During an episode of SBS‘s Cultwo Show in 2013, Heechul discussed the rumors that he was dating Epik High‘s Mithra Jin. The rumors, he explained, seemed to develop because the two are such close friends, with netizens believing that Heechul’s former statement about liking women being a smokescreen.
During an interview with Yonhap News in 2017, Heechul clearly expressed why he has never strongly denied being gay despite expressing a preference for women.
I’m not gay, because I like women. Haha. But if I deny the rumors too strongly, it could appear very rude to those who are. It’s only a difference in preference, and our values are just different.
Heechul has long been an advocate and supporter of LBTQiA+ rights, so his thoughts on why he’s never issued a strong denial appear to be in line with his values. We stan a supportive king!