Go Tae-Seob,( Korean: 고태섭) professionally known as Holland,( Korean: 홀랜드) is a South Korean singer. He made his debut in January 2018, with the release of his single ‘Neverland’. Go chose his stage name to be Holland as a tribute to the first country to legalize same sex marriage, Holland.
His Personal Life
Holland is known as 'The first openly gay K-pop Idol'. He is an only child. His parents found out about his sexuality after an interview was released. Holland, who was not at home at that time, wrote a letter to his parents after they found out and explained everything to them.
Though this confession from him was a shock to his parents, they tearfully accepted him, unaware of the hardships and bullying that he faced because of his sexuality. He decided to debut as a singer to speak about his life and provide solace and a safe space to the LGBTQ+ community in South Korea. He wanted to highlight his experience with violent assailants who stood in support of homophobia and heteronormative culture. While preparing his debut track and album, he tried his best to sign with several agencies. However, the deal was rescinded when he opened up about his sexuality. No one was willing to support him since he wanted it be open about who he was and his steuggles, including his sexuality, to provide a voice to those who are shut away. In the end, he produced his own album by saving money, working two part-time jobs for about two years without any agency.
When Holland first decided to pursue music, he tried to audition for entertainment companies. However, no company was willing to work with an openly gay artist. This made it even more difficult for him to build a career in music. Holland pursued photography as his major in Seoul Institute Of Arts but later on explored himself and made a decision that he wanted to pursue a career in music. He wanted to be the voice of people who are oppressed and are unable to speak. He wanted to share his own story through music and he did.
Holland released his debut single 'Neverland' on January 21, 2018. The music video got over 1 million views in 20 hours. The music video was labelled as 19+, since it showed two men kissing each other.
He then returned on June 6 with his next single, 'I’m not afraid'. Even this video was labelled as 19+, but the label was removed soon afterwards. The song talked about his struggle to accept himself. This song was given the age rating of 19. In his home country, no mainstream media would air the video after its release. The song was released on July 17. Now, the main problem to release the full album was money. Holland launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fund his first mini-album. He raised up to USD 40,000 in the first 24 hours.
Has Holland Dated Anyone?
Back in 2018, Fans of Holland all around the world were flooding this couple with love. On March 31st, Holland revealed the music video of his song 'Nar_C '. Just like his previous two MV's, a male model was featured in the video. The male model featured in the video was Jaseok who was said to be Holland's boyfriend at that time. According to fans, Holland revealed through his Twitter and Instagram, that he has been in a relationship with Jaseok for two years and has been living together with him for over a year. This turned out to be a huge news among Holland's fans. His fans supported him all over and were very happy for him.
When Holland dropped the teaser for the video, he mentioned Jaseok in the description saying, " Jaseok loved taking pictures." Holland has always been a good subject for Jaseok to show his love for him. on top of that, on April 2nd, 2019 Holland even posted a picture of him looking at Jaseok with all loved eyes and captioned it " i love you". How Cute!!!!!
Well, as of now both of them are not together. Holland is currently single now.
Homosexuality And Homophobia In South Korea
Homosexuality is legal in South Korea, yet members of the k-pop industry feel compelled to not be open about it. Not everyone wants to talk about it, and not everyone wants to accept it too. People still are not fully aware of what homosexuality means. This is the main reason why people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community face bullying. Even in Holland case, he was bullied in school for being gay. After realising and accepting that he is gay, he told his friends, in which the 'friends' told everyone in the school, leading Holland to face the utmost inhumane behaviour. He was then bullied for the next three years. The people he thought were his friends, to whom he thought he was close and would understand him, assaulted him by tying a rope around his neck and dragging him around the schoolyard whilst the other students laughed at him. Holland tried to commit suicide before a true friend reminded him that his existence was not wrong. That is when he pulled himself together and decided to raise a voice.
What The Future Holds
Holland's last single was 'Loved You Better', the song and its music video show Holland's life and talk about his journey to acceptance. He is stronger than ever and working on new music. His music has a certain depth to it which reflects who he is as a person and sheds a light on the lack of acceptance by the society in South Korea and a large part of the world for those who don't fit in the heteronormative culture which is ultimately toxic and oppresses self expression and identity. Though not as trained as other idols in the K-pop industry, he has a beautiful voice and is constantly working on his vocals and dance to please his strong fans who refer to themselves as 'Harlings'. He has a prominently international fanbase and has done an international tour and met up with those who have strongly supported him when the hate he received was inhumane. His new music will most likely be released this year.
Be sure to check him out, a talented musician.