Early morning on Sunday, June 12, a terrorist opened fire among patrons at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Utilizing an assault rifle, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others. The nightmare ended after a three-hour standoff with the Orlando police ended when Mateen was killed. The attack is being recognized as the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman and deadliest incident of violence against the LGBTQ community.
In the days following after the tragedy, the Orlando nightclub shooting suddenly became a political platform, especially for President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. The former was accused of using the incident as a means to push gun control. The latter was accused of using the incident to prove a point about Islam being an ideology that is contrary to the American way of life. As for everyone else though, they simply mourned the loss of 49 people.
Apparently, the whole world, not just those living in the United States, showed their condolences for the families of victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, including many K-pop idols. However, many K-pop idols who originally showed support for Orlando suddenly had their posts removed. The reason for it is because of the tragedy’s association to the LGBTQ community.
Probably the most-popular K-pop idol to be recognized for his post for Orlando being deleted is G-Dragon of Big Bang. According to Fuse, G-Dragon uploaded a video post featuring a rainbow heart and the trending hashtag #PrayForOrlando. Since G-Dragon is one of the more popular K-pop idols in the industry today, his post received plenty of attention in a short amount of time which includes at least 40,000 views.
— Jeff Benjamin 제프 벤자민 (@Jeff__Benjamin) June 12, 2016
However, G-Dragon’s post was deleted off of his Instagram. It was eventually replaced with new photos supporting Orlando which includes one of a journal showcasing the words “HATE LESS” written inside and the caption “MORE LOVE.” The post clearly shows support for Orlando but is ambiguous enough to be either directed to the LGBTQ community or just be a general statement on love.
Jokwon of 2AM also shared a photo of a rainbow flag with the hashtag #PrayForOrlando, but it too was removed and replaced with a black-and-white photo that read “more love.” Finally, according to Kpop Herald, Yubin of Wonder Girls also uploaded a post in support of Orlando with the #PrayForOrlando hashtag. It featured a picture of a heart painted in rainbow watercolors. It too was deleted off her Instagram.
Other K-pop idols, such as Jay Park, Peniel of BtoB, and Amber of f(x), were able to upload their #PrayForOrlando to show condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. It is, however, evident the only reason why their posts remained is the lack of any LGBTQ community iconography (rainbows, two male signs together, two female signs together, etc.).
South Korea is very strong in its cultural conservatism. Not only that, but the country is dominantly Christian (both Protestantism and Roman Catholic). Ergo, gay rights generally do not exist, and many members of the LGBTQ community there face many legal challenges and discrimination. With all that in mind, it is understandable why G-Dragon, Jokwon, and Yubin’s posts supporting Orlando were suddenly deleted. Not saying it is right or fair, just understandable.
[Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]