This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Canada version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > DNA Magazine > DNA #220 | Sports And Fitness > BOY LOVE FOR SALE


Few Koreans acknowledge the existence of homosexuality, but contrived homoerotic imagery is used by the K-pop industry to sell their artists. So what happens when a genuine LGBTIQ K-pop singer comes out?

A couple snuggles together on a couch in a softly lit apartment. They skip on a beach in slow motion, holding hands. A melancholy R&B song plays, the singer croons softly, “never mind I’m in Neverland”, as they stare moodily in opposite directions. Back at home, they’re making up. Lying in bed, they reach out to each other and kiss passionately.

There’s a twist to this romantic but seen-it-all-before scenario: the couple are two handsome young men, and one them is South Korea’s self-proclaimed first male K-pop idol.

He goes by the name of Holland, and when he released the music video in late January, the same-sex kiss – the first in a music video in South Korea – earned it an adult rating and set social media buzzing. It also racked up five million YouTube views in five days – highly unusual for a song by an independent artist in such a competitive music industry.

“I hadn’t actually thought that the kiss scene was necessary, then the director told me that the same-sex kiss scene would automatically make the music video R-rated,” the 22-year-old singer told The Korea Times’ web channel Pran. “It got me thinking, ‘let’s do it then!’ It gave me a certain drive. I thought, ‘if the song is a success, then it will make the rating an issue and make people wonder why it should be R-rated [when kisses between mixed couples are not].’”

Like many LGBTIQ teens in Korea, Holland had a miserable time at school.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of DNA Magazine - DNA #220 | Sports And Fitness
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - DNA #220 | Sports And Fitness
Or 699 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.25 per issue
Or 3899 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 5.49 per issue
Or 549 points

View Issues

About DNA Magazine

Slip into your hottest jockstrap and spray on some extra deodorant – it’s the Sports Issue! Meet the Players… Adam Rippon, America’s ice-skating darling; Gus Kenworthy the hunky out skier loves kissing his boyfriend – and Adam Rippon! We’ve got UK rugby’s Stuart Reardon who’s not only a total tattooed hunk, but now and author and accomplished photographer and we have some very sexy selfies from Stu to prove it! And Olympic Golden Boy, Matthew Mitcham on being the first openly gay athlete to win Olympic gold and the highs and lows of his ten years since then! We also have a sexy story from Jack Ladd recounting a very memorable encounter with a high-profile rugby fantasy! Rocking the Pump! jockstrap on the cover is American model Andrew Corvin – and there’s a lot more to see of him inside. In the serious features department we have an excellent news story on Indonesia’s slide into repressive religious laws that are going to make gay sex illegal. And we have a fascinating insight into the K-pop industry: for a country that does acknowledge homosexuality, they certainly use a lot of boy-on-boy imagery to sell music! In travel, we reveal Costa Rica as the new gay honeymoon hotspot. In pop culture we catch up with Tracey Thorn, Datarock and Melodywhore. In theatre, it’s all about the Broadway revival of The Boys In The Band, Trevor Ashley’s Bodybag, and the Catherine McGregor story, Still Point Turning. Our Straight Mate is James Hoare from TV’s Picnic At Hanging Rock (find out his gay crush). Elsewhere, Dear Diva talks straight, we review music and books and bring you two sensational pin-up hotties!