Dear kfangurl: Is it normal to have a heart attack when you learn Oppa is gay AND dating?

Omo. WHAT did you say..?

So I’ve a confession to make, y’all..

I’ve basically been sitting on today’s Dear kfangurl post for almost.. 2 whole months now. Eek. Sorry about that!

I’ve got a reason, though! Ok, you may or may not consider it a good reason, but it’s my reason, all the same. Today’s question, which I’m fairly sure was asked half in teasing jest, is really quite the doozy.

Asotss asks:

Dear kfangurl,

Is it normal for fangirls to have a heart attack at their (supposed) young age (by the way, is there any age limit to fangirling, dear kfangurl?) when they learn Oppa/Dongsaeng is gay AND dating?

Woah. Right?

That’s a lot of delicate & difficult stuff built into the question! Still, as it’s my personal policy not to back away from tough questions on this blog, let’s dive in and see what we find, shall we?

Ok. Let’s calm down and think about this..

Dear Asotss,

You tough-cookie-question-asker, you. 😉 I’m sorry for making you wait this long for an answer, my dear. To make up for it, I’m gonna do my best to answer your question as thoroughly as I can.

Since it’s a tough question, I’m gonna do what my math teacher taught me to do, and break it down into simpler parts. See? Who said math would never come in useful in Real Life? (Oh wait. This isn’t Real Life. Duh)

PART I: Is there any age limit to fangirling?

I personally don’t think there is any age limit to fangirling, to be honest. I know lots of women who are considered.. mature, who continue to fangirl blithely over our k-actors and k-idols.

And it’s universal too, I think. Years ago, I knew an old grandmother with grown grandkids who had a serious fangirl crush on Ricky Martin, and she’d make it a point to go out and buy all his latest music. For serious, yo.

It’s also my opinion that our inner fangirls don’t ever age, so even if you’re technically older than your k-crush, I find it perfectly acceptable for you to call him Oppa.

In the words of Mark Twain:


So fangirl away, and enjoy spazzing over your Oppas. Coz even Mark Twain – highly respected literary legend that he is – approves 😉

PART II: Is it normal to have a heart attack when you learn Oppa is dating?

This part’s easy! Coz I’ve already written a whole post on this question (good on you, Past Me!). Hee. Go here for my full thoughts on this!

The short answer: it’s perfectly normal. Just remember not to go too crazy. Oppa has feelings too and deserves to be happy. 🙂

PART III: Is it normal to have a heart attack when you learn Oppa is gay (& maybe dating)?

This brings us to the most.. delicate part of the question.

First, let me state upfront that in this post, I’d like to remain completely neutral on the “Is it natural to be gay” debate. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this, and the last thing I want is to start a war on this topic in the comments section.

The thing is, regardless of whether one thinks that it’s “right” or “wrong,” “natural” or “unnatural,” we can’t deny that it’s real. There are many people in the world who identify as gay, whether they are open about it, or are in the closet about it.

The question which I think is of true importance in today’s post, is how do we respond, when we learn this piece of information about someone.

Current general attitudes towards homosexuality in Korea

For a start, I think many of us already are aware that the Korean public in general holds an extremely conservative view towards homosexuality.

In k-ent, while it’s becoming more commonplace for idols to include scenes like this in their performances as fanservice:

…Actual gay artists &/or relationships do not enjoy the same kind of acceptance.

On a tangent, I’d like to clarify that I use the word “acceptance” loosely, as even in the case of fanservice like this, there are sectors of the public who find this unacceptable. When SHINee’s Jonghyun and Taemin delivered this performance in Korea in August 2012, there was a distinct measure of public outcry, despite general fan approval (more on that here).

What’s happened so far in k-ent

For more specific context, let’s take a look at what’s happened so far in k-ent, in terms of gay celebs coming out of the closet.

A. “Successfully” out of the closet

Currently, the only openly gay celeb in k-ent is Hong Seok Cheon, who came out in 2000 amid a lot of controversy. At the time, he was fired from his variety show and suffered major setbacks in his career. Eventually, he became a restauranteur, while gradually making inroads back into the entertainment business.

While things have settled fairly well for him and he’s become much more widely accepted in k-ent in general, it has been a long and lonely road.

In February 2013, while appearing on SBS variety show Healing Camp, Hong Seok Cheon broke down in tears when he received a letter from his nephews encouraging him that he’s not alone, and to never give up, because he is an inspiration to other people.

He said, “At first, I thought I was a burden to my nephews. When I first came out to the public, it did not go well… but the younger people have been much more understanding. I didn’t want my nephews to be ashamed of their uncle.” [articles herehere]

Clearly, despite being the most “successful” k-celeb to have come out of the closet, Hong Seok Cheon has not had it easy.

B. Tragically out of the closet

For a glimpse at just how hard it is for k-celebs who come out as gay, Kim Ji Hoo’s experience should serve as a pretty clear benchmark.

After his debut in 2007, Kim Ji Hoo appeared in dramas “Before and After Plastic Surgery” and “The Unstoppable High Kick.” On 21 April 2008, he came out as gay on reality show “Coming Out.”

The backlash was huge. Kim Ji Hoo received many hate comments by netizens denouncing his sexuality; various planned appearances were canceled by organizers; his management company did not renew his contract.

On 6 October 2008, less than 6 months later, Kim hung himself at home. His suicide note read, “I’m lonely and in a difficult situation. Please cremate my body.” [articles here, here & here]

So, so tragic. 🙁

What can we learn from this?

Given what we’ve learned so far, it’s not difficult to see why there are so few k-celebs willing to come out as gay. Between the harsh court of public opinion, fan reactions, and reactions by sponsors, partner-organizations and management companies, it is a daunting prospect, to come out as gay, let alone as gay and dating.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are currently a number of k-celebs who are gay and firmly in the closet, afraid of the potential consequences if they were to come out.

So, back to the question.

Has any k-celeb come out as gay and dating in recent history, or at all, for that matter? No.

Will it ever happen? Honestly, I don’t know.

But if it does, let’s do what is within our power, to not allow history to repeat itself.

If Oppa ever does come out as gay, dating or not, it’s understandable if you have a heart attack moment – or twenty. That’s ok. What’s not ok, is to spew hate in Oppa’s direction for his sexuality.

If it ever does happen, let’s all breathe, and remember:

Coz even if Oppa is gay and that breaks your heart &/or hurts your sensibilities, he – like every other human being – doesn’t deserve to be treated that way.

I hope that helps.

Love! ❤



1. Dya have thoughts to share with Asotss? Or a story of your own? Share with us in the comments.

2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!

51 thoughts on “Dear kfangurl: Is it normal to have a heart attack when you learn Oppa is gay AND dating?

  1. beezrtp

    I’m late to the party but I’d like to say that while Kfangurl has given a thoughtful and wise post, my impression of the question wasn’t that the person asking has a problem with anyone being gay but simply that gay means said oppa is now “out of reach”, unavailable, similar to oppa dating or getting married, hence the fangirl heart attack. 🙂

  2. 1sunnylady

    When I first read the question, my initial reaction was “but oppa would have to come out first before you can have a heart attack over his sexual preference. No one is gay in the K-entertainment industry. It only exists for fanservice purpose” (let me do say i’m being sarcastic here). I don’t have that much to contribute to this post xD It was well written and I agree with you. * nods *

    Oh, but there’s also director Kim Jho Kwang Soo who is a fervent militant of LGBTQ rights. He even held this open “wedding” ceremony and his lover and him are fighting to get same-sex marriage legalized. I’m not under the impression that Hong Suk Chun is much of an activisit. I think he’s telling himself that the best he can do is to show people that being gay doesn’t make you a bad person and he really tries to promote this friendly flamboyant image.

    i’m currently translating Song Chang Ui’s old itws and I hope his answers about portraying a gay character in a weekend family drama will be some kind of insight of how it was perceived in 2010 if you’re interested :D. I know in this one itw he says “no there’s no gay people in my entourage”… He’s not just an actor, he’s a musical actor… No gay people around, really? Of course, he cannot say “yes, there are”, because that will make people curious and try to figure who it could be, but i think that when someone like shin dong yup can say today “yes i know a few gay people”, or hong suk chun asserting that he’s sad that other gay celebrities are still too afraid to come out today, it does show a progress compared to just five years ago when “no, i don’t know any gay people. End of story”.

    1. kfangurl

      Aw thanks Sunny, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 And yes, I did read about that open wedding ceremony and how they’re trying to get same-sex marriage legalized in Korea. I think being an activist takes a lot of passion and courage, so kudos to those who have the guts and zeal to fight the system. At the same time, given how difficult it is for the gay community in Korea, I applaud HSC for being brave enough to simply come out and be himself, even when the odds are stacked against him. I think in his own small way, he’s making inroads on behalf of the gay community.

      I remember watching Song Chang Ui play a gay character in Life is Beautiful. I loved how that drama handled the characters’ gay relationship. It wasn’t glossed over nor ridiculed. I’ve not seen such a compassionate take on gay relationships in another kdrama yet. As for SCU’s statement about there not being any gay members of his entourage.. it’s possible, I guess? But yes, he definitely could’ve given a more thoughtful answer than just stating that there aren’t any in his entourage. The guy needs some lessons in interviewing, perhaps! 😉

      1. 1sunnylady

        If SCU had media training, it was some wasted time back in 2010 because his answers sounded so genuine and so not PR-like, but he still made a lot of sense. His answers are never “rebel-like”, though. If he were to answer today, he’d probably say something along the lines “there might be people, but if they are, I’m not aware of it”. The thing is I think he looks so gentle that he’s still associated to this character, although I think it faded away some time around 2013. Lee Sang Woo, who was playing the alpha male, didn’t seem to have this “I have to get rid of this image” problem or clarify that he wasn’t gay in real life.

        And yeah, I have yet to see a successful gay relationship portrayed in a K-drama. There were indeed a couple of “nice” gay characters like in “Reply” or “Secret Garden” without falling into stereotypes to make fun of the LGBTQ community, BUT they were lonely characters, used for melodramatic aspects of unrequited love b/c they fell for a straight guy.

        1. kfangurl

          That’s really interesting, actually, that Lee Sang Woo didn’t have to deal with any image repercussions from playing a gay character opposite SCU, and yet SCU is still associated with his character in some ways. Was is because he didn’t get to play the alpha male? Or because of his gentle image, I wonder? All in all, I think Life Is Beautiful is the drama that comes closest to portraying a gay relationship with fairness and a sensitive touch. Their characters weren’t relegated to having only smidgens of screentime; they enjoyed as much screentime as every other pairing in the show, and that’s something. 🙂

          1. 1sunnylady

            I think SCU looks very gentle, so it’s easier to fit the “feminine” gay image? iir, they’re the main reason the drama got an extension and their storyline got a bigger too… I love me some KyungTae

            1. kfangurl

              Oh, I didn’t follow the news around this drama, so I didn’t know the drama got extended coz of them! Not surprising, tho, since they were hot favorites among the people that I know who watched the show 🙂 And I think you’re right, SCU looks gentle, whereas LSW looks the more macho type. It’s definitely easier to associate his gentle image with a gay character.

              1. 1sunnylady

                yeah, it was supposed to be a 50-episode drama for Spring-Summer. It got a 13-episode extension!! And have you heard about the church scene? I think drama blogs talked about it back then. There was supposed to be a church scene between Kyung Soo and Tae Sub where they exchange vows as a committment to each other, but for the sake of not bringing more criticism to the drama, it was edited out. Instead, you have an outdoor scene, quite touching too… but yeah. btw, i just got reminded how I was shipping Nam Sang Mi and Lee Sang Yoon, I was so sad when they found out they broke up… Hahaha. I think they were actually the last dating celeb couple I shipped in real life. After them, I focused my shipping only on married couples. XD

                1. kfangurl

                  Oh, a 13-ep extension! That’s pretty sizable! Kudos to the writers; I don’t remember feeling any story drag, so that means the extension was worked into the story quite well. I did read about the church scene that was changed. I remember the writer was really upset and disappointed about that decision too. That’s so sad, for a writer to not be able to see the true story she wants to tell, brought to life on the screen as she envisions it.

                  I was really bummed to hear that Nam Sang Mi and Lee Sang Yoon broke up too! I thought it was SO CUTE that they really started dating after getting to know each other on the set of LIB.. I have a soft spot for reel to real stories like that.

  3. asotss

    I never imagine one second you would actually take that question seriously, kfangurl, because I was teasing, (not so ?) obviously !
    I remember vividly that I was a bit taken aback when I read that question my first reaction being “OMG, what if the guy was gay?” XD I just can’t imagine that the love life of someone you never meet and who doesn’t even know you exist could affect you in that way (or any way for that matter). I’m aware I could sound like a condescending troll but I’m not one, I swear. I have a limited range of emotions I guess and I’m an old cow too, much older than you are (hence the question in the question :D), which could also explain a lot. 😉
    Nevertheless, your reply is so emphatic and sensible that it makes the tough-cookie-question-asker-me actually proud to have asked ! It seems there’s no place on earth where it’s easy to be gay (Kim Ji Hoo’s story is heartbreaking and, unfortunately not as rare as it should be) so it’s nice to see that understanding and acceptance, even if not shared by the majority, can still be found everywhere.

    1. kfangurl

      Lol. I could tell you were teasing, asotss! At the same time, your question piqued my interest, and after I poked around a little out of curiosity, I learned of what happened to Kim Ji Hoo. Once I read his story, I just felt like this post had to be written, y’know? That in posting this, perhaps it might one day help some other brave k-celeb who decides to come out of the closet. I’m so glad that everyone who’s responded to this post has been so positive and compassionate. It gives me hope that something like Kim Ji Hoo’s story won’t happen again in k-ent. 🙂

  4. kaiaraia

    What a thoughtful and loving post Kfangurl. Wonderful! One of the reasons I keep coming back. Today’s All Saints’Day and if you continue on like this you could be a saint like Mother Theresa… HAHAHA! Kidding aside, I have no issues with gays since I grew up with them and they’re one of the happiest people I know. However, I don’t know how I will react exactly if I learn someone dear to me turns into one. Like Gong Yoo for one. Oh no no no! LOL. So this post is a good reminder. I did know two very manly guys from college, one of which I had a crush on, who came out of the closet. On one hand I felt it was such a waste of oppa materials. On the other hand, I felt sadness for them. How hard it must have been for them to accept the truth and come out in the open. And the Philippines is fairly open on gender issues. Now, imagine how much it would be in Korea where even a straight celebrity oppa saying he’s dating is almost like moving a mountain. What a pity. I pray for acceptance.

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks kaiaraia! You are always so sweet and supportive. ❤ Although, I think a comparison with Mother Theresa is overstating it, juuuust a little! XD

      You’re right. In Korea, it’s already such a big deal when straight Oppa starts dating someone. K-celebs are definitely under a lot of public pressure and scrutiny, and I can only imagine how daunting it must be for a closet gay celeb to navigate such an environment. It was heartbreaking to read of what happened to Kim Ji Hoo, and see how netizens turned on him with such venom, all for being gay. Very sad indeed. I can only hope that people will learn to be kinder, even when their beliefs aren’t in line with that of others.

  5. INTJ

    arrrrgh! since my original comment is gone due to a browser crash, i’ll just ask something i’m not very clear about: is a fangirl (just) a wannabe groupie?

    1. kfangurl

      I realize that both of your comments ended up in the spam folder for some reason, INTJ. It’s weird, since you haven’t had trouble commenting before. No worries if it happens again – I try to be vigilant about fishing out real comments from the spam folder and un-spamming them.

      As for your question, I hope that my other comment has helped to shed some light! 🙂

  6. INTJ

    short answer: no. why? well, because the sexuality of the idol is irrelevant for the fan aka the fan most certainly won’t ever have sex with the idol (we’re talking about “fan”, not “groupie”, here). basically the fan can only fantasize about having sex with the idol … and if that’s not possible anymore because the idol is (suddenly revealed as being) gay and/or dating, then it’s “not normal” because what we have is a lack of imagination. generally speaking: healthy humans are (very) imaginative, resourceful, a.s.o. … and if that’s not the case, then that person is imo “not healthy” (aka “not normal”). having a heart attack is another sign of sickness … so no, it’s not normal (in nature sick individuals of any species don’t survive and therefore “normality” is defined by the survivors).

    last, but not least, let’s be honest: is a person’s worth/value only determined by his/her willingness/availability to have sex with me (in this case: “the fan”)? i don’t think so and i don’t think it’s “normal” to measure/evaluate anybody by that criteria (as individuals, we should be more than the sum of our instincts).

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, there there, INTJ. I think it’s especially hard for you to understand the fangirl mentality, since you’re, well, not a fangirl 😉

      I think I speak for almost all fangirls when I say that the whole fangirling thing doesn’t actually mean that we only (or primarily) see Oppa as a sex object that we’d like to sleep with. While it’s true that many fangirls may find Oppa sexually attractive and enjoy swooning over him, most fangirls don’t even actually entertain real intentions of sleeping with Oppa. It’s a fantasy at the most, for most. And if that’s where it ends, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s not too different from guys finding supermodels sexy & attractive and indulging in some daydreams & fantasies.

      In the fangirl psyche, there is typically also an element of fantasizing that someday, somehow, just maybe, she might be Oppa’s girl. Now, most fangirls are completely aware that this is merely fantasy, and has a minuscule chance of actually coming true. However, if Oppa were to admit to dating someone, or being gay, or both, then that fantasy is broken. A fangirl’s world is tilted coz of this new information, and depending on the fangirl, this can even shift their fangirl identities. Example: a fangirl whose online identity might be something like Mrs. [insert Oppa’s name].

      So when we talk about having a heart attack moment on learning that Oppa is gay/dating/both, it’s not about not being able to have sex with Oppa, as you put it. It’s really about coming to terms with the breaking of a fantasy that has been part of the fangirl’s reality up till that point.

      Of course, there are degrees to everything. And yes, there will be some fangirls who are intense and obsessive to unhealthy degrees. Those fangirls would benefit from some serious recalibration, or an intervention, even. For most fangirls, though, it remains a pretty harmless indulgence.

      I hope that helps to clarify! 🙂

      1. INTJ

        you’re right: i’m not a fangirl 😀 and therefore i cannot understad why the fantasy is broken when the fangirl learns about the idol’s real life. it’s only a fantasy to begin with! why can’t a fangirl continue to fantasize about whatever she wants, just like before (when she ignored the fact that real life Cinderella’s don’t exist)? just because there’s one or two more facts that contradict the initial fantasy? i mean it’s not like running against a real wall (and feeling the physical pain) where, in fantasy, there was an open space. in the absence of hard physical facts, fantasy can continue to flourish if the subject is willing to sustain/fuel it. one doesn’t sit at the table imagining the end of life of whatever the dishes are made of. we ignore all those facts and continue living in our own fantasy world (the one wich ignores all that, the one where there’s no guild for that kind of killing) … why isn’t that possible in this case? why do they have to “come to terms” with reality … especially since (without the fantasy) this reality isn’t that pretty/nice/pleasurable (anymore)?

        similar to Sun Tsu and the butterfly, i often wonder if i’m a human who dreamed of being an alien or an alien who dreams he’s human … but, whatever i may be, as you’ve probably guessed by now: i’ve never dreamed of being a fangirl. :-))

        1. kfangurl

          I think a big piece of the answer to your question, INTJ, really depends on the individual fangirl’s imagination. What I mean is, it really depends on the individual’s power of imagination to suspend reality. Some people need a little more in the way of real facts, I think, in order to keep the fantasy going; for example, said actor is single, straight and available. Other people don’t require those to support their fangirl fantasies, and are perfectly able to keep on indulging in the fantasy that Oppa is theirs, even if he’s married.

          I suppose for those who are from the first group, more time is needed to adjust. Some may find, after a period of processing and adjustment, that they are happy to continue crushing on Oppa, while some might choose to leave this particular crush behind.

          While that might not be an answer that’s true for every fangirl, I’m guessing it’s likely to be true for most fangirls. So while you may have never dreamed of being a fangirl, hopefully this answer has helped give you a little more insight into the workings of one? 😉

  7. Jaime the Drama Noona

    Lovely, just a wonderfully beautiful post. That question is indeed delicate and can be a hard one to tackle. I love how you approached it. Love is love. To be there are no bounds and I celebrate love in all the forms that it takes. I applaud you and the way you can so tactfully approach things and write with such poise and grace. Thank you again for shining a bright light on dramaland and the blogverse!

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks dear Jaime. You are always so appreciative and encouraging! ❤

      While not everyone would be able to celebrate and accept love in all the forms that it takes as you do, it is my hope that people will come to adjust the way they love others. Is it love to spew hate at someone you once admired, on the basis on his sexuality? It’s my hope that even when people dislike the idea of Oppa being gay, or feel that being gay is unnatural etc, that they will learn to demonstrate love, kindness and compassion anyway.

      1. Jaime the Drama Noona

        You’re welcome! 🙂

        I very much agree. Love should be seen as a beautiful thing and we should not feel hate towards someone just because of the person they love. I am hopeful that by the time my son is my age Love doesn’t instigate such hate even if we as a people haven’t fully accepted or approved of all forms of love,

  8. lyricalpeach

    Really happy reading your caring post! 🙂 As a sometimes-lightweight-fangirling noona who is married with kids and doesn’t do the crazy (who’s to say what I would do if I lived there and didn’t have a job and a family though), I sympathize with the attachment that others can feel, but would carefully remind them that they are called stars for a reason. Even though they look accessible on-screen and are often kind to those that love them that they don’t even know, because they recognize that they touch a lot of lives, it doesn’t mean they don’t have their own life over on that twinkling far away planet. Once you get there, that alien planet has its own challenges, right? So we need to respect those challenges as we admire them safely regardless of the distance, be it in-person at an event or by accident, or in our minds and hearts. Our challenge as fans is to remember this and treat them with love and respect for entertaining us and show care in judging fairly their human mistakes.

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks lyricalpeach, I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

      It’s true that we see only a little glimpse of Oppa’s life and challenges. There are probably a whole lot more challenges and nuances to the k-celebrity life that we are unaware of. I agree that we should always remember that Oppa is only human, and is dealing with his own set of very specific challenges.

      When a celeb commits a crime or something similar, I can see how that can unlock public outrage. While the consequences can be very harsh and can definitely stand to be tempered, I can still sort of see where the outrage is coming from, if you know what I mean. When that outrage is poured on someone for being gay, though, it’s so much more disturbing. People don’t deserve to be hated on for their sexuality, and this is the point that saddens me the most.

  9. Lady G.

    I echo the other comments that this post was wonderfully, objectively and compassionately written, taking into account the feelings of people on all sides of the fence. But it’s very easy to answer the actual question.

    I think, if Oppa was someone you really gave your heart to, I’m talking fangirl squee, countless hours of watching their stuff, daydreaming, gif, screencap, website, blog designing love for Oppa, then I can definitely see a heart being crushed. It’s human nature.

    But it’s Oppa’s life, and he most likely “doesn’t know them from Adam” nor does the fan know the real, real, person of the heart that he is. Fans tend to forget that these are actors, they sometimes play by a script, even when giving supposed ‘real’ interviews. Their lives are often micromanaged to varying degrees. (And that goes for Hollywood stars too.)

    But would extreme heartbreak be justified? I don’t think so. If that heartbreak leads to destructive behavior in a fan, then they are the ones with the problem, not Oppa.

    I really, really want to say that it’s wrong to pretend to be someone you’re not. For Oppa to play this great lover Oppa in all your dramas, even go to the point of being seen with ‘beards’ to prove they’re straight. On some levels it is. But isn’t ALL acting pretend? It would be the same as if Oppa was dating the opposite sex in secret, or what about Oppas that are married? Yet they are out there doing promotions as if they are this big available stud from CFS to movies to dramas. That’s still all fantasy. At the end of the day, Oppa goes home to his wife and kids, gf, or whomever and it’s the fans left drooling and imagining. It’s illusion.

    That’s where I say the bigger issue is how far do we let our emotions/fangirling/admiration/ idol worship go before it really hurts us or takes over our lives, so to speak? It’s very, very easy to let that happen at times.

    Even if our thoughts, beliefs, etc. run contrary, it’s not our lives. Even if we hate the act, we should never hate the person. Everyone has the free will to live how they choose. In Oppa’s case we’ll get over it and move on. Then it’s our choice to continue to be a fan or not. But don’t turn into Miss Nasty fan, trolling the boards, writing hurtful, vile comments for all to see, including Oppa.

    I know I’m rambling, for me it’s still too early! Very thought provoking post, KFG, i can see why you hesitated for a while with the question. But like I said, you answered it well.

    1. renee

      Lady G, you said it right, I agree with you on this. As always, your comments/opinions on any kfangurl topic leaves me in awe, kudos to you, to kfg and all of your other kbloggers here…you’re all daebak! (p.s. i am already an ajumma but i really, really really love and adore jang hyuk and gong yoo)

      1. Lady G.

        Thanks so much, Renee. I wasn’t sure if I would comment, but then the thoughts just came out. 🙂 I really appreciate you taking the time to read my comments too.

    2. kfangurl

      You hit on a good number of excellent points, Lady G, even though you wrote this early in your day! 😀

      I absolutely agree that whatever the image we’ve been lapping up, we really don’t truly know Oppa, and that’s something that more fangirls could stand to remind themselves of, from time to time. I think most fangirls are able to keep things from getting unhealthy. At the same time, there are undeniably a sector of fangirls who allow the fantasy to take over their lives to unhealthy levels. That’s when I think some serious adjustments are needed. Coz much as I enjoy indulging in fangirling and its related fantasies, I firmly believe that it shouldn’t ever take over our lives. Real Lives need to be lived, and there shouldn’t come a time when our fantasy worlds start to overtake our real worlds.

      Your other point, about it not being our lives, is so simple, yet so true. For the fangirl, it’s one heartbreak over a shattered fantasy. But for Oppa, it’s his life, and I hope we all remember that. When Kim Ji Hoo came out as gay, to every netizen who reeled in shock and spewed hate in his direction, that was just one moment in time. But for Kim Ji Hoo, it was his life. And tragically, all those accumulated single “moments in time,” decisions made, from fans to netizens, from management company to sponsors and other organizations, came together and impacted Kim Ji Hoo’s life to the extent that he eventually committed suicide. That is so tragic, made even more tragic by the fact that it was the result of a lot of thoughtless insensitivity towards an innocent individual.

  10. SueMarue

    I’m so impressed with the way you handled such a difficult question. And I’m absolutely in love with your writing. You deserve awards for so eloquently saying everything I want to say about this topic.

    As a fangirl, it’s hard but if you really love someone, you should be happy for him. It may hurt like hell, because your fantasy of running off to live happily ever after with Oppa is over now, and that’s understandable. But he’s a real person, with a real personal life, and ultimately you should only want the best for him.

    1. kfangurl

      Aw, thanks SueMarue! That’s such a lovely compliment; I’m really glad you enjoyed this post.

      I completely agree with you, that if we truly love someone, that we should put the other person’s well-being first. I think too many people slice it in an overly black-or-white manner, ie, if I cannot support the idea that Oppa is gay, I must hate him. I think that’s shortsighted and ultimately, does not demonstrate concern for Oppa’s well-being. Like you said, it’s his life. He’s a real person with a real personal life. And he deserves to not be suffocated just because of his sexual orientation. A hurting fangirl can always recover and move on, but for Oppa, he only gets one life, and should receive kindness and compassion so that he can live it.

  11. Amy

    You handled that question very well. If a Korean celebrity I like came out as gay and dating I would treat it like he was in a relationship with a girl. I would be happy for him and still follow his every move. Ha ha! Let’s be happy, everyone!

  12. jhusili

    This was beautifully written and thought provoking all the same, KFG. It is heartbreaking to hear of people not being able to reveal such a vital aspect of their sense of self. And equally sad that, if revealed, this becomes their primary identity, where others are simply unable to see beyond their sexuality and use it to malign them. I always see this as a symptom of a deeply insecure society that relies on oppression and aggression to assert its own flimsy identity. The word empathy comes to mind most – an experience not evoked enough in people. That even when we don’t understand another, there isn’t a need for such harsh othering.

    I thought of my own fangirling, and had to take a few steps back, cause if it were the case for my Oppa, I’d probably be shocked too. Because we’re so prone to weaving an image of our Oppas in our heads to suit our own needs. And of course, when real life does not correspond with that, it’s disappointing, because we want to sustain our illusions. But Oppa coming out of the closet – that’s no more than a reminder that Oppa has his personal life, is an individual seeking his own form of happiness, not public property here to indulge our fantasies. I think we’d be happier learning to respect that.

    It makes me so happy to see that while tackling what may be somebody’s personal dilemma, you’ve offered a powerful balm to a collective ailment. With so much sensitivity too, and empathy. Thank you.

    PS. On a lighter note, as far as ageless fangirling is concerned, nothing beats my adoration for Drama Fan’s mom. She is an inspiration. 🙂

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks jhu, I’m really glad this post struck a chord with you. ❤

      It really is heartbreaking, isn’t it, to read of Kim Ji Hoo’s experience? And you’re so right; in conservative contexts like Korea, the people who come out as gay become defined by that one fact, when they are so much more than their sexual orientation. I totally agree that we could use more empathy, and we could all stand to demonstrate more of it. We don’t need to necessarily agree with or endorse someone’s lifestyle. But we can certainly afford to be kind and compassionate, and show more empathy.

      And we could all certainly stand to be reminded of your excellent point: Oppa is not public property and has a right to live his personal life. Thanks for that 🙂

      PS: Now you’ve made me curious. What ageless fangirling has DF’s mom gotten up to? Or is that a fangirl secret? 😉

          1. kfangurl

            Ahaha!! Thanks for the hint! I think I sort of get the idea! XD

            Also, sorry about the gravatar.. WP randomly makes one for each new reader without an existing avatar. Y’know though, you could totally pick your own avatar, since you’re posting from your WP account. If you fix it in your WP dashboard, your avatar should remain consistent across all WP blogs that you comment on. You can use the same one that you use on twitter! 🙂 Go to Settings-General on your dashboard. You should be able to get easily sorted there! 🙂

  13. Curioser and Curiosor

    kfangurl, you are my hero!

    This is such a wonderfully wise, thoughtful and compassionate response — to the person who posed the question, to those who may have similar questions, and to those who may be affected by concerns about being different from the mainstream in any way.

    I love the WWII-era PSA meme and add “when in doubt, default to loving your neighbor, brother, sister… and then go from there.”

    Thank you!

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks for the lovely encouragement, Curio! I’m so glad that this post resonated with you. ❤

      And what a lovely add-on you’ve provided, too! Thanks for that. Indeed, we should definitely all love our neighbors more – and Oppa qualifies too. 🙂

  14. crazyunnijo

    Beautifully written, Kfangurl! Having moved back to a more conservative country after having lived in San Francisco, I make it a point to teach my 8 year old son kindness and acceptance (I was about to use the word “tolerance” but that doesn’t sit too well with me. It sounds like the bare minimum of understanding). This was especially true when we lived in the US and in that particular city–he had classmates with two mommies or two daddies. And we never made it into a “thing.” It isn’t a big deal as long as you make it into one. That’s why he think that it’s a normal thing–that families come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and forms.

    Then we moved here and I had some explaining to do. 🙂 So far, so good. But I digress.

    Now back to the question–I’ve got a bit of a revelation. Drumroll please… having had an ex-boyfriend who turned gay (looooong ago and loooong story), I will tell you that while it hurt immensely at first, and there was a lot of anger (he thought I told his family about his sexuality and thus leading to a world of family drama) but now we’re friends. It took a while, but we were able to talk it out.

    I think it’s normal to feel something–akin to hurt, betrayal, extreme disappointment–upon learning that Oppa is gay. I think, if I were in the inquirer’s shoes–I’d be a tad jealous over the fact that Oppa is dating as well, and it’s not ME he’s with. 🙂

    Regardless, the dating part has more to do with my want to be with him/be his girl than it is about his preferences.

    But just because we feel something, doesn’t mean we have a right to act on such feelings especially if they lean towards the negative towards their person. Always a good rule of thumb when you care for someone is to be happy for them, no matter what–even if your heart is blown to smithereens.

    Anyway, just my two cents. Hope it made sense somehow. My apologies for babbling on and on as usual.

    1. kfangurl

      Wow. Thanks for sharing your story, Jo. That must’ve been such an overwhelming and shocking period in your life. I’m so glad that you guys managed to work through it and stay friends. And you make such an excellent point; that it’s not the fact that Oppa is gay per se, that is upsetting. It’s the fact that the fantasy is now broken; it will never be me. That’s the part that hurts and requires coming to terms with.

      You’re also absolutely right – just because our hearts hurt at the revelation that Oppa is gay, doesn’t give us the right to act out against Oppa. It’s the thoughtless acting out that I think contributed to Kim Ji Hoo’s tragic death. I imagine that he must have felt incredibly lonely and helpless, with everyone around him spewing outrage. Our words really make a difference; they can be like daggers, killing people slowly, or they can be a healing balm, bringing life and hope. And regardless of differences in values, beliefs or opinion, Oppa doesn’t deserve words that kill.

    1. kfangurl

      Thanks trotwood – I’m really glad you enjoyed this post. And, I’m so glad to hear that you’re shaping young minds to have kindness and compassion for others, even with a sensitive topic like this. Fighting~! 🙂


Leave a Reply to INTJ Cancel reply