• Colors

    “It’s amazing how blind some shippers can be to the fact that idols are real people; that pain and awkwardness might result from their actions.” — THIS! I’m honestly so embarrassed when idols find out the fans are shipping them romantically, sometimes it’s okay because they take it in a stride thinking its a normal fan behavior but that just gives alot more encouragement to the shippers so they take it even further and in the end, idols just become uncomfortable with the whole thing. I wish people weren’t so quick to stick the “gay” tag on idols, sure there is a possibility but with the asian culture and the whole concept of fan service, it is more likely just normal friendship and affection. but I guess in the end, shipping is part of general fan culture, but if only shippers didn’t take it so far like this. shipping is fun till the shippers go all in a delulu mode. but this is afterall just my opinion on the whole thing and I find such shipper behavior highly problematic sometimes, it really frustrates me to no ends.

  • Huang Xiuqi

    Do hardcore shippers really think they have this romantic love towards each other??

    • maldita

      Unfortunately, yes.

    • Tanya Joshi

      Yes. The way they, “Ugh, the way Kai and Kyungsoo look at each other… *gets emotional*” It’s really insane. That’s when a line has been crossed, when they actually THINK they’re together and doing the naughty-naughty behind the scenes.

    • Victoria

      Those things about Taeyeon’s instagram being assaulted with Taeny comments was very real. Those are fans who are convinced that a) she was romantically involved with Tiffany and b) she did not know her group member was dating someone behind her back. It was terrifying to see as a SONE but then it came to a point where people were complaining about it on Jessica’s Weibo and Jessica just said “It’s not worth it” because she didn’t care to hear nonsense anymore. It’s not worth getting upset over ships like this that were never real or proven to be real in the first place.
      However, these fans think differently.

      • Huang Xiuqi

        The interactions of ships are how close friends show their care for each other. Idk how people misinterpret it as romantic love. It’s not even possible..

  • paboppa

    Okay so every ídol out there is straight and theres no little posibility that may be bi or gay and neither that two of the same group may date
    That’s delusional right?

    • bigmamat

      What’s delusional is that while you have shippers on one side of the coin you have the purity crowd on the other. You have the segment of fans that think idols should be wearing Valarian steel chastity belts.

    • ok

      what’s delusional is speculating and using stereotypes to justify such objectifying.

  • Guest

    is homosexual shipping any worse then heterosexual shipping? cause with the amount of focus seoulbeats puts on same sex pairing and the people who ship them you’d think it was. :/

    • Gaya_SB

      I think hetero and same sex shipping each come with their own sets of issues. For hetero shipping, we’ve written on the Monday couple before, as well as Khuntoria if you or anyone is interested:

      http://seoulbeats.com/2014/03/monday-tuesday-everyday-part-monday-couple/

      http://seoulbeats.com/2012/02/the-end-of-the-monday-couple-confusing-fiction-with-reality/
      http://seoulbeats.com/2011/09/the-appeal-of-virtual-couples/

    • guest

      I would say yes. I think homosexual shipping faces more problems in comparison to heterosexual shipping. Yes, both face the issues of gender role-ing and rampant misogynistic views but heterosexual shipping doesn’t have nearly as much backlash as homosexual shipping. Let’s not forget the awful stereotyping that comes along with homosexual ships (seme/uke), the gross ignorance on homosexual relationships, and the vehement disapproval of homosexuals in general. A person would honestly have to be deluding themselves if they think the response to homosexual shipping is on equal level as heterosexual shipping. To say that they were would be severely undermining the constant problems the LGBTQ community face. If Khuntoria or the Monday Couple became real, most people would be congratulating them. If YunJae or JongKey were real? Lord have mercy.

      I do agree that there are crazy people on both sides and shipping real people is… well… what it is I guess.

      • bigmamat

        I have a sneaking feeling that some of these people will never overcome the perception of their sexuality once they’ve exploited this aspect of their fandom. Recently when Shin dong was seen shopping with that model I saw lots of posts suggesting it was staged. I think the moniker “beard” came up a lot in the posts. It’s going to be very hard to have your actual relationship taken seriously if you’ve spent several years exploiting your fictional relationship.

        • Timea B

          A lot of times it’s not up to them. You can bet it’s in their contract with SM….

          • bigmamat

            Any parent that let’s their kid sign a contract that pretty much has them pimping themselves out should have their parental rights stripped away.

  • ArielLM13

    My problem with articles like this is that they always end up sounding hypocritical. If you are going to take a stance against shipping then the stance should be against it as a whole. Yet, almost every time I read an article about it, only homosexual shipping is called out.

    You chose to call out the delusional fans who treated TaeNy like it was real but not the Khuntoria fans who did the same exact thing. That begs the question, why should homosexual shipping be looked down on any more the hetero shipping? This article made it sound like it’s unfair to call someone gay when they could be strait but then doesn’t that work the other way around? If suggesting someone is gay is offensive without knowledge then shouldn’t it be the same with suggesting someone is strait?

    • Guest

      *straight

    • guest

      “This article made it sound like it’s unfair to call someone gay when they could be strait but then doesn’t that work the other way around? ”

      Yes actually it is unfair and it does not work the other way around. If a person identifies as gay, straight, bisexual, or whichever sexual orientation then that is what people should address them by. It’s incredibly rude to tell someone they’re wrong about they’re own sexual orientation. If a person is not ready to publicly announce they’re homosexual or whatever then they are not ready and no one should be telling them otherwise.

      “If suggesting someone is gay is offensive without knowledge then shouldn’t it be the same with suggesting someone is strait?”

      It is the automatic assumption that someone is straight because straight is what is looked upon as the ideal or the norm. Being straight is not the minority and you will not get treated differently or harassed plus there is no negative connotation to being called straight so why would it be seen (generally) as offensive? You are trying to make it seem like both situations are of the same value when they are not. Being straight and being gay call for EXTREMELY different responses.

      There is nothing wrong with shipping. If you want to ship two people regardless of gender, that’s on you. Fanfics are great and common interests bring people together which is also great. However, forcing an image onto a REAL person is wrong. If you are going to ship REAL people, you need to keep in mind the boundaries. If the person being shipped has stated they are uncomfortable or expressed any negative sentiments about it then shippers need to lay off and cool their jets. (This can also be applied to hetero ships) If they say they are not gay, regardless of how in denial you think they are, you have to respect what they say. They say they’re not gay then they’re not gay (unless THEY say otherwise).

      As for heterosexual couples, why would they be mentioned in an article about shipping within the LGBTQ community? Seoulbeats has also written topics about heterosexual ships before.

      • Tanya Joshi

        That second last paragraph basically summarizes my opinions on shipping. The shipping on REAL people. If you want to ship it, then go ahead, but the moment you start forcing the actual people to notice it, or to do fanservice based on it, I think that takes it too far, especially when they look uncomfortable doing it or they’ve actually expressed their discomfort or stance on their sexuality. Then when people joke, “they’re just in denial, haha” I don’t think it’s funny at all.
        When Tao and Sehun get really cute and adorable, I just think, “Awww, such cute friends.” “They must be in a relationship” is not the first thing that pops into my mind. Like I said, if you want to ship, ship, but don’t go too far.

        • FayeG

          It’s why Sehun and Luhan started looking so uncomfortable in the first place lol Their fans are still insane. I’m sure they are more open to be affectionate however they want to in private, but seeing the extent their shippers go to force them together is really fucked up.

          The worse thing is not only when shippers force them to interact and practically shove their shipping feelings at them, but when they think their ideas and expectations about the ship are suddenly the people themselves. Ais if they know the idols and they know what they feel and why the think the way they think.

          Phrases like “Sehun is so jealous because Luhan interacted with bla blah” are so fucked up.

    • bigmamat

      Homosexual shipping is so much more blatant than hetero. After all how often do you get TaeNy on stage together, sweaty, rubbing each others bare bellies, grinding on each other and sometimes kissing. You don’t. What if one of the girl groups got together and did a parody of Secret Garden with lots of girl on girl kissing involved? People’s heads would explode not to mention a lot of old guy’s zippers. Now that I think about it a lot of the homoerotic shipping that goes on is strictly between men. Girls are pretty much off the hook for this kind of pandering.

      • bchay26

        Now that you brought that only males seem to be shipped in media displays, I had a “Oh my god, I can’t believe I didn’t notice that.” And it was right in my face too.

        • bigmamat

          Well in America it’s just the opposite…what a cultural difference huh? I kissed a girl and I liked it…..but then boy bands in the U.S. get called gay and it took actual gay ones 25 years to come out…I can’t channel surf late night cable in the U.S without catching a glimpse of two girls playing tongue hockey, or more…

    • Ana Key

      Article sounds like its homo-shaming.

      • Timea B

        You confuse homosexuality with a stage show, dear. The article is not homo-shaming. Most idols who are in OTPs either made by the company or by the fans, are not homosexuals in real life, or at best, yu and I and none of the shippers have any idea what they really are. They give you a show and you believe it. It doesn’t mean they are homosexuals. And you obviously didn’t read the article well enough. Go back to paragraph one and read how the writer of the article identifies themselves. :)

        • Ana Key

          Please don’t call me dear, I am grown woman. Don’t talk down to me like a bloody child I’m most likely older than you darlin. I did indeed read the article, I too am gay and she (the author) doesn’t speak for all of us. Just how not all minorities speak for every minority. Slash fics are mostly written by the lgbtq community in my opinion.. What she thinks cheaps our sexuality doesnt apply to us all sugar. I don’t mind as long as its respectful and in tastse.

  • Courie

    Not gonna lie. I’m a shipper of homosexual relationships but also heterosexual relationships. I don’t think any of my ships are in a real relationships and if they were,it wouldn’t bother me either.

    Shipping for both types of relationships can equally get out of hand. I agree that homosexual shipping does not help people accept being gay/lesbian. Just like how I don’t agree that just because your friend is gay means that you accept gays in general.

    I’ve come across people so against shipping because they claim all idols are straight. Haha,Like for real? ….Shipping can be a lot of fun but yeah it does get overboard. DaeJae (Daehyun&YoungJae)is a common B.A.P ship. Whenever YoungJae favors something from any other ship besides DaeJae,you will see “#StayStrongDaehyun” trending worldwide on Twitter…

  • Merixcil

    I’m of the opinion that as long as you keep the products of real person shipping (fan fiction, fanart etc) where the people involved in them can choose to ignore them and as long as you remember that the people you are shipping will ultimately make their own decisions about who they’re in a relationship with then there’s no reason that it should be a problem. Obviously I understand why it does make some people uncomfortable and I’m not saying that it’s something we all need to take part in and enjoy, but surely if watching two idols carry out fanservice with homoerotic undertones is equivalent to watching two characters dance around each other in a work of fiction then when we are shipping idols we are in fact shipping the characters.

    That’s not to say that most or even many shipper fans manage to separate fantasy from reality. I DO get really uncomfortable when people wax lyrical about how ‘real’ their kpop ships are or when, as has been so prevalent with Tiffany’s dating revelation, fans will jump through hoops to try to convince themselves and others that there’s still every chance pf TaeNy still being real. I enjoy the TaeNy interactions, but not enough to try to scrap Tiffany’s new relationship.

    I think at the end of the day shipping becomes a lot more fun if people just stop taking it so seriously – honestly, I think the problems with shipping and fanfiction are many and numerous (rampant fetishisation of queer relationships being one of the more obvious and frustrating) but at the end of the day I’ve read some really fantastic subversive fics that handle queerness fantastically and I’ve met plenty of people who have fun with shipping without going overboard and I don’t really want to lose that to fans who have more trouble distinguishing the influences they can and can’t have over an idol’s life.

    Ahh maybe I’m just being selfish….honestly I was kind of hoping this article would deal with the double standard of fans who are perfectly happy to engage in same sex shipping yet either base it entirely on fetishised ideals OR spout homophobic rhetoric when not dealing with their ships

    • find_nothing_here

      “Ahh maybe I’m just being selfish….honestly I was kind of hoping this
      article would deal with the double standard of fans who are perfectly
      happy to engage in same sex shipping yet either base it entirely on
      fetishised ideals OR spout homophobic rhetoric when not dealing with
      their ships.”

      This pretty much.

  • bigmamat

    I have a real problem with shipping. Not with the idea, people’s fantasies after all are their own and they can do with them what they please. I have a problem with pandering to them. This isn’t just for the idol community. After all who wasn’t shipping Kim Woo bin and Lee Jong suk during their School 2013 days. They were playing it to the hilt off screen. Fanfiction and shipping will go on even if idols do not play along.

    I can’t really explain what exactly puts me off about this aspect of idol fan service. I think it’s because it turns interpersonal relationships into a way to generate sales. It’s a bit like whoring yourself out. Even though idols don’t write fan fiction their actions on stage is often so close to performance porn that it might as well be. It makes you wonder what they won’t do.

    Then there is the problem of what I see as blatant hypocrisy from the fans. Korea is an outwardly conservative society with a 6.8 billion dollar a year sex industry. But god forbid an idol get caught having actual sex or found out in a real relationship. It isn’t just the shippers they need to concern themselves with it’s the zero sex shamers and the “what about the children” crowd. Which to me is the worst kind of hypocrisy since homoerotic shipping is often so blatant. The writer is right that idols for most of these fans are not human beings they are caricatures. I feel the only way for idols to escape this trap is to be themselves and not exploit this aspect of fandom. It’s just that simple stop playing up to it then they won’t have to answer for it later. In the end shouldn’t the music and the dancing, be enough to say you’re a fan.

    • bchay26

      This = YES.
      For that last sentence though, I feel like idol-dom seems to separate itself from the music industry because it really isn’t about the music. It’s the performance package: singing, dancing, acting (variety, TV/movies, off-screen), image, and etc.
      Being a fan for idols is really odd because I’ve seen (and thought of this myself a few times) that you’re not really a fan of an idol or idol group unless you seem to know a bunch of excess information (birthday, blood type, height, weight, where they went to high school, etc.). It really makes me sigh at those reactions, and my own reactions that fall in line with this, because it honestly should be about the music and the dancing and the artistry of it all.

      • bigmamat

        I understand it’s not about the music…lol …I also understand the concept marketing and saturation scheme. In my world they call it the shot gun approach. Please don’t explain the business to me. I’m not totally ignorant of how the business works. People explain it to me all the time in comments. I think this business model lends itself to exactly what I have been describing. Pimping yourself out. I think it creeps me out the most because of the youth of these kids. Talk about objectification. Maybe they don’t mind. Maybe they’re conditioned not to mind.

        • bchay26

          Oh, I won’t explain :) I was just thinking aloud in order to also wrap my head around this. The psychology behind this whole business fascinates me, but yet weirds me out.

          • bigmamat

            It did the same to me until I thought about. It’s really a little like peddling soft core porn to which ever audience you’re trying to capture. I understand the homoerotic shipping to girls more now than I did in the beginning.

      • Tanya Joshi

        I honestly DON’T think it should only be about the music and dancing and the artistry of it all. That’s what makes K-pop, K-pop, honestly. Get rid of that other stuff on the side (acting, variety, character, etc) and then it just doesn’t seem very K-pop anymore.

        • bchay26

          True. But the fact that as fans for K-pop, there seems to be some sort of hidden requirement to know more than just buying albums and attending concerts. This probably might or might not apply. The way the term “fan” is used seems to have been redefined.

          • Tanya Joshi

            Well, maybe you don’t have to know things like blood type or height or anything, I don’t really think that’s actually a requirement, it might just be information that some choose to research or you somehow gather along the way from watching shows.
            But you definitely have more stuff to pay attention to for your favourite idols in K-pop. It’s like having inside jokes with your friends. It just isn’t satisfying enough to only listen to and/or buy albums to support your idol, it’s just a sort of automatic need to pay attention to their varieties/interviews so that you can guage their personalities and have little inside jokes within the fandom.
            But I think being a fan and actually being in the fandom are two separate things. I’m in the EXO and VIXX fandom, you could say, because I religiously follow them and their activities and know little tidbits/jokes that most people that casually like them don’t. On the other hand, I’m only just a fan of groups like Infinite, SHINee, Big Bang, 2NE1 because I only listen to their music and maaaybe watch shows they’re in if I stumble upon them. I don’t really keep up with their activities, though.
            It’s not really a hidden requirement, but rather something that one just automatically just does when in K-pop. If you become REALLY interested in a group, you just WANT to watch everything that they’ve been in.

          • bchay26

            Awesome response! I think my problem lies with how we define the term “fan” and you explained that really well. From your interpretation, the term “fan” has it’s usual applications. The term “fandom”, which seems to be in collaboration with K-pop (when speaking about music genres and fan involvement).

          • Tanya Joshi

            Yeah, basically, haha. A fan is just someone who focuses on exactly what you said: the music, the dance, and the artistry of it all.
            Being in the fandom is basically every other single thing that comes with being a K-pop idol, and is something very unique to K-pop culture. If you get rid of that whole facet, then it just goes back to regular pop music, which loses it’s uniqueness when looking at the bigger picture!

  • Jane Peter

    I think shipping is difficult regardless of homosexual or heterosexual pairings. The arguments said above state the complexity and difficulty of homosexual pairings very well. And I want to thank the author for finally saying it and making a point.

    Concerning heterosexual pairings, I remeber Taecyeon saying in an interview that the whole shipping with him and Yoona affected their friendship and took them some time to fix it. They litterally stoped talking and interacting because they were scared of each others fans and the impact of their interactions. And even now, after Yoona is revealed dating, many believe that her relationship with Lee Seung-gi is only media play and believe that Taecyeon, Donghae or any other person is a way better partner for her or “realer”.

    I think any form of shipping when done excessively is dangerous. We see it everyday, every Fancam is analysed in minute detail and sreen captures are made to prove a point. They even interprete something into situation which are not there. It puts a lot of pressure on the people involved and their personal relationships (not only with each other, but other people as well)

    I mean I still ship certain idols, but I’m aware of the fact that they are living people who have their own lives and can date any person they want.

  • Ana Key

    While I agree with the sometimes ships stop being fun and people take it too far. Something should stay in fandom, shipping is one of them. For example in the HP fandom Drarry (Draco x Harry) is very popular and it made actor Tom Felton very uncomfortable, he even made it very clear he didn’t approve of it on a late night show. As a Drarry shipper I was embrassed he found out.
    But I disagree that homosexual ships are hurting the lgbtq com. As someone who identifies as lgbtq, I say alot of slash fics help people in the closet. Alot of slashers are gay or gay allies. Your article came off as homophobic and condensending. Why not shame het ships as well, fans do the same thing they claim its real like khuntoria.
    Sexuality is not black and white its grey, to assume that no mainstream idol could ever be gay or bi is insulting. To this day I still side eye Jonghyun (he enjoys fanservice too much tbh lol)
    Tl; dr-if your gonna shame or throw shade, shade/shame all the ships not just slash. I thought seoulbeats was better than this.

    • bigmamat

      Well it might be hurting them because people like this notice…

      • Ana Key

        Its not available in my country lol, going by the title I say you cannot promote or make someone gay. Kids cross dressing isnt just a kpop thing, cross dressing is common in the cosplay and in Japanese fashion. Ever heard of Dansou?

        • bigmamat

          Oh you don’t have to convince me. Sorry it didn’t occur to me that not everyone can see youtube videos. This one was made by a couple of English speaking fundamentalist Christians that show a lot of pictures of idols kissing, cross dressing and being sexy. They sprinkle it with biblical references to the sinfulness of homosexuality. There was even an 1 1/2 hour video of something about the Kpop Illuminati I couldn’t get through it because it was slow and pretty much bat shit crazy.

          • Pontifex

            Didn’t see the one, but the other I have seen. and it is mos def bat-shit crazy.
            And I stumbled into a discussion on Youtube claiming that the Bbi Bbi Ri Bap video was an Illuminati allegory.

          • bigmamat

            I know I saw there were several of them…people…what they can’t come up with….

  • bigmamat

    I know I’ve already posted here but I found this by accident and thought it might be interesting to some…

    • Pontifex

      Yup. It’s the same one…
      “Many of the KPOP artists do “fan service”, which is sexual perversion (usually involving the same sex) to excite and shock the audience.
      “Similar to Britney Spears and Madonna.”

      • bigmamat

        Sexual perversion…I wouldn’t go as far as to describe it as perversion. Homosexuality is just another aspect of human sexuality. Perversion is a very subjective word to use. It’s like calling something “evil”. It’s pretty much subject to interpretation. I don’t call homosexuality perverted.

        • Pontifex

          Nor do I, which I thought I made clear in my overlong post above. I had put “which is sexual perversion” in italics, in an attempt to point out that it is an idiotic definition of fan service.

          I should have stated that the quote is from the video that you linked to, and is an example of how some Christian groups actually dissemble or outright lie to the young in attempt to create an “us versus them” atmosphere.

          I asked to a young woman who had written a book about her experience living a year in an evangelical conclave about this, and she said that it happened all the time.

          • bigmamat

            You’re not telling me anything I don’t know. I live just a tad north of the Bible belt. There’s a church on every corner here. My father’s family was pentecostal. Although in the old days they weren’t preaching the “prosperity gospel” like they are now. Anyway, I’m from God and gun country. My facebook page is full of “honk if you love Jesus” banners. Although a lot of people have unfriended me because I’m a demonic socialistic liberal. lol

  • bchay26

    I already have formed my own opinions about the shipping issue, but the thing that worries me as a shipper is, “What if they’re not friends?” And that thought is what hurts me the most these days.

  • RinB

    I think shipping is possibly the most dehumanizing thing in the entire K-Pop industry. Celebrities have long been viewed as sex symbols in pretty much every culture, but shipping takes the person and the personality out of the idol/celebrity and instead makes them a vacuous character. In Japan, we see a lot of doujin for anime and game characters, and there is nothing that the shipping trend reminds me of more than that. The difference is that creating doujin and fan fiction or art about say, Evangelion’s Asuka and Rei, is done with two fictional characters NOT REAL PEOPLE. The entire K-Pop industry reinforces the notion that fans have too much power over idols lives… from wrecking their entire careers over a silly scandal to having to justify their relationship choices. At some point, an effort needs to be put in to either reconcile the stage persona and real life personalities of idols or a clarification needs to be made for those who do not understand that the idol you see in performances and videos is not indicative of the real person behind that role.

    • bigmamat

      This is a very good point. The only problem I have with this is that any reasonable non crazy person should realize that what they are seeing is not real. Fangirls included. I seriously don’t think any of these girls are stupid enough to think this stuff is actually real. I think they’re all just tyrannical bitches. I think the best point you made is that the “pop industry reinforces the notion that fans have too much power over their idols”. That’s the part that bothers me. I don’t have any problem with someone and how they market themselves. Provided it’s by a consenting adult and with a certain level of autonomy. Kpop idols are often very young when recruited and it’s a fairly well known fact they have little or no autonomy. At least not until much later in their careers. So it’s exploiting the sexuality of some very young people.

  • ok

    Lmao some of y’all are off the hook with these comments. Breaking news: a lot of people who are actually queer are not safe with regards to coming out. Fetishizing gay relationships is just that, fetishizing and objectifying. Shipping a dude and a chick is much safer than them both being the same gender ESPECIALLY when so many of these shippers try to convince people that they’re “real” and that so & so is gay, etc. Speculating on someone’s sexuality can be totally triggering and we can’t pretend that these two sides of the same coin don’t turn up differing results if they’re in fact, true. I’m so tired of people in the LGBTQ community having to say this time and time again for a straight person to tell them they’re being homophobic for being uncomfortable with it.

    • bigmamat

      I understand the actual results of someone being straight or gay will have different consequences depending on which society they occupy. It don’t think anyone was arguing it isn’t fetishizing or objectifying. Most all of kpop could fit that description. Like I said, it’s pimping. It’s selling images of sexual fantasy depending on the target audience. In kpop homoerotica is largely employed for girls. Other than potential consequences for actual real life misunderstanding it’s not any more insidious or detrimental than selling hetrosexual fantasy. How many times have you seen people call a girl group slutty because they came out with a sexy concept. How often do they employ school girl themes combined with sexy dance moves and lyrics. What I find very interesting about the homoerotic aspect of Kpop is the target audience, women not gay men.

      • ok

        ” Other than potential consequences for actual real life misunderstanding it’s not any more insidious or detrimental than selling hetrosexual fantasy. ”

        No… because straight people don’t get assaulted for being straight. Straight ppl don’t have the potential to be shunned for it. Speculating on if someone is gay is what starts a lot of violence against queer people, just because you’re trying to do it in a sexy, fun way doesn’t make it less uncomfortable and triggering. The complaints on this article are obviously from hit dogs hollering because shipping has nuances that aren’t really that deep or need defending unless you’re one of the people who participate in the Who Do You Think Is Gay In KPOP threads and believe writing dissertations on someone’s sexuality from slowed down gifs and stereotypes is progressive. Turning queerness into a spectator sport in no way has the same implications or consequences as someone thinking a girl and guy are dating.

        • bigmamat

          Do you have any evidence that being gay in Korea results in people being assaulted? Korea does have a reputation for being a relatively safe place to live. I’m also of the understanding that even heterosexual male friends in Korea are less uptight about physical male affection than your average American man. These same guys that bump up against each other sweaty at concerts also appear on prime time television in that country. They appear in drag on prime time. It’s interesting but I won’t try to predict how Koreans will behave when gay people begin to come out in that country. People keep pointing out to me that gender fluidity is more acceptable in Asian societies than western. This may be the case. Oh yeah and queerness is a spectator sport even in my country. I got drunk as shit at drag queen brunch.

          • find_nothing_here

            As I understand it, homosexuality in Korea is more likely to be punished through social isolation and disownment than threw physical violence. But you really shouldn’t underestimate the power of such methods on people psychologically.

          • bigmamat

            I don’t. I was fat kid and a tomboy. I understand social isolation pretty well. I get where you’re going with this but the only way to actually change the tone of Kpop is to call for a boycott on it and it’s practices. Ranting about it on the internet won’t get anyone anywhere because international fans do not drive the industry much yet. Korean fans do. If Korean fan girls can’t see that what they are expecting of their idols is above and beyond it won’t change. I find I had to believe that will come anytime soon when I see “fan service” defended so vehemently even by international fans.

          • Tanya Joshi

            The thing is, I don’t think in Korea guys holding hands and having a lot more skinship is seen to be automatically thought of as gay.

          • bigmamat

            That’s they way I understand it.

          • Tanya Joshi

            Sorry, I for some reason subtracted a word from your comment when I was reading it and so I thought you were saying the opposite, haha.

          • bigmamat

            Not a problem…nice chat.

          • ok

            Did you magically forget the director who got trash thrown on him? Or HSC getting fired? Those are their own forms of violence and I’m 100% sure queer people get assaulted for it, please don’t act daft.

          • bigmamat

            I didn’t magically forget anything I just don’t know what incidences you are talking about….Don’t get hostile there’s no reason for it. If there are incidences of gay hate in the Kpop world then tell me about them don’t assume I know everything.

  • find_nothing_here

    So basically, some people need to take chill pills and think about other human beings. IDK, but I’ve met lots of LGBTQ people who are casually into shipping and speculating (I’m bi myself), and they usually approach it in a very sane way. We keep are discussions to ourselves and thoroughly disapprove of anybody who takes it outside the realm of speculation and into the public sphere.

    A lot of fanfic communities are the same. They’re very tight and make sure that nothing leaks publicly (look what happened with EYK).

    I feel like there are many fangirls and shippers who would flip a shit if their idol was gay for anybody but their *true love*, and those people are truly disgusting.

    • Tanya Joshi

      Honestly, I don’t care if people want to ship, but the moment they start thinking it’s real and freak out about it, that’s when I think a line needs to be drawn. I mean, these are real people.

      • find_nothing_here

        I mean, I do think a very few pairings have the possibility of being real, but I would never a)try to force them on anybody b)carry a fucking sign to a concert with them in it. <<

        Also, before I posted, this thread had 69 comments :D /mature

        • Tanya Joshi

          I mean, yeah, we can’t rule out the possibility of them being real. But yeah, as soon as they do those two things you mentioned, it’s insane.

    • Josh Chinnery

      “I’ll be damned if Internet War was SM’s idea”

      I about died of laughter here XD I’ll be damned as well if half the shenanigans that go down at SMTOWN concerts are the ideas of company execs >_> Can you imagine that awkward conversation…

      • find_nothing_here

        There are generally practiced “fanservice games” like pocky and card kissing, which I can definitely disapprove of because they are often nothing but awkward.

        But things like that…IDK, I think it means something that Heechul and Jonghyun seem some of the most open idols in regards to sexuality. I dislike making queerness into a game, but I think an honestly conceived performance has power.

        Some people are indeed convinced that companies plan everything and everything is a lie because idols are actually robots who have no power to ever come up with ideas beyond what they are told.

  • Pontifex

    (I fall in the K-pop fan, not fandom category, so my approach is going to be filtered through Western media. Sorry.)
    As
    long as there is disparity in freedoms between straights and members of
    the LGBT communities, speculation will continue, for both good and bad
    reasons. Closeted gays in positions of power who espouse homophobic
    rhetoric deserve outing.
    IMHO, that’s a good reason.
    Michelle
    Rodriguez, essentially outed by Curve because of a jokey slip of
    Kristanna Loken’s tongue, did not deserve it. But they pretty much
    printed it as fact, anyway.
    There is strength in numbers, and so each
    celebrity that comes out increasingly adds to the idea that gay is an
    important part of the “new normative.”
    However outing the unwilling is a bad reason, and so it eventually necessitated a response from Michelle:

    As far as rumors go of me coming out, I guess curve magazine took
    it upon themselves to out me on the premise of their own suspicions.
    Whatever, I’m not insulted, I have a big lesbian following, and for
    whatever reasons they show me love. I’m never going to shun, disrespect
    or neglect anybody who shows me genuine non-psychotic Love.

    But I will Say this, to put words in someone’s mouth and place people
    in categories affects them for sure, especially in this business.
    I don’t know what the intent behind the curve magazine cover was.
    I wasn’t informed of it, I had no Idea they were planning on using
    my image to sell magazines. By the way I only got kicked out of five
    schools not six.

    Look, I guess what I’m trying to say ultimately is that, if I wanted
    people to know what I do with my Vagina I would have released A sex
    video a long time ago.

    Speculation can be fun, as long is it is confined to appropriate spaces, esp. if public, and is not harmful to those under view, or even to those within earshot.
    Look at how long it took Jodie to come out… now imagine if the rumors
    of her hooking up with Kelly McGillis had been proven true in the press. It would
    have destroyed in-denial, Christian and soon-married McGillis. As it is, it
    took her years to come to terms with her sexuality. Imagine if she had had
    to do it entirely in the public eye.

    Not everyone is Angelina. Let alone Jenny Shimizu.

  • ohYeah

    Can u at least do some research, since Tiffany has no twitter account. U posted fake account.

    • Gaya_SB

      Fixed, thanks!

  • skyeskye

    But one can argue that image idols show to the public is nothing more than a fictional character. So then there’s no difference between shipping Vicktor and Ron and Tiffany and Taeyeon.

  • Sam

    The article says this about TaeNy in particular:

    “Clearly, some TaeNy fans — no doubt well-meaning ones – have decided that Tiffany doesn’t know what she wants in a life partner; instead, they know what she wants in a life partner.”

    Honestly, the issue isn’t limited to the matter of sexuality. Heterosexual ships can be as harmful as homosexual ships in that regard; either way, it’s an instance of the fan imposing their (probably unfounded) wishes on real, actual people. I don’t think the article intends to say that heterosexual ships are any more okay than homosexual ships – just that the latter can’t be dressed up as LGBTQ advocacy.

    That said, I’m also of the opinion that casual shipping is more or less harmless. Fanservice exists to get a reaction from fans; it’s fine to cheer when your OTP has a moment, but it’s not okay to harass your OTP about their “relationship.”

  • Alice

    “However, as an actual member of the LGBTQ community….” This is the most annoying part of this article. Why do you have to proclaim that this is your preference as if it magically makes your opinion more valid? Everyone should just calm down. You are forcing your opinions on the opinions of the idols it affects, you don’t know their ideas about it either.

    • ok

      “Why do you have to proclaim that this is your preference as if it magically makes your opinion more valid?” because a lot of queer kpop fans get triggered and uncomfortable with seeing sexualities that still get people murdered, speculated on?

    • Josh Chinnery

      Because the author’s opinion *is* more valid? As a member of the LGBTQ community, they have a definite right to speak out about slash pairs in shipping because it affects them and their community at large.

      It’s a like a PoC speaking out about issues of racism; our opinions matter more than a white person’s because we actively face racism in our day to day lives.

      • Alice

        The problem I have is that it makes that person sound like they are speaking for the community as a whole. There is a lot of diversity within LGBTQ, ie. I am also a part of it, and the opinions of one person do not mean they are the opinions of the whole group.

        • Ana Key

          I agree I’m gay and a poc and I dislike people who try to speak for me. I like slash and slash or yuri isnt offensive to me. She may be in the com but she doesn’t speak for us.

  • FayeG

    I think the article is flawed in that it falls under the misconception that company have absolute power over what idols do. Diminishing any possible friendship to prove a point falls under the same thing you are telling people not to do: be delusional for their own convenience and/or pleasure.

    It turns out an Instagram picture is just that. And instagram picture.

    • Shinnokina

      friendship is one thing. I don’t think you would go about about kissing and touching your best friends and uploading on instagram, do you? At least I don’t see any of my friends doing that. idols sure do have friends and those paired in an OTP might really be good friends. It doesn’t mean all the touching and extreme bromancing is real just because they are friends. You can bet it’s a playup for the camera.

  • Timea B

    The real problem with shipping is, just as the writer expressed, that people try to force their ideas down others’ throats – and especially the idols’ throats themselves. I don’t care if you ship Yunjae in you room ans squeel over yaoi fantasies. But don’t go to Jaejoong’s concert with a photoshopped naked image of the two, blatantly “claiming” you know their private life. Because you don’t. After TVXQ’s breakup nobody could ever spot these two together, and heck they both have tons of sasaeng fans, if they ever met up, sasaengs would know and post. I cannot imagien how bothersome they might feel that a large portion of their fanbase still believes in stupid marketing techniques employed by a company that wants profit. because that’s what shipping is.

    You, dear extreme shipper, are no more than just a playdoll, effectively falling for a marketing technique that will make you stick to a band, buy their stuff and pump up youtube video statistics. Those people who think OTPs are real should maybe check their own mental sanity first with a professional. It’s the same with hetero OTPs like the we Got Married couples or the Monday Couple. But they are not shipped so extremely as the same sex OTPs, most of the times. Same sex OTPs are bound to have a bigger negative effect on the idol’s life. Look at jaejoong. Whatever he will do in his life, he will always be associated with Yunho. If he writes a song, oh, that’s for sure because of Yunho. If he gives an album title, oh that refers to Yunho. As if the guy spends his life 24/7/365 thinking about a person he hasn’t met for 5 years. Yeah right, very realistic. :))

    Simply stating, believe whatever you want but don’t FORCE your own beliefs down your idol’s throat. you know, he’s a real PERSON. A Human Being, not some machine programmed to entertain you forever in the way you want. He has a life, he has feelings, and you have NO IDEA what is really like, because you only see a created IMAGE. PERIOD.

    PS, Seoulbeats, please try to fix your site’s mobile version. It’s extremely difficult to read articles on a mobile device. Had to switch to regular computer to be able to read the article, at all.

  • Extremedivas

    I think this article is not giving out clear fact that there are gay people in kpop. Fan refuses to knowledge but do gay fiction like gay are not real. I found this article is a pieces of shit to me. I realize there are more closeted gay and homophobia in kpop fandom which is never discussion.