gay politician.

A number of younger idols have also expressed that they are not heterosexual. The most notable of these is Kim Minsung, formerly Hansol of the group Topp Dogg. He came out as asexual in an Instagram Live video with fans in September, and as aromantic a few months later, also on Instagram. Although he has left Topp Dogg, he currently works at the 1997 Studio as a dance instructor and posts dance cover videos on YouTube. He also has a project titled Glass Mask in the works. His previous projects under the name MaryKiko have also expressed homosexuality. Kim is also an advocate for mental health awareness and was close with Kim Jonghyun of SHINee, who passed away due to an alleged suicide in December of 2017. Jonghyun was also an advocate for mental health awareness and LGBTQ+ rights. In addition, a number of idols have expressed that they may not be straight, including BTS’s Suga, MONSTA X’s Wonho, and members of D.I.P andMAXXAM. Hyeongseong, leader of D.I.P, has listed himself as bisexual on Facebook.

There are also a number of transgender idols, most notably Harisu and Choi Hanbit. Harisu is considered the first transgender Korean celebrity and was the second person in South Korea to legally change their gender. She debuted in 1991 while still living as male and transitioned in 2002. In 2005, the group Lady debuted under Logi Entertainment. The group consisted of four transfeminine idols and was inspired in the wake of Harisu's coming out. Unfortunately, their music failed to draw attention and they disbanded in 2007. Most recently, Choi Hanbit, who is also a transgender woman, debuted with the group Mercury under Gaon Entertainment in 2016.

There are also a few idols that are important to LGBTQ+ fans because of their gender expression. Jeonghan of SEVENTEEN and Jeongyeon of TWICE are both known for not fitting the stereotypes of their gender when it comes to their hair, as Jeonghan had very long hair during his debut and Jeongyeon has had short hair since her debut (both in 2015). Amber Liu of f(x) has also been notable for this reason. She keeps her hair short and does not dress in ways that girls, especially in South Korea, are traditionally expected to dress. Ren of NU'EST also had long hair for a while and has done photoshoots wearing traditionally feminine clothing (i.e. skirts). Both have expressed that they wish to change society's view on gender and clothing. Finally, SHINee member Taemin also expressed that this was the concept behind his recent comeback “Move.”

I can't mention Holland without also mentioning MRSHLL. Marshall Bang, who will be known as MRSHLL when he debuts, came out as gay in 2015 and has spoken publicly about the struggles he has faced since coming out, including in his relationship with his mother, who is an evangelical Christian pastor. He will be debuting under the label FeelGhoodMusic.

Although a number of music videos have implied homosexual storylines, none have shown homosexuality onscreen in the way that Holland's "Neverland" has. Hopefully, the support that Holland and MRSHLL have been receiving so far will be a sign that times truly are changing in South Korea.

You can watch Holland's "Neverland" music video here:

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
I'm Tired Of Being Told My Standards Are Too High By People Whose Standards Are Too Low

There is no question that our generation has put a whole new spin on the dating scene.

Keep Reading... Show less

What If The U.N. Actually United The Nations?

This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.


By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?

Keep Reading... Show less

100 Things I'd Rather Do Than Study

Procrastination Nation, unite.

Panda Whale
Here are 100 things I'd rather to than study. I know the semester just started, but

    1. Watch a movie
    2. Take a nap
    3. Have a dance party
    4. Eat ice cream
    5. Bake a cake
    6. Cry just a little bit
    7. Knit a blanket
    8. Learn to ride a bike
    9. Build a crib
    10. Watch a hockey game
    11. Watch any game
    12. Play with my hair
    13. Dye my hair
    14. Go grocery shopping
    15. Learn to crochet
    16. Do 50 jumping jacks
    17. Drive cross country
    18. Take a bubble bath
    19. Squeeze lemons for lemonade
    20. Sell the lemonade
    21. Make heart-shaped ice cubes
    22. Moisturize my knees
    23. Paint my nails
    24. Find the cure for cancer
    25. Run a marathon
    26. Just kidding, run down the hall
    27. Squat my bodyweight
    28. Eat my bodyweight in French fries
    29. Hibernate until Christmas
    30. Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
    31. Think about all the work I’m not doing
    32. Wash my bed sheets
    33. Vacuum my apartment
    34. Play mini golf
    35. Go swimming
    36. Tan in this Texas heat
    37. Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
    38. Blow up balloons
    39. Pop the balloons
    40. Make lists
    41. Write an Odyssey article
    42. Pet a puppy
    43. Adopt a puppy
    44. Pay my rent
    45. Order a pizza
    46. Start a garden
    47. Cook a turkey
    48. Find new music
    49. Clean my waffle iron
    50. Learn to make jam
    51. Jam to music
    52. Play scrabble
    53. Volunteer anywhere
    54. Celebrate a birthday
    55. Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
    56. Go through old pictures on my phone
    57. Make a playlist
    58. Take a shower
    59. Clean my room
    60. Curl my hair
    61. Climb a rock wall
    62. Get a massage
    63. Play with Snapchat filters
    64. Roast a chicken
    65. Go fishing
    66. Chug some Snapple
    67. Ride in a cart around Walmart
    68. Count the days until the semester is over
    69. Overthink about my future
    70. Think of my future baby’s names
    71. Pin everything on Pinterest
    72. Text anybody
    73. Pray about life
    74. Watch a sunset
    75. Watch a sunrise
    76. Have a picnic
    77. Read a book (that’s not for school)
    78. Go to a bakery
    79. Snuggle a bunny
    80. Clean my apartment
    81. Wash my dishes
    82. Rearrange my furniture
    83. Physically run away from my problems
    84. Make some meatballs
    85. Learn to make bread
    86. Google myself
    87. Ride a Ferris wheel
    88. Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
    89. Wash my car
    90. Get on a plane to Neverland
    91. Find Narnia in my closet
    92. Jump on a trampoline
    93. Learn to ice skate
    94. Go rollerblading
    95. Ride a rollercoaster
    96. Carve a pumpkin
    97. Restore water in a third world country
    98. FaceTime my family
    99. Hug my mom
    100. Tell my friends I love them

    The Basics Of The United Nations

    As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101


    For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.

    Keep Reading... Show less
    Student Life

    Wine Wednesdays!

    How to get through the best Hump Day get together.


    What would Wine Wednesdays be without wine? Grab a bottle of red and a bottle of white so that you have some variety. If you feel like splurging, get a bottle of Rosé too.

    Keep Reading... Show less

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Facebook Comments