K-pop Queer

May 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Just a reminder of the ambigous queer stuf out there.

More to come

The Future is Idol – L

End of the year, K-pop 2012. Things that should not be forgotten/ Queer of the year

December 31, 2012 § 3 Comments

The writers of this blog are unsure of many things in life, but the term queer is embraced by them. The right to not choose side, when it comes to love, gender or how you want to live your life, of this human right we are very sure.amber_fx

The subject of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual) in connection to K-pop is not an easy one to write about. Or rather, it is easy if you turn to fanfic and fanservice and that is of course ever so important. But, there are no real life homosexuals in K-pop. That’s just a matter of a fact. None that we really know of that is. But since at least every tenth person on the planet is estimated to be gay and even more to be bisexual WE KNOW THAT THEY ARE OUT THERE. South Korea is not a very allowing society, when it comes to these questions, and have not been for a very long time even if it perhaps is on it’s way of changing. Almost every K-drama have a gay character or at least a really queer twist to the story. Answer me 1997 was the huge hit of the year with one of it’s main characters being a gay man and his lovelife being described in a very interesting and rather respectful way.

When is comes to the idols I still do not understand what would happen if one would be openly gay. It’s impossible for me to understand how South Korea and the idol industry works and how it would be dealt with. A complete disaster or ok?  Probably the first.

So what do you do meanwhile? You just keep looking. Some idols are known for having a very queer persona, breaking the traditional roles of men and women, Amber of f(x)(in the picture above) being one and Key of SHINee another. Jo Kwon the leader of 2AM is also one of these people, famous for his queer persona. He had his solo debut the summer of 2012 with I’m Da One a not so fun track that I cared little about. BUT included in the promotions of I’m Da One he also performed a track named Animal, and this is a completely different story. There is no music video, but most of the live performances from tv shows are of course in HD so the feeling is quite the same. He is an incredible dancer, and the background dancers likewise. He is dressed in an androgynous outfit covered with feathers and he is dancing in killer-heels. Man or woman? No one should or did care the least and this is rather amazing. Very queer indeed. The performance was shown on prime time tv, but I feel that it did not get the recognition or space it deserves.

Jo Kwon and his Animal is a K-pop moment from 2012 that I believe should not be forgotten and is also my awesome queer of the year.

Don’t forget to check out our other and previous End of the year, K-pop 2012 summarizing articles.

The Future is Idol – L

The Wet Dream of a Fanboy

October 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’m Swedish, born and raised, still living in this northern part of Europe with it’s chilly climate and welfare state. I’m a man who just turned 30, a teacher and more important for now – I’m kind of a fanboy. In a K-pop kind of sense that is. Key(of SHINee) is so obviously my bias and I sometimes find it hard to understand how this works. What is it about that man/idol that keeps me captivated? Don’t know. Do I want to know?

Earlier this evening, Mis sent me the Key-gif to the left. Attached were the words: “Thought he was inserting snus from the beginning.” (Snus = Swedish snuff) Snus is the most macho kind of tobacco there is in Sweden and the layers of Key perhaps using that kind tobacco is mind blowing, the Swedish fanboy I am.

Key is in the fandom rather portrayed in a feminine kind of way then in a macho. His interest in clothing and the quirky personality his got makes this version of him understandable and a classic gay characteristic, which also is a common way to describe him. SHINee Key gay is by the way one of the highest ranking search terms at this blog. This is perhaps not for me the most exciting Key version I could think of. Rather, the wet dream of a fanboy like myself could be “Key doing “manly” stuff” and my reaction to this gif was instant and thrilled, even though both me and Mis could see that Key was probably not inserting snus after all…

Important to point out is that I do not want to rank a manly version of Key higher then a more feminine one. But as the clichés of him and being gay is usually twisted towards the later one I always find it liberating and awesome when things comes along disturbing the cliché. It could be him being pshysically strong in an old episode of Maknae Rebellion or the picture of him with his unshaved moustache as seen in the picture below in the middle. Also, being a man/or manly AND being feminine is another great combo if thats what is prefered.

The Future is Idol – L

btw. Key doing “manly” stuff could of course also be the wet dream of a fangirl, even if it might be rare.

Watch Key do all of these things here.

Getting Shipped

September 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

The other night, I had a dream about YunJae (they were taking care of a troubled child). I’m not really an active YunJae shipper – I definitely recognize them as a pairing, and I think that they were, in some way, “real”, but I have never spent days and nights reading fanfiction about them. And tonight, tumblr was flooded with HunHan stuff, making me start wondering at what point Sehun and Luhan became aware of themselves as a ship (or a “couple”) and started acting with that in mind. I don’t really believe that entertainment companies make ships up and force them on their idols. Everyone who has ever watched a TV show or a drama where the main actors have zero chemistry would know that to be something you can’t really fake extensively. But I do believe that idols are sometimes asked to play it up a bit extra, or to “remember” to be affectionate even when they aren’t relaxed, which at least I need to be to act affectionate towards others.

This sort of subtle fanservice is interesting in other ways than the one sometimes displayed on stage. I personally have never really dreamed about standing on a stage, but for those who love it I imagine it to sometime be almost intoxicating: doing what you love in front of a crowd, having everyone look at you, want you in some way or another, admire you and scream your name from the top of their lungs. I find it stranger when that kind of raw energy and charisma boost don’t spill over onto fellow group members on stage.But, for the sake of fans, being very obvious with having some sort of special bond with or warm feelings for someone? I bet it can sometimes be strange, like selling something intimate, but sometimes perhaps sort of fun or maybe even liberating, allowing expressions of friendship of love to a further extent than normal. If it later results in smut, well… That’s another problem. If it is a problem.

(I sometimes wonder whom I would be shipped with, were I and everyone around me idols.)

/Mis

Answer Me, 1997 – Thoughts after episodes 1-4

August 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

I had been wanting to watch the new Korean drama 응답하라 1997, translated to respectively “Answer Me, 1997”, “Reply 1997” or “Answer to 1997” (sigh), for a couple of weeks before I actually found subtitles for it. The first four episodes are subbed and can be streamed from KimchiDramas as well as DramaCrazy and since I’ve caught a cold, I don’t feel the least guilty about having stayed home watching them instead of being out in the nice summer weather. Actually, that’s rather fortunate for me, because this far it’s a great drama that I have enjoyed a lot, even though I realize that it probably would have appealed to me even more and in other ways if I’d had a different upbringing.

I honesly don’t know that much about how any of the Korean countries were during the 90’s. For example: since I have read a little about Confucianism and its influence on Korea, I could guess why girls and boys had separate classrooms even during the same class at the same school, with the teacher going back and forth between the classrooms, but I absolutely had no idea that it was still like that back in 1997. Same goes for how the teenagers in the drama speak in hushed voices about things imported from Japan – I did know that Japanese-Korean relations were even frostier back then, but it’s one thing to know it and a whole other thing to see it played out in a drama.

I also don’t really have that much knowledge of 90’s Korean idol bands (it would feel strange calling them kpop idols, considering how kpop hadn’t been coined as a term back then) beside some basic knowledge gathered mostly as a consequence, and I have never been a teenage boyband fan.

But I can still relate to the show. Because more than anything, this is a show about being a teenager, with all the pains and troubles that holds. Even though my pains as a teenager weren’t exactly the same as the characters’ of this show, I can still relate to them.

SPOILERS UNDER THE PICTURE!

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GLAM – Party(XXO)

August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s Stockholm Pride Week, the first one I’m actually trying to participate in for real. And this awesomely sexually ambivalent song is my soundtrack:

(subtitled version here)

I can’t really decide on whether I think it’s actually supposed to be about same-sex attraction or if it just comes across like that when it’s translated, though I with my limited Korean also make out the original Korean lyrics to be quite gay. Or is it just my corrupt mind? I personally believe that there are supposed to be hints at lesbianism in the lyrics, and that they are put there mostly as a promotional stunt, something to make the song a hot topic. One part of me finds it annoying when love between girls is hinted at for commercial purposes, considering the male gaze, lesbian love for straight men etc, but another part of me remembers how many young girls who found the fabricated love between the girls of Tatu to be a great inspiration in their teenage coming out process.

No matter what, the song is really catchy, and I’ll interpret the lyrics to my benefit. You know how it is with art – it’s the viewer’s perception that’s important.

/Mis

Xia Junsu interview

July 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

I just finished reading this interview with Xia(h) Junsu and honestly, everybody who has ever been interested in a) the idolverse, b) the concept of “image” or c) questioning gender should read it. Which hopefully means everybody who has ever visited this blog. This man may have an image quite far from the brooding type, but he obviously has a lot going on in his head, and I am so happy that he is able to express it better these days. Read it!

/Mis

junsu is my religion

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