1. Topp Dogg’s Hansol
Hansol may be the first openly asexual idol in the history of K-Pop. He not only came out publicly (which must have taken a lot of courage) but he also publicly speaks out against homophobia in Korean culture.
“Don’t pay attention to the [haters]. You are the most important, precious.”
2. Baek Ji Young
Baek Ji Young’s music video from the early 2000s was one of the first ever K-Pop music videos to feature a happy same-sex couple.
K.Will’s music video for “Please Don’t…” took a different turn. This one explores the difficulties gay men face in a culture not friendly to LGBTQA+ individuals.
4. SHINee’s Jonghyun
Jonghyun took the time early last year, amid Korea’s general political crisis, to address issues faced by LGBTQA+ members in Korea. He famously messaged a gay netizen to give volume to their voice.
SISTAR’s 2015 music video featured a lesbian couple.
Taeyeon, known for not holding back her thoughts, celebrated National Coming Out Day, October 11th, by posting this image of a rainbow. It was a subtle gesture, but her intentions were clear.
All three members of JYJ were appointed Regional Goodwill Ambassadors for UNAIDS. UNAIDS is a group that raises awareness for HIV/AIDS testing, educates people regarding the disease, and attempts to eradicate prejudice against members of people in the LGBTQA+ community.
8. 2AM’s Jo Kwon
Despite many controversies, Jo Kwon pursued his role as Adam, a drag queen, in Priscilla the musical. He responded to criticism with defiance.
BoA performed her single, “Energetic”, at the 2009 San Francisco Pride Festival. She may have been the first ever K-Pop superstar to do so!
10. Hoya (formerly of INFINITE)
Hoya played Kang Joon Hee, a gay character in Answer Me 1997, and received both acclaim and criticism. He publicly showed his support for the LGBTQA+ community, however, and stated that he has no prejudice against them.
11. SUPER JUNIOR’s Heechul
Heechul publicly came out in support of the marriage between Kim Jho Kwang Soo, a film director, and Kim Seong Hwan:
“If you care too much about what people say or what you read online, then it’s really a pity. So, just don’t care too much.”
— Super Junior’s Heechul
CL is well-known for her huge LGBTQA+ fan base and her friendship with Jeremy Scott, who is openly gay.
ELLE: You have such a big gay following. Do you know about that?
CL: Actually yeah. And lesbians too. And drag queens. I love them! I have so many gay friends and I love them so much because they’re fun.
13. f(x)’s Amber
Amber has shown tons of support for the LGBTQA+ community and was one of the first to send her condolences to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. She is also good friends with many lesbians.
Kim Gu Ra: Do you get asked out a lot by girls?
Amber: I’ve had many. But I have a lot of friends in America who are [lesbians]. They would say, ‘I’m here when you change your mind.'”
14. BTS’s RM
RM’s been vocal about his support for the LGBTQA+ community. Perhaps his voice carried the farthest and widest when he recommended his fans give Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” a serious listen with a focus on the lyrics.
“This is Rap Monster. This song is about same-sex love. It’s good when you listen without paying attention to the lyrics, but even better if you do. I recommend Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — Same Love. hiphople.com/subtitle/619392”
랩몬스터입니다. 동성애에 관한 노래. 가사를 모르고 그냥 들어도 좋지만 가사를 보고 들으면 두배는 더 좋은 노래. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love 추천합니다. http://t.co/4ATzZZrRcC
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) March 6, 2013