Although there has been a rise in the popularity of BL (Boys’ Love) dramas across Asia, in Korea, there still isn’t the same prominence in South Korea due to traditional views on sexuality. With such a stigma against the LGBTQI+ community in Korea, it is also a normal “No go” for idols.
Yet, one person who is joining a small group of idols to break that stigma is A.C.E‘s leader Jun!
Jun recently gained attention after he was cast in the main role of the newest BL K-Drama Tinted With You.” The story follows the student Eunho who is transported to Korea’s past through a painting. He meets Prince Heon (Yoo Hyun Woo) and his bodyguard Geum (Kim Tae Jung), but Eunho forms a romantic bond with the prince.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Jun opened up about his experiences about playing a character in a BL. Although the idea would daunt many idols, Jun wasn’t and even added that his bandmates Byeongkwan and Chan were supportive, “They were proud of me.“
Although Jun knew the challenges and criticism he might receive by taking on the role in a country where same-sex marriage still isn’t legal, his view is more liberal.
I am quite open-minded about [the topic of] LGBTQ+ [people] and respect everyone’s values and decisions. I definitely don’t think it’s something that is wrong because we are all born differently. I’ve always thought quite simply about this topic.
He also spilled on the passionate kiss shared between his character and the prince during the show. Most idols would be daunted at this idea and shy away from speaking about it, but Jun simply described it as, “So amazing.”
I think it will be a memory that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Jun gained a lot of positive attention for taking on the role from their fans and netizens worldwide.
We have a lot of LGBTQ+ fans. I remember receiving a lot of support and love from them when they heard that I would be playing this role. They thanked me for expressing these values as an artist. I was proud that I could tell a part of their story and be another voice for them through this role.
Even when the interview was posted, a forum on Reddit was flooded with supportive comments. There was even praise from those who may not have been aware of A.C.E as a group.
Yet, it isn’t the first time A.C.E has been praised for being idols who are not afraid to challenge traditional Korean views. In August 2021, the group gained attention for singing the OST “Spark” for the BL Light On Me.
In an interview with the same publication, Jun gained attention for his genuine and heartfelt reason for taking on this challenge. He explained that the group wanted to break down prejudices against the community and make their fans, CHOICE, feel comfortable with who they are.
Just like how all of our fans, CHOICE, are different in their own special ways, we know that there [are] a range of different ways to love among all kinds of people in this world which we acknowledge and respect.
As expected, Jun has shown respect and maturity when approaching the topic of sexuality and trying to break down boundaries. You can read more about A.C.E and their desire to change views on the LGBTQI+ community below.