In celebration of pride month, here are nine openly queer K-Pop idols.
Harisu is a transgender entertainer and singer. Born in 1975, she identified as female from early childhood and had sex reassignment surgery in the 1990s. She has been active since 2001 and is active in South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
LADY is the first all-transgender group in South Korea. The group debuted in 2005 and had four members: Sinae, Sahara, Binu, and Yuna. The group’s main inspiration is from Harisu. Sadly, the group wasn’t able to be promoted well due to their music videos not being well received. The group disbanded in 2007.
Maman, who originally debuted in 2007 under the stage name Magoply, is K-Pop first openly gay idol. She debuted under Jerry Entertainment, and her debut song featured Super Junior’s Kangin. Shortly after debuting, Maman came out as gay in an interview. Her company initially wanted to pull it off as a prank, but it didn’t work and she was kicked out of the company. She then found a new company but has been inactive since 2015.
Hanbit is a model, actress, and singer who debuted in 2016 under the girl group Mercury. With the support of her parents, Hanbit underwent male-to-female sex reassignment surgery in 2006. In an interview, she stated,
Living with a female body itself brought me the greatest feeling of euphoria.
5. TOPPDOGG’s Hansol
Hansol has come out as asexual and aromantic. He has since been vocal about his queer identity and how it feels to live as a queer man in South Korea. When talking about his sexuality, Hansol has stated in an Instagram post that,
I’m not attracted to the opposite sex, but I’m also not attracted to the same sex. I never bothered to date and I hate sex very much.
6. D.I.P’s Seungho and B.Nish
D.I.P debuted back in 2016, and members Seungho and B.Nish are in a public relationship. The two announced they were dating on Instagram Live and are very open about their sexuality.
7. D.I.P’s Hyeongseong
D.I.P’s leader is also LGBTQ+. On his old Facebook account, he put his sexuality as bisexual and has stated that he is attracted to both men and women.
Holland is well-known as the media’s first openly gay K-Pop idol. He debuted back on January 2018 and stated that he wanted to make his debut as a singer to speak up on his experiences with violent assaulters and victims stricken on sexual minorities. He originally debuted without an agency since many did not want to sign someone who would speak on sexual minorities, but has since signed to an agency.
9. Marshall Bang
Originally from Orange County, Marshall Bang traveled to Korea to become a K-Pop star. He has been openly gay since 2015 and debuted in 2018. Though his gay Korean friends told him it would be better to stay in the closet, he chose to come out as a way to be his true self.