Idol Holland updates on homophobic crime, says he's 'hurt more with malicious comments'
With South Korea being a conservative country, it still has some ways to go when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. In fact, Holland, the first openly gay K-pop idol, is yet to be accepted with open arms as he is still not invited to major K-pop shows to promote his music. And unfortunately, he recently became a victim of a hate crime by a homophobic man in the tourist area of Itaewon, Seoul.
On May 5, K-pop Twitter was shocked when Holland made a lengthy tweet and Instagram post with blood on his face. Turns out that while walking in Itaewon in the morning with a friend and his manager, an unknown man hit the K-pop idol in the face twice. He shared that he had gotten injuries on his face which was even visible in the photos he had shared. Holland added that while he was going to the hospital, he was upset that someone had been violent solely because he was a gay man.
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Holland victim of hate crime
Holland had ended his post by lamenting the state of South Korea in 2022 where LGBTQ+ rights were still an issue. Fans had clamored to help him report the incident to the police with Holland assuring them that the matter was being taken care of. A day later, he had posted a cryptic tweet that had simply said "I need to be stronger" which had fans alarmed. Billboard journalist Jeff Benjamin approached Holland who has now given an update on the homophobic hate crime.
On May 12, Holland spoke to Billboard and assured fans that he was fine. He said that he only had some bruises and scars from the attack and that he had been surprised by the incident. He then elaborated, “[The attacker] tried to get into a fight with me and tried to attack me. My manager was desperately defending me and trying to stop him, but he didn’t and continued coming at me. Once I got hit in the face is when I got angry and cursed at him. And then I got hit again.”
Knetz make homophobic comments about the incident
While the attacker ran away, Holland couldn’t find him for a suitable reason. Seems like there is indeed something called karma as the man had actually been caught by the traffic police while trying to escape and was at the police station. When Holland went to the station to report the incident, the attacker was already there and the idol had to simply identify him. The case was resolved quickly as the attacker pleaded guilty and Holland had video evidence as his friend had filmed the incident.
Holland also discussed how the incident affected him and wondered if he was targeted because he was wearing a flamboyant outfit and was a known gay K-pop idol. He was also disappointed that South Korea is yet to establish laws to protect LGBTQ+ people, “As gay people, we do not feel that we are properly protected because there is no ‘anti-discrimination law’ in our country yet. If you call the police, it’s just an assault case."
Holland also added that while he had bruises on his nose and left eye, he was “hurt more by the malicious comments” that have been following him since he reported the incident. “It became a news story in [South] Korea and there were many homophobic comments in the comment sections of the article,” explained Holland. He also addressed his cryptic tweet by sharing that while he doesn’t usually read comments, he ended up seeing the negative reception to his hate crime which affected him deeply. However, he has since recovered and asked fans not to worry about him but use him as a pillar of support and strength.