Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and considering this year celebrates 40 years since its initial street parade, we figured all the more reason to take a look at 11 K-pop stars who are big supporters of LGBTQI rights.
In 2011, all three members of JYJ were appointed as the Regional Goodwill Ambassadors for UNAIDS, an organisation aimed at raising awareness for HIV/AIDS testing. In educating people about the negative stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and gay people, Jaejoong stated that "Knowledge and awareness can help people protect themselves and break down stigma and discrimination".
10. 2AM's Jo Kwon
Jo Kwon is quite an open-minded guy, so it's not too surprising that he supports the LGBTQI community. Nonetheless, fans criticised his decision to take on the role of a gay drag queen in the popular musical "Priscilla", but Jo countered criticisms by stating that ""Priscilla is a sensational musical and as you all know I am playing a role that happens to be a gay male. It saddens me to see the ignorance in some of the comments that close-minded people left on my personal page but I'm very much committed and in love with this role and proud to be a part of this amazing project!"
They say actions speak louder than words, and nothing spoke louder than when BoA performed at the 2009 San Francisco Pride Festival and premiered the first performance of her then-new single "Energetic".
8. Infinite's Hoya
Hoya made headlines when he played the role of a gay man in the drama "Reply 1997", and despite the controversy surrounding him taking the role, he stood by his openness regarding homosexuality:
7. Super Junior's Heechul
Girly acts and goofing around aside, Heechul has openly expressed his support for gay marriage and demonstrated his support for equality when he talked about his thoughts on the very public wedding of respected director Kim Jho Kwang-soo.
6. 2NE1's CL
CL has a massive gay following and is among the biggest supporter of LGBTQI rights in K-pop. From being close friends with openly-gay designer Jeremy Scott to declaring her support of gay people in an interview with ELLE Magazine, it's no surprise why the LGBTQI community love CL!
5. SHINee's Jonghyun
Jonghyun was not shy in expressing his opinions and views, and he showed his support in a number of awesome ways. In 2013, a bisexual transsexual university student wrote down a message as part of a movement called "안녕들 하십니까? 저는 안녕하지 못합니다." (How are you? I am not alright)", and Jonghyun was so touched that he made the message his Twitter profile page and even personally reached out to the student.
4. f(x)'s Amber
Amber has shown her support for the LGBTQ+ community on a number of occasions, most recently offering her condolences to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shootings. Additionally, she has mentioned on interviews that while she likes men, she has plenty of gay friends back in the US.
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3. BTS' Rap Monster
As he so often does, Rap Monster expressed his support through what he does best - music. After listening to the popular LGBTQI anthem "Same Love" by Macklemore, Rap Monster tweeted out his support and urged people to listen to the song.
Here's a translation:
"It's Rap Monster. A song about homosexuality. I heard this song before but I didn't know the lyrics, now I know them and I like the song twice as much. I recommend Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Same Love."
2. Girls' Generation's Taeyeon
While Taeyeon hasn't outright said that she supports LGBTQ+ rights, she has posted up a number of LGBTQ+-supportive images across her Instagram and Snapchat accounts, such as this one:
1. BTS' Suga
In a recent Billboard interview, Suga made it clear where he stood on gay rights. He stated: "There's nothing wrong. Everyone is equal".
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