• Anonymous

    Thank You!!! I have always found it strange that no one else found alot of male K-pop rather homoerotic. Granted the LGBT community is not as accepted in Korea as it is in other parts of the world, but there is still one, and it creates its own cultural impacts. If “bromance” shipping leads to the LGBT scene being more accepted in society than i don’t see the harm. Unfortunately, to me, it just seems to lead to just more closeted emotions.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MEGAH5NUOS6RD2OYMMJ4XS2LCY MariaI

    THISS. Am I the only one that hates wid a passion when fans go all like “omg key dont cheat on jonghyun”? (just picked to random names) No, not cuz I have any problem wid being gay just for the sole fact that u know if these people found out that there was actually something going on between those two males they would prob. denounce themselves as fans cuz they hink its disgusting. Im a straight female &I will never get why other straight females get turned on or think its cute or w.e seeing 2 males that they ship being a little too touchy feely wid eachother.

  • Mer

    I find Fanfic creepy and disturbing.  And I have seen a lot of it get sexual.  Maybe it’s my maturity level speaking, but I don’t get it and I don’t find it appealing.  The people that write that type of fanfic need to come up out of the basement and join the rest of the world.

  • kc

    I think anyone’s sexual preference shouldn’t be questioned unless said person comes out, I mean I don’t think it’s an insult to say someone’s gay but that person might.
    IDK, I’m a bit of a tomboy my self, I’ve sorta gotten used to people saying “hey look at the lesbian” when in fact I really do like guys, I’m not saying I’m still ok with it though… I guess it’s not the really the fact that people mistake me for a lesbian, it’s the fact that they already assume and how can you really know someone unless you get to know them?
    I think the problem here is stereotypes, this person acts this way so they must be this, or they talk to this person so they must be in the same group as that person- you can only know so much about someone by just plain site, until you get to know them and listen to them you don’t know anything really important about that person.
    whether there are gay guys in kpop or not (I’m sure there are) it’s really not any of our business, coming out in a conservative country like Korea probably would be a pretty scary thing for someone like a celebrity so this “omg, if you’re gay you just have to come out” mentality might just hurt that person, both the person and fanbase… cause I mean really, it’s impossible for there to be gay people in Korea -.-
    anyways, like I said, they might act like they’re gay but for all we know they might not, stop assuming and give these guys a bit of space, automatically assuming people are gay is just as bad as ignoring that fact that they could.

    • aznboy

      I don’t think its necessarily wrong to make assumptions about people’s sexuality. We make assumptions everyday about people. When you talk to a stranger you make the assumption that you speak the same language. When you see a person with feminine features you assume that they are a female. So when I see Key act a certain way, notice certain mannerism, where a tank top with rainbow color and unicorn flying out of it why is it wrong for me to assume he is gay. I see the dangers making assumptions about people, but I think that only really applies when you make negative assumptions about a group of people, and treat them in a negative way because of that assumption. 

      • kc

        cause I mean, if you wear anything with a rainbow on it it means you’re gay or support gay rights (I’m not saying either are wrong).
        assumptions are what make us misunderstand each other, whether they’re good or bad you’re pretty much guessing.
        take for example, you’re with a normal guy you don’t know in a car, you’ll probably be thinking “ah, this guy’s normal, nothing’s going to happen” but who knows, this guy could be a creep with a gun or that he’s planning to rape you but you’re to caught up assuming that he’s normal that you’re over looking the dangers you’re in. not saying we should be paranoid that everyone’s gonna shoot us or rape us, just that we can’t really know someone until we get to know them.

        • aznboy

          Of course take one thing out of a whole list of reasons and take it out context.

          I completely agree that you can’t get to know someone until you get to know them, that is not my point. I also agree that misunderstanding can arise from assumptions. My point was that it is ok to make assumptions about people, you do it everyday of your life. Every time you see someone you make a assumption about a) what gender they are and b) how old they are? it is wrong for us to make assumptions about those things? If its not wrong  Why is it not ok to make assumptions about people sexual preference? What I am trying to get at is that iIts normal for people to make assumptions, you just have to be open to the fact that the assumptions you make are wrong.

          • kc

            it’s still a bit rude though, I mean you’re pretty much saying every gay person acts “gay”, or that every straight person acts “straight” so I guess I wasn’t really explaining my point well cause that’s what I was trying to get at
            idk, I guess I’m just one of those people that hate when people assume things about me, that oh “she doesn’t like to talk” “she’s a lesbian” “she hates everyone” but it’s not like I ever told anyone these things… it’s not really the labels that annoyed me so much, it was that people just automatically assumed I was with out even asking me, it was like they were telling me to be these things when I really was just an awkward and shy kid -,-

          • aznboy

            I never said all gay people do this or all straight people do this. There are exception to every rule, but you can’t deny patterns just because they are not always true. Its like saying I noticed that a Korean patient has blood work indicating that he may have cancer. A lot of Korean have stomach cancer but should I neglect this pattern because not all Koreans have stomach cancer? Do you see what I am trying to get at.

            :( Those guys are just assholes. My point was okay they noticed things that may make them believe you don’t like to talk, that you hate everyone, that you might be a lesbian. They notice little things and they automatically came to those conclusion, there is nothing they can do about coming to those conclusions. The human brain sees dots and it wants to connect them. My point is that it is ok to assume things but don’t talk shit about others pretending your assumptions are true, confirm them for yourself. 
             I took issue with your comment because you said its not okay to assume or question people’s sexuality, but you wouldn’t have had a problem in that experience if they assumed you were straight.Your problem wasn’t that they assume things, it was that they assumed the wrong things about you and acted like they were true.

            Honestly I could be wrong, but I am just saying that’s just my opinion.

  • hkg

    As someone from the west, this was definitely an aspect of Kpop that I had to get used to. I have gotten used to it and while they are still a few idols where I wonder about their sexuality, I do think this behavior is just a part of the Korean culture.  The part I have not been able to get used to and find really strange is the fans reaction to this.  All the fanfictions and videos coupling up members make no sense to me.  These videos all play up the romance angle of the relationships between members but then the fans go into an uproar when anyone asks if the idols are gay.  Why fans seem to be okay with this fantasy idea of two members together in a relationship but freak out if its even hinted that it might be real makes me wonder at the mindset of these girls.   Straight guys, who are comfortable with hugging each other and holding hands isn’t just apart of the Korean culture.  There are aspects of this culture in India and other countries so on its own its not that unusual.  What makes it strange is all the fangirls emphasizing this part of the culture and putting it to a level of romance but then feigning innocence as to what they’re implying.  Of course the industry doesn’t help when they play up the idea as well in their photoshoots and mvs.

  • Anonymous

    I like the bromance aspect; girls do the exact same thing all the time and nobody bats an eyelid, but if a man does it, then suddenly it’s ‘gay’ and looked upon as something negative.

    With that said, South Korea definitely needs to have more tolerance towards actual homosexuals, and I can guarantee that many of these male idols actually ARE gay, but can’t come out because of how conservative the country is. It’s only just recently in America that they can have successful gay pop stars (Adam Lambert) and they are still very few and far in between.

    I’m virtually positive Jo Kwon is gay. I’m gay myself, and he just screams gay. I also suspect that Key and Jonghyun from SHINee actually did have a relationship together. Many of their touchy feely actions went beyond just simple bromance. There is footage of them interacting with each other and looking at each other like a legit couple in love. 

    I also think many male idols, even female idols, would have fooled around sexually before, even if they are actually heterosexual. These boys get dating bans put on them, and are locked up in small dorms together at an age when their hormones are racing and they are curious about sex. 

    There is definitely a lot of homoeroticism in K-Pop. It’s just a shame that the real stuff seems to be kept on the hush hush. I wish people could just be more open about sexuality. I feel sorry for the homosexual idols who need to keep their true selves hidden.

  • Beatrice

    Good article. I was just at Omona They Didn’t and they have a new post about a guy calling male Kpop idols’ acts and appearances “girly girl”. Most of the posters were offended about him calling guys girly.

    Here’s what’s interesting, though, and I think it backs up your observation, Phuoc: many of the posters in Omona have no problem “shipping” male idols together. Junsu and Changmin (DBSK), Key and Jonghyun, Jaejoong and Yunho, Nickhun and Wooyoung, and many other “idol pairings” including female idols (Tiffany and Taeyeon, Jessica and Tiffany, Yuri and Jessica, etc), have produced some disturbing squeals and narration of fantasies from many posters on that site. Some of them have admitted to either writing or reading ‘slash’ fanfiction about two idols getting together, being in love and sometimes, even getting involved sexually. 

    Yet they take offense when someone implies that some male idols look girly or there’s a possibility that something more than friendship exists between 2 idols. They don’t mind fantasizing about homoeroticism between KPop idols, but they get offended when someone else points out that some idols either act like a couple, or some of them act girly. 

    It makes you wonder. Are these KPop fans opposed to the idea of gender stereotyping and believe that men should be able to show as much emotion as they want? Or are those people offended by the idea of possible homosexuality between idols? If it’s the latter, then DJ Mo is right. Being insulted when someone is called feminine is more homophobic than outright saying someone looks like a lesbian. People taking “He acts like a girl” or “He looks like a girl” as an insult imply there’s something wrong with a man looking and acting girly. 

  • saroj khan

    that is soo true.i do think some people in kpop are actually gay .pleaseee have yoou seen the way some poepl act -but more weird is that the mcs seem to be enjoying the gayness????

  • Gnattie

    OMGosh I was wondering when I’d seen an article about this! So, I have a Tumblr, and on that I see people proclaim how whatever “ship” they have (typically an SNSD one) is absolutely real. It’s really irritating. I don’t think any of the SNSD girls are gay for each other. If they were, I could not care less, but I doubt it. But if you go on Tumblr, all you’d hear about is how Tiffany and Taeyeon are banging each other and how Yoona and Yuri are secretly in love. And it’s worse if you go to the confession blogs. People are nasty!

  • Me guesta

    Just a side note: before I discovered kpop, in an American group’s fandom there was malexmale shipping as well.Take of that what you will… but it was for fangirls’ kicks. Enjoyment. I’m not sure that it’s only taken as bromance in Korea, after all Korean girls/women are first and foremost girls/women. There are ‘shipping’ fanbases over there and not just from the Western/international fandom.

  • http://twitter.com/AKTFforever MissAKTF

    Have you seen yunjae shippers? They practically want Yunho and Jaejoong to confess to the whole world that both of them are gay for each other, or at least BI. as far as I know, in my world of cassiopeia, cassies couldn’t care less what the boys want, and I’m pretty sure that shawols don’t mind Jongkey being real as well. Oh well, people are stereotyped, its natural for people to think that gay and lesbian are sort of insults since it is not really normal before, we were created to like the other sex, instead of the same. so people are still stereotype. I personally don’t mind if Yunjae are really gay, it would be a waste of good genes though.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AA77LUYJTRNT7K775DQYYBCLRQ cristaryl giovanelli

    Gosh i love this piece so much!
    Agreeing with you totally^^

  • Ruk

    Just for kicks, anyone ever seen visual kei ? Or heard of it ?

    • May

      -raises hand-

  • Anonymous

    Really good take on this one. Very well written article.

  • Guest

    Agreed. I do not want to offend anyone but seriously SOME of them act/sound girly and I always wonder why girls fall drastically in love with those girly guys. I mean,acting girly guy once in awhile is fine for fan-servicing BUT all those make up and clothing and gestures make me shiver. I’m very sure some gay guys are really manly and no doubt that I (am a girl) fall for a gay guy. What I’m trying to point out is kpop guys may or might not be gay but most of them do act queerly.

    I’m sorry if I offended anyone,it’s just my thought for Kpop male idols.

    • May

      personal taste. I like androgynous boys, what can I do about it? Im not lesbian..I just like these type of guys

  • Jaeloveme

    its just cultural thng for GOD sake

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  • Alice20

    Really thought-provoking!
    ‘I’m almost glad that Kpop fans encourage boys to be sensitive, emotional, and more touchy with other boys, cuz even though it’s hypocritical, at least it allows the heterosexual (Some are homosexual, I’m sure, but I’m not referring to them) guys to publicly do stuff that in the West would be completely rejected and immediately labeled as “gay”. In the East, they can act as feminine and touchy with others as they want, but God FORBID someone actually acknowledge the elephant in the room, while in the West, any sign of emotional or physical closeness gets immediately rejected. What I’m saying is, this situation sucks for men (or women) that are actually homosexual in

    • Alice20

      South Korea, but it’s a good opportunity for heterosexual men to act more emotional and touchy, and not be called “gay” for doing so (unless they do it too much, then the netizens go crazy and DO call him gay, and the wrath of thousands of typing fingers is wrought upon the kpop idol).

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  • guest800

    I think western eyes are reading way too much into a cultural difference between the east and the west. I think there men being affectionate is thought of as FRIENDSHIP… So basically the labeling is our problem not theirs. what gives the west the right to impose our ideals on another culture. its pretty arrogant so say we’re right and they’re wrong because they have different ways of expressing themselves and different ideas attached to those expressions…

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  • Almira Agathas

    Well, my male friend really dissed KPop
    Maybe because he found these kind of fanservices offending

  • NoctLightCloud

    As my parents come from the Balkans and bromance is common there as well (not to THAT extent that men dress like women. But hugging, talking about everything and so on is also common there^^), I’ve never really found bromance to be strange. I even think it’s cute, a nice “trend”, very warm, and who knows, maybe a step forward towards a more open-minded culture?:) idk would the homoeroticism be better off without bromance??
    The fans’ reaction is a different thing and a reason to be worried…:-/