An openly gay K-Pop group have release their debut single which explores the struggles of being an LGBTQI person, including, coming out and dealing with homophobia.
All members of the K-Pop group Lionesses openly identify as part of the LGBTQI community and on November 1 they released their first song Show me your Pride, which currently has over 28,000 views on YouTube.
‘We Are Us’
In an interview with TW News the band’s leader Bae Dam-jun said the song is a “motif of ‘we are us'”.
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“The team’s name means ‘lioness of the savannah plains’. It is easy to think that the apex of the African ecosystem we have seen through the mass media is a male lion with a rich mane, but in the end, the ruler of the plain is actually a lioness. It’s a group of lionesses in charge of hunting the herd,” the K-pop star said.
“When each LGBTQ person fights against the world, we can be strong. Our music conveys the message, ‘When we are struggling, we will be your group. Together with the group, we can overcome.’”
Out South Korean Stars
Currently there are only a handful of out LGBTQI K-Pop stars and celebrities in South Korea.
As well as all four members of Lioness, K-pop star Holland and R&B singer MRSHLL openly identify as gay. Former K-pop stars who have come out after retiring including Jiae of Wa$$up who came out as bisexual and Hansol of Xeno-T and Topp Dogg, who came out as asexual. The other out stars include include bisexual rapper Aquinas, gay singer Kwon Do Woon, and the trans girl group Lady.
Despite the increase in LGBTQI representation in South Korean media, the community still faces discrimination and stigma in the country.
South Korea has yet to pass federal anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQI people and same-sex marriages and civil unions are still not legally recognised.
In 2019, the Government announced it would recognise the same-sex spouses of foreign diplomats, but it would not recognise the same-sex spouses of South Korean diplomats who serve overseas.
During the COVID-19 pandemic last year gay people in South Korea endured a lot of backlash from the public after a COVID-19 outbreak was linked to numerous gay clubs in Seoul.