Trot singer Kwon Do Woon came out of the closet recently to mark his tenth anniversary in show business. Trot music, before we go any further, is a sub-genre of Korea pop famous for its distinctive vocals.
Kwon Do Woon first came to audiences attention in 2009 when he won three awards at a prestigious trot music festival. He then released his first album, “One More Glass, It’s My Style” (literal title), which was released under his real name Kwon Hyuk Min. In 2011, he promoted the dance trot song “Tonight” under the stage name Kwonstin. He has since continued to release albums since then with a new release last June.
The 30-year-old released a statement via his label saying, “I wanted to speak up as a representative voice of sexual minorities and wanted to open up the prospect of coming out more widely in the entertainment industry. I hope to continue representing the LGBTQ community in my role.”
As there are very few out Korean stars, his announcement has been heavily followed in the media there.
The last high-profile male celebrity to reveal they were gay was a TV personality, Hong Suk Chun, in 2000. However, Hong was subsequently fired from his job – hosting a Sesame Street-style kids shows – and work offers dried up overnight.
In recent years, Hong has established himself as a chef and restauranteur and began to make more appearances again on TV.
Kwon says he had been inspired by Hong’s coming out, despite its initial, negative career ramifications. Kwon told Korean news site Sports Today, he had dreamt of coming out for the past 20 years, and “I want to give courage to [LGBTQ+] people.”
“I was waiting for this opportunity. I didn’t hesitate before I came out, I didn’t have any fears after I did it. I’m relieved and happy,” he said.
His new album is out October 30.
“It’s my eighth album, and the title track is a gay trot remake of Chae Yeon’s ‘Two of Us’,” Kwon said, “It’s a dance trot song about a man seducing a man. It will be something new and fresh.”
Condraulations and good luck to him!
(Photo: Midum Entertainment)