Holland opens up about recent “hate crime” incident: “I want people to recognise the pain and the courage”

The openly gay K-pop star previously claimed to have been called a "dirty gay" and physically assaulted

K-pop singer Holland has spoken out following a recent incident where he was physically assaulted.

On May 6, the 26-year-old singer shared that he had been physically attacked by an unknown assailant during a night out in Seoul, where he was approached and struck on the face twice, with the aggressor purportedly calling him a “dirty gay”. Speaking out on Twitter directly after the incident, he wrote: “This is obviously a hate crime.”

Following the ordeal, the openly gay Korean musician sat with Billboard for an interview, where he recalled the events and thoughts about the incident. When asked what he wanted people would take away from his story, Holland shared that his hopes for the public to be more aware of the discrimination that South Korea’s LGBTQ+ community are still vulnerable to.

“I want people to recognise the pain as well as the courage that’s allowing me to share my story,” he said. “I want those who are feeling lonely to be comforted, but I also want people who take things for granted and live without the fear of being attacked to be shocked because these crimes do exist.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Holland also shared that he bore the brunt of “many homophobic comments” after his story had blown up on news sites across the East Asian country. “I got hurt more by the malicious comments than when I got hit,” he admitted. “[I] was nearly mentally destroyed after seeing the malicious and mean comments, but I still wanted to push myself harder to be stronger.”

Recognised as one of South Korea’s first openly gay idols, Holland made his debut in 2018 with the single ‘Neverland’. He went on to release a number of singles that year, which later appeared on his eponymous album in 2019. His last music release was the single ‘Loved You Better’, which dropped in the same year.

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