There are many mainstream pop artists in the UK who belong to the LGBT community: from pop stars Olly Alexander of Years and Years and Anne-Marie, indie artists like The Japanese House and Cavetown, to old favourites like Elton John and Freddie Mercury. While some people will be turned off by an artist’s open expression of their non-heteronormative sexuality or gender identity, they are usually in the minority. However, in South Korea, it’s a completely different story.
Only 39% of South Koreans believed that homosexuality should be accepted by society
Instead of hiding his sexuality as he was advised to, Holland quit his label and debuted as an independent artist in 2018
His lyrics are inspired by his experience of being gay in conservative South Korea and the struggles that come with that
While many LGBT people enjoy K-Pop, it is important to recognise that we often aren’t represented in it
While it’s hopeful that Holland is pioneering the way for queer artists in Korea, potentially meaning more will follow, the fact that no label will sign him is sure to keep many potential idols in the closet.