Jo Kwon Opens Up About His Gender Identity And Shares How Bang Si Hyuk Accepted His Views

His message is simply inspiring.

2AM‘s Jo Kwon opened up about his own personal gender identity and shared stories about how Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si Hyuk accepted his views.

| Newsis

In a lengthy interview conducted with Newsis, Jo Kwon poured out all of his feelings he wasn’t able to for a long time. He confirmed he identified as genderless, or neutral.

Being genderless is my weapon. In the past, I was afraid of having a neutral image. If people said I looked like a girl, I would pretend that wasn’t true. But now, I’m okay with it. If people say I look like Choi Ji Woo or Taeyeon, I’m okay with it.

I’ve come to accept who I am. I have a weapon that will help me keep on going for a long time, ahead of the the genderless era.

— Jo Kwon

Currently, Jo Kwon is performing in the musical Jamie, where his character is a drag king. He has received criticism for his role, but he had been experimenting with drag style concepts since 2012, when he released his solo album track “Animal”.

There is a drag queen in the musical. There are boys who are more girl-ish, there are girls who are more boy-ish. Men are also interested in beauty, and as time goes by, it seems like Jamie will be accepted by more and more audiences with an open mind.

— Jo Kwon

Jo Kwon also spoke about a time when Bang Si Hyuk supported Jo Kwon’s personal ideas about his concept, and even went the extra step to show his support. Back in 2012, Jo Kwon was signed as a soloist under Big Hit Entertainment.

Bang Si Hyuk asked me whether I wanted to go a completely commercial route for my promotions, or did I want to do a concept that I wanted to do.

I told him I wanted to do what I want, like Lady Gaga.

Bang Si Hyuk then said ‘Kwon-ah, listen to your hyung. If you try to throw a curveball [drag concept] into a still lake [cookie-cutter K-Pop image], there will still be an impact. But it will take a long time.

But Bang Si Hyuk bought me my first pair of high heels.

— Jo Kwon

He also talked about how he’s thankful to BTS and J-Hope for featuring on “Animal”, and expressed how proud he is, seeing the world change bit by bit.

| Newsis

Of course, I have benefited a lot from BTS. But I’m also glad “Animal” is getting recognized as this [concept]. I think our country’s views on this is getting more attention, and it’s I changing bit by bit.

I feel very proud when I hear comments like ‘I’m glad I live in the same era as Jo Kwon,’ or ‘I’m happy seeing Jo Kwon as Jamie.’

— Jo Kwon

His mother also went to show her support for her son.

| Newsis

My mom silently supported me. She came to see my first performance of Jamie, and her eyes were swollen after watching it.

She was sad starting from the first scene, and after Jamie turned into Nanana, she said she was heartbroken after the students shouted ‘f*** off!’

— Jo Kwon

He ended the interview talking about his new chapter in life, and shared a comment that can resonate with people of sexual minorities around the world.

| Newsis

When I was in my 20’s, I lived in the eyes of others. Whether it was with 2AM, or on variety shows, I lived to satisfy other people’s eyes, not mine.

I entered the third chapter of my life when I entered my 30’s, and I was so thankful that I could now do what I wanted to, and tell my stories as Jo Kwon.

There are so many different people in the world, from male and female to sexual minorities, people with disabilities, or multicultural people.

Everyone’s appearance and how they walk is different, there’s no law saying that women have to have long hair or men can’t wear makeup. Women don’t have to only wear high heels, and men don’t have to only wear soccer cleats.

— Jo Kwon

Source: Newsis
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