As the years go by, it seems more and more K-Pop idols are becoming open with their support of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Alongside this, we are also seeing some who are brave enough to admit their truths and come out to the public eye.
After recent news of ‘High School Rapper 3’ contestant Aquinas coming out as Bisexual on his Instagram, some attention has circled around former WASSUP member Jiae. Not only did past articles about her Instagram posts and coming out story begin to resurface but she recently also addressed the aftermath she had been facing ever since she bravely came out back then.
Back in January of 2020, Jiae shared a photo on her Instagram and made the difficult decision to announce she is Bisexual in her MyStory caption. Later in the year, she continued to keep the public in the loop as she even revealed photos of her with her girlfriend on Instagram as well. At the time, Jiae became a hot topic on a few web portals. However, since that time she had begin to suffer from the malicious comments posted not only on her page but on articles related to her coming out as well.
Through a phone interview with EXPO News, it was revealed that Jiae began to struggle with the public’s perception of her alongside having to come out to her father, who is currently hospitalized and battling colon cancer, sooner than she anticipated.
“I was worried that my father, who is suffering the last stages of colon cancer, would be shocked by the article. After the article was released, I prepared a meal with my father and told him for the first time. I thought it would be better for him to hear it from me than to be shocked later. My father only said, ‘You’re a celebrity now’ but I don’t think he felt good about it. My mother already knew, though.”
Jiae continued to say, “While being an idol, I lived a closed-off life. I didn’t drink, go to clubs, and I never dated for a long time. Then I coincidently searched queer movies and I became mad when I saw all the slanders about the LGBTQIA+ community. I posted how I felt at the time and naturally confessed I was bisexual.”
“Personally, I think criticizing the LGBTQ+ community and saying you don’t like them is just a person’s freedom of expression but then I think it’s disgusting to see rude sexual expressions about us. I feel shameful. At times, I thought why do I need to read or hear things like that. I don’t think we need to live in hiding just because some people hate us. We are people despite the prejudice that people have. It’s not a sin and I want the LGBTQIA to be a bit more proud of ourselves.”
After the interview, many supportive comments began flooding in but cannot erase the damage caused from a years worth of hate. Despite all this, it seems Jiae is simply moving forward and continuing to live her life proudly. She is currently in the process of continuously filing legal compliants against the malicious commenters.
For those unaware of Jiae, she was a member of the now disbanded girl group WASSUP who debuted in August 2013 with the self-titled track “WASSUP,” and released various singles up until 2017 such as “NOM NOM NOM,” “Shut Up U” and “Color TV.”
What do you think of artists in the K-Pop scene coming out? Do you think idols can continue with their careers and be more accepted after coming out? Share your thoughts and encouraging words down below!