Many Korean idols have courageously revealed their sexual orientation to the public despite discrimination.
The Korean entertainment industry has always been known for being a tough environment with many invisible pressures. In particular, idols who are part of the LGBT community tend to keep their sexual orientations a secret because this is a sensitive and controversial matter in Korea. However, despite Korean netizens’ strict mindset, many idols still surprised the public with their decision to come out.
Young male singer Holland is the first openly gay Kpop idol. This was revealed in his debut MV called Neverland. In January 2018, the Korean public was taken aback by Holland’s “one of a kind” MV in Kpop at that time.
Different from the usual male-female love stories seen in most Kpop MVs, Holland decided to follow his own path as a straightforward and direct revelation to the public that: “I’m gay”. The romantic and intimate scenes of Holland and his male co-star made Kpop fans extremely amazed by his boldness.
The fact that Holland had the courage to proudly and artistically come out became an important milestone in the Korean entertainment industry during that time. Although K-pop is still strict and prejudiced about the LGBT community, Holland’s music was well-received by the public.
Neverland MV gained 1 million views on YouTube on the first day of its release. Up to now, the hit has recorded more than 14 million views and a million likes – an admirable number for an idol without the support of an agency.
After getting a positive reaction from the public, Holland continued to release another song called I’m Not Afraid in 2018 to convey the message “I am not afraid” of criticism, and at the same time inspire and motivate the entire LGBT community when dealing with challenges from society.
Holland’s songs have contributed to changing fans’ views on the LGBT community, making the public acknowledge that LGBT people also deserve respect like others. Currently, he is still successful with his Kpop career and continues to produce music with better quality.
2. Som Hye In
Born in 1996, Som Hye In was a contestant on Mnet’s survival show Idol School in 2017. However, after the 1st episode, she withdrew from the show due to depression, anorexia, and mental disorder.
After withdrawing from the show, Som Hye In caused a stir among netizens when she revealed that she is bisexual and publicly dated another girl in July 2019. She said that she and her girlfriend have been dating for almost a year. Hye In’s partner is a cute girl with short hair and not part of the entertainment industry.
However, her coming out received a lot of criticism. Knets even demanded a boycott of the female idol because Som Hye In used to be suspected of abusing her classmates in 2017. The school bullying scandal has destroyed the female idol’s image in the eyes of the public. Some netizens also used this to attack the fact that she went public with her same-sex relationship.
Currently, Hye In is still active in the Kpop industry but has not been able to gain much attention. Her music releases only record modest results. However, she is also one of the courageous idols who came out despite harsh criticism from the public.
Jiae (1995), debuted in 2013 as the lead vocalist in the hip hop group WA$$UP. In early 2020, she announced herself as bisexual on her Instagram story to the surprise of the public. The female idol’s revelation immediately became a hot topic. After that, she endured so many malicious comments on her personal page that she had to file a complaint against toxic netizens.
However, despite the mixed opinions from the online community, Jiae did not hesitate to upload pictures taken with her lover on SNS as an affirmation that she is still happy to be true to herself. Many fans have taken to the female idol’s Instagram to express their love and support for her.
Besides, Jiae also stated that she wants to continue to release more music products in the future and expressed her dream of singing in a world without sexism. Currently, Jiae still regularly posts cover songs on her personal YouTube channel, however, fans are still very much looking forward to her official music product in the near future.
4. Kang Min Soo
Kang Min Soo is a famous rapper in South Korea. He participated in High School Rapper 3 in 2019 organized by Mnet and won the prestigious runner-up award from this show.
On July 12, he officially came out as bisexual, along with a photo of the flag symbolizing bisexual people on his personal Instagram.
The fact that he openly admits that he belongs to the LGBT community has received positive support from fans. Currently, the male rapper has continued to release music products since his success in High School Rapper 3.
It can be seen that Kpop idols are more and more open to publicizing their orientation to the public. Although Koreans still have harsh views towards the LGBT community, the brave actions of famous artists have contributed to changing the public’s mind in this country. At the same time, this will be a strong inspiration and motivation for people of the LGBT community who dare be true to themselves.