Another day, another K-pop debut – but Holland has been grabbing media headlines since he released Neverland a few days ago, as the industry’s first openly gay idol to debut.
The song lyrics and MV celebrate his sexuality – a landmark moment for K-pop, which often shies away from addressing LGBTQ+ issues.
Holland isn’t the first Korean singer to come out – MRSHLL, an alternative R&B artist, came out before his debut last year. Actor and restauranteur Hong Seokcheon is perhaps the most well known out Korean celebrity, after coming out in 2000. The popularity of transgender singer Harisu, who was only the second person in Korea to receive gender reassignment surgery, was another landmark LGBTQ+ moment for the Korean entertainment industry.
Neverland, despite its official 19+ rating for the same-sex kiss, has received a warm reception from K-pop fans. It netted more than 2 million views in the first 48 hours. The hashtag #HollandDebutDay was also trending worldwide earlier this week.