K-Pop star Holland says culture is the most powerful weapon to help change attitudes towards homosexuality in Korea.
Holland, 22, is currently the first – and only – openly gay K-Pop idol, but he hopes artists can help change attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community in South Korea.
Its going to take homosexuality coming out of the water, he told Metro.co.uk. A lot of exposure and consumption. And a lot of people have to say its not wrong.
I think culture is the most powerful weapon.
Korea is also hard to survive in as a gay entertainer. I think Korea should develop more culturally.
He recently released the music video for his single Im Not Afraid, but it was given an age restriction on YouTube.
The star tweeted at the time: My fans, listen up, you know, if you saw my music video, Race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity Its individual difference and there should never be any discrimination in it.
Im sorry, hate criminals cant be my fans.
My fans, listen up, you know, if you saw my music video, Race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity It's individual difference and there should never be any discrimination in it.
I'm sorry, hate criminals can't be my fans.
— HOLLAND (@HOLLAND_vvv) July 9, 2018
The age limit for #Holland #ImNotAfraid music video has been removed from @YouTube. However, certain countries (Korea, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan) are eligible for viewing after adult certification.
— HOLLAND (@HOLLAND_vvv) July 11, 2018
The restriction has since been removed and the dreamy, upbeat video has racked up 2.6m views at the time of writing.
Holland, who describes himself as a musician who tells my story, admitted that he is still saddened by the controversy.
I never imagined that my music video would have an age limit on YouTube, he said.
I thought YouTube was a very open medium. I think there are many other music videos that are sexually appealing. Im so upset.
The huge popularity of groups like BTS, LOONA, Monsta X and NCT outside of Korea has seen more people become aware of K-pop when it might not have been on their radar before.
Holland is a BTS fan (I especially like V and Jimin) and thinks the world is becoming more sensitive to k-pop which has helped boost its popularity.
Its like catching the worlds most fashionable things and turning them into K-pop. Its a great thing, he said.
He recommends more people listen to South Korean indie band Hyukoh, but hes into British music too.
When asked who is faves are, Holland told us: I love British bands so much. I really like Nothing But Thieves and Harry Styles album is the best.
The singer has plans to come to the UK, but until then you can help him pick a fandom name by heading over to his Twitter, or check out Im Not Afraid which is out now.