He talks about obstacles faced before debut and current difficulties with discrimination
6 Feb 2018 - 3:08 PM  UPDATED 7 Feb 2018 - 2:25 PM

In SBS PopAsia's interview with Holland, K-pop's first openly gay idol revealed the struggles he's had to overcome from childhood, through to now, to make him a beacon of hope for the Korean LGBT+ community.

Speaking about the lack of Korean celebrities who talk about human rights, he says, "I thought there's got to be someone like me who discloses their sexual identity."

He's no stranger to the discrimination that comes with being LGBT+, and he discusses his coming out experience in middle school, when he told close friends he was gay.

"I became a victim of school violence after that. They didn't keep my secret. So I was bullied a lot at school. But no one could actually comfort me, not even my parents or friends. Or any public figure," he says.

With this in mind, Holland feels it's important to speak up for others through his music and platform as an idol. "This song ["Neverland"] is for kids who are having a bad time because of their identity... I wanted to comfort them with this song while they're struggling."

The song has had incredible success with over 5.6 million views on YouTube already, and charting on iTunes in some countries. As for his homeland, Holland thinks there's some way to go before he's accepted by the Korean mainstream saying, "Among celebrities or any other communities, an awareness of LGBT+ itself has not been properly built. People are still prejudiced. Even talking about it in public is not accepted yet. I wish we had a better atmosphere in Korea to openly talk about LGBT+ issues."

Holland also had some advice for people wanting to kick off their own career in music.

He says, "Never lose your self-esteem and be confident".

Check out the full interview here:


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