Trailblazing gay K-pop star Holland tells fans that he has a boyfriend

Korean singer Holland wears an LGBT+ flag as he performs on stage with a crowd of fans behind him

Out K-pop star Holland has revealed that he’s currently in a relationship, and fans are absolutely over the moon with joy.

Holland, real name Go Tae-seob, has been open about his sexuality from the beginning of his career, releasing his debut track in 2018 as the “first gay K-pop idol”. 

The singer revealed during a live stream with fans on Thursday (24 March) that he is currently seeing a special someone, but he didn’t give many details about his new partner. 

The singer was questioned by fans in the chat during the live stream about his relationship and does indeed “have a boyfriend now”. Holland repeated the happy news while smiling, adding “damn” cheekily at the end. 

“He’s very handsome and kind, tall,” Holland said, describing his boyfriend to fans.

The singer, who is set to make his acting debut in the queer drama series Ocean Likes Me, didn’t give fans a name or picture of his boyfriend. But he confirmed to fans that his boyfriend is a “normal person” and isn’t a celebrity, an actor, idol or involved in the entertainment industry at all. 

One fan asked the K-pop singer how much he loved his boyfriend, and he responded: “I wanna marry him”.

Holland posted a short clip from his live stream on all his social media profiles, telling everyone bluntly “so.. i have a boyfriend”. 

Needless to say, K-pop fans were absolutely thrilled to hear the happy news and wished him the best in his new relationship. 

Holland is one of only a few openly LGBT+ celebrities in South Korea.

South Korea does not ban homosexuality, but the LGBT+ community face legal challenges and discrimination in the country.

Same-sex marriage is not legal, and it is illegal for queer people to serve openly in the military, according to Equaldex. There is no ban on conversion therapy in South Korea, and there are no adoption rights for same-sex couples in the country.

However, some celebrities have come out as part of the LGBT+ community in recent years. TV host and chef Hong Seok Cheon was the first major South Korean star to come out as gay in 2000.

He recalled in an interview with Time that religious people protested in front of TV stations after he came out publicly and demanded he be fired from his job. Hong said it was “terrifying” to have to walk through the crowds “every time I had to go into the station for work”. 

As a result, he said, “broadcasting companies wouldn’t work with me”. 

In 2020, trot singer Kwon Do Woon came out as gay and hoped to “continue representing the LGBTQ community” through his work. He also credited Hong with giving him the “courage” to live his truth.

Another K-pop singer Som Hein came out as bisexual in 2019, and rapper Aquinas shared with fans that he is bisexual in a post on social media last year. 

Lionesses, who claim to be the “first openly LGBT+” K-pop boy band, debuted in November with a beautifully colourful music video to their first track “Show Me Your Pride”.

Singer and actor Harisu is among the most famous trans stars in South Korea. Last year, Harisu opened up about receiving hateful comments online and said she ultimately doesn’t “get any damage” from transphobic online trolls. 

She added that she’s “legally a woman so there’s nothing to be gained from telling me I’m not a woman”, and she won’t be “shaken by a few words” on social media.