Holland & the LGBTQ+ Community in Kpop

Holland is a relatively new idol whose debut single, Neverland, dropped recently. Why he’s garnered so much attention from the community at large is because he’s said to be the first openly gay K-Pop idol.

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Granted, my title is a little misleading. There isn’t really much of a community of gay idols in K-Pop. That said, it’s nice to see things changing for the better in the community and I’m excited to see what else Holland may have in store for us.

Who is Holland?

Holland is a relatively new idol whose debut single, Neverland, dropped recently. Why he’s garnered so much attention from the community at large is because he’s said to be the first openly gay K-Pop idol and in his music video for his song, he is seen kissing another man rather passionately in bed. This marks the first time that has been seen in a K-Pop music video and, because of this moment, the whole MV has been marked as 19+ by Korean ratings.

So What Does This Mean?

As a non-Korean person, this doesn’t quite impact me as much as it would someone in Korea. But for those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community in Korea, this could be a huge game-changer. One of the most critical things to us as human beings is seeing ourselves and our experiences reflected in those around us. When we see that someone else has gone through what we go through, we feel a sense of comfort and community. That’s the entire reason that the LGBTQ+ community exists.

As much as we would love to believe that the world is changing–because it would make it easier to live our lives if we didn’t have to worry about people–there is still a great deal of prejudice that exists against those members of the LGBTQ+ community. Even here in the United States, I see it regularly.

That’s why Holland’s debut and MV are such bold moves. They are declaring, unapologetically, that he exists and he loves and he is just as valid as anyone else.

How Can You Support Him?

I’ve seen this quite a bit on Twitter but I want to emphasize it here: don’t support him just for his sexuality. It is far too common to see straight people fetishizing gay relationships and making members of the LGBTQ+ community super uncomfortable because they simply do not know how to be respectful.

As with any community, that’s the key: respect. You have to be respectful. Yes, Holland may have caught your attention because he is gay, but stay for the great music! Not to fulfill some weird shipping fetish.

Final Thoughts

I’m a member of the LGBTQ+ community so I was excited to see representation even though it doesn’t quite impact me locally. I received a notification from Tumblr today declaring 2018 “20GayTeen” and I nearly squealed with delight. I’m excited and proud to see the year kick off so beautifully and I’m excited to see what else we can expect from Holland and the rest of the K-Pop community as we go forward.

That said, I think it’s important that we remember that learning and adapting to new knowledge makes us better and more complex people and however hard it is to learn that our behavior is wrong, the payoff is so worth it. So if it sounds like I’ve come for you in some way or if you feel like maybe what you’ve been doing up until now has been wrong, take this as an opportunity to be better and don’t take this as an attack on you as a person. As always: be respectful!


What did you think about Holland’s debut? Leave me a comment and let me know!

4 comments on “Holland & the LGBTQ+ Community in Kpop”

  1. I am happy to see such a bold move made in k-pop and I think the song itself is beautiful. The video is very beautiful and romantic. i like the vibe of the music, too. I hope to see more work from Holland. At this point it is hard for me to say if I will follow his work. I tend to be the kind that prefers fast beats over ballads when I’m first introduced to a new artist. So time will tell! It’s a baby step for Korea – hopefully one day, we won’t see it rated 19+ and a romantic kiss will be seen just as that – a romantic kiss. I’m sure, though, it will gain attention from those with gay-ship fantasies. But I also think a lot of people will like this song for what it is.

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    1. I’m definitely seeing a lot more genuine support thus far so I’m very happy about that and I think it’s also helping people learn more about why those shipping fantasies are fetishizing so hopefully we’ll see more growth in the community overall!

      Like

  2. Same with me: as a member of the lgbt+ community, his debut really means a lot to me, and I’d like to see him become successful. I think we’ve definitely been seeing progress in K-pop, in a process similar to how it was in the US years ago: it’s becoming more common and accepted to see idols support the gay community, and one by one we are seeing gay celebrities (even if we’re only talking, like, four atm, now including Holland.) I think we’re going to continue to see things progress in the years to come, which is really exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

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