K-Pop Holland star says he was attacked and called a ‘dirty gay’

Holland, one of the first openly gay K-Pop idols, said on Twitter that he was assaulted while walking in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea on May 5.

“Last night I was walking around Itaewon with my manager and a friend. Suddenly a stranger approached me and punched me twice in the face, calling me ‘dirty gay’,” Holland wrote on Twitter. “Now I have a scar on my face and I will be going to the hospital soon.”

He included two photos of himself with the tweet, showing his face with two cuts around his nose.

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The singer is one of the most prominent openly LGBTQ figures in South Korea, in a country where homosexuality is largely taboo. From the start of his career, Holland has been open about his sexuality despite facing difficulties finding an agency to support him because of it.

About a month ago, Holland said during a livestream that he had a new boyfriend, someone who is not in the entertainment industry. Because he is open about his identity, Holland, whose first name is Go Tae-seob, wrote on Twitter that he believes his attack was a hate crime.

“This is obviously a hate crime. The fact that my sexuality as gay is public should never expose me to this kind of violence,” he wrote. “Nor any other LGBT+ and all elders, women and minorities in this world. What is happening in 2022 shows the sad reality of LGBT+ human rights.”

He continued, “I have reported to the police and I hope the matter is well resolved. This should never happen to anyone in this world, no matter who you are. I wish our world was filled with more of love and hope rather than hatred and violence.

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