Being openly gay is definitely a scary thing anywhere in the world, but in extremely conservative countries like South Korea makes things all the more difficult.
Koreans are very blatant about their disapproval of non-straight relationships and even major broadcasting companies have rules against it including not mentioning the LGBTQ+ community.
The first openly gay celebrity is Hong Seok Cheon.
Seok Cheon’s career began in 1994 but he only came out in 2000 after an interviewer asked about his sexuality. He told the truth and subsequently got fired from the company he was working in.
Regardless, he became a success on his own.
Perhaps, Go Tae Seob, or better known by his stage name Holland, is trying to follow suit in Seok Cheon’s footsteps of becoming successful while being openly gay.
When news popped out about this newbie’s sexuality, it actually propelled him rather than brought him down. Holland even mentioned before that he wanted to use this opportunity to be a human’s right advocate.
He wanted to use the fame that he has garnered to be the voice for the tiny LGBTQ+ community in the ever so conservative South Korea and the rest of the world too.
As an independent artist, Holland has seen massive success!
His debut song, Neverland, has garnered over 8 million views while his YouTube has got 467k subscribers already. On the other hand, his Instagram and Twitter accounts are doing very well too with hundreds of thousands of followers as well.
Many might have thought that revealing his sexuality would only attract hatred, but comment sections on his social media are all filled with positive vibes only.
Many people said things like,
“Oh my God. This is so beautiful. I hope a lot of people support this song.”
“Doing anything queer is so hard and dangerous in Korea. I will support Holland as a Korean queer.”
“This is what LGBT deserves. Peaceful representation.”
Surprisingly, through thousands of comments, there wasn’t any negative things written anywhere.
Of course, life for a minority is never easy whether it’s race, religion or sexuality. Holland has admitted to being bullied in middle school and some of those bullies are idols now!
What happened was, he admitted to his close friend about his sexuality but didn’t mean for it to be known openly, Koreaboo reported.. Unfortunately, the very next day rumours were going around about him and that’s when the bullying started.
Though Holland has chosen to remain silent about those idols’ identity, fans are becoming suspicious of many people.
Regardless, Holland has mentioned that he will continue to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Meanwhile, he is still looking for an agency who shares the same views and goals as he.
Being an independent artist is great and it means that he won’t be bound to behaving a certain way. However, agencies can help provide a bigger platform for him to stand on too.
Hopefully, Holland can find what he is looking for soon, career-wise.
If you’ve not checked out Neverland, watch it right here: