In the last 24 hours I have read and seen some of the most childish and disgusting behavior from members of a fandom in the two plus years I have been following K-Pop. Some “ARMY’s” felt the need to email and tweet Big Hit Entertainment to put a stop to “gay behavior“! Are you fucking serious?!
Throughout the 3 days of concerts in Seoul for the Finale of their Love Yourself era, BTS showed nothing but love and excitement for the end of this era. For Almost 2 years through the Love Yourself: Answer, Tear, and Her albums they have shared their thoughts, hopes, dreams and fears with millions of fans. They went a step further by continuing that message by partnering with UNICEF Global Campaign to End Violence. Through this, BTS was able to stand before the General Council of the United Nations to not only represent the campaign but to also speak out about loving yourself.
In a speech so eloquently delivered Namjoon, he spoke about his battles with learning to love himself. He spoke of his fears and his dreams and all the negativity that sometimes keeps him from loving himself. In the end he asked that everyone find a way to not only love themselves but speak themselves. That did not come from RM, formally known as Rap Monster. Those words came from Kim Namjoon, a 24 year old young man who has spent most of his teens and twenties in the public eye. Facing criticism and negativity along the way. He represented each one of the members in that moment as he has always done. He spoke not only his struggles but the struggles of his brothers as they climbed to global stardom.
Most recently on his last end-ment on the final day of the Finale he ended by saying he hoped that ARMY would love and accept them in any form when they returned. He stated that ARMY who have been by their side from the beginning is what keeps them going. And not even 24 hours after they walked off that stage at Olympic Stadium some “ARMY’S” had a problem with the amount of affection Jimin and Jungkook showed on stage.
Now whether you believe that Jimin and Jungkook’s behavior is brotherly, romantic or just fan service is up to you. I really don’t care. So please don’t come at me for my opinions. Throughout the years they have always shared their close bond and love for one another. Actually all the members do, each in their own way. Some are closer to each other than others and they have even mentioned that themselves. In the 6th Festa video, Taehyung said, in a very touching moment, that he considers Jimin his best friend. Showing how some members have closer bonds than others. Many know that over the years Jimin and JK have shown to be very close. How you interpret their behavior towards each other is up to you. However, in what manner they show their affection to one another is THEIR RIGHT!! They have the right to express themselves however they damn well please. Cause in the end, as fans we pay our money for an album and/or a great performance at their concerts. In no way does that money we spend give us a right to control their person lives, their sexuality, friendships, relationships, activities or self expression.
From day one BTS has given of themselves more than I have ever seen of any other K-Pop group. From pre-debut till now they have given us open access into their lives on and off stage. They have shown us the good and the bad. Shared troubles and sorrows and made us laugh in between it all. V cried on stage as he shared the passing of his grandmother who raised him. Both RM and Jimin have faced death threats while on tour and still went on stage. Jimin who is know to have issues with his back, cried because he could not perform. Not because he was sad for himself, but because he didn’t want to disappoint the fans. Jungkook cried when he had to sit through the European leg of their 2018 tour because he loves to perform for the fans and didn’t want to disappoint them. These young men put themselves through more than any of us could possibly imagine. They sacrifice relationships, family and friends to be in the studio, on tour, film music videos, film docu-series, and Run episodes all year long. They share their thoughts and interact with fans through V-Live. Sometimes right after a concert when they are probably the most tired. It’s not until just this August did they have the opportunity to have a 6 week break from EVERYTHING! This being their first vacation since their debut in 2013. Even then after Big Hit asked fans and non-fans to please be respectful of BTS private time, some of them were still harassed. Whether it was paparazzi in Paris, fans in Russia or a released CCTV footage of a tattoo shop in Korea, they still could not catch a break.
Stereotypes and Ignorance
So can you just imagine my disgust when I saw Twitter post and hashtags to prohibit “gay behavior” pop up on my feed. First, please define “gay behavior”. We fight day in and day out for non K-Pop fans that see affection between male members as not being “gay”. We try and educate about skin-ship and Korean culture. So how dare any “fan” or “ARMY” call themselves that and then put out that kind of hate and stereotype. I mean BTS just finished an entire era called LOVE YOURSELF SPEAK YOURSELF! Affection or Skin-ship is not about how you feel they should act towards each other. Whatever your view on the type of relationship Jimin and Jungkook have is your opinion and not fact. But until they confirm or deny any of the rumors or assumption LET THEM FUCKING LIVE! They deserve that much from us and more.
Maybe some should re-listen to LYS: Answer, Tear, Her. Listen to any of the Cyphers that talk about overcoming hate and stereotypes. Or listen to RM’s song Reflection from the Wings album in which the last line, repeated over and over says, “I wish I could love myself”. Better yet go and watch or read Namjoon’s speech at the U.N. Because if you are truly a fan, if you are truly ARMY, you would know that type of hate, rhetoric or behavior would not be accepted or tolerated. This is not their message. This is not what they have sacrificed years for.
I’m finished with my rant. It was just too much for me not to take a minute and talk about it. I’m in the middle of writing an article about being proud to be ARMY, but with these recent events, I’m just not sure. I know that the true spirit of ARMY would never but such negativity on the boys. That only toxic fans with their own agenda would do something like this. Most ARMY right now are showing support for Jimin and Jungkook and the rest of the members.
Just 3 weeks ago we lost Sulli, a 25 year old idol and actress to suicide. She spent her life loving herself and speaking herself and sharing with us. In the long run constant bulling and negative comments about how she should be in public and live her life took it’s toll. Those first few days so many spoke of how we need to give these idols a break and stop the bulling and hate comments. I’m still waiting…….
LOVE YOURSELVES, LOVE OTHERS, AND LET PEOPLE LIVE!!!