The name of K-pop star Sunmi trended worldwide on Twitter on Tuesday (June 4) as fans speculated whether she had come out as identifying as LGBT at concert she held that night in Amsterdam.
The singer later tweeted that, “I support LGBT” but asked that audiences “don’t get [her] wrong."
The incident occurred after a partial video from the concert was cut down to hear Sunmi say, "Yea, I have many different sides of me like dorky and LGBT… LGBT queen…,” with the latter two words nearly inaudible in the brief cut. Other clips from the concert revealed a larger speech about identity, and the videos dominated conversation on Twitter late Tuesday afternoon as fans discussed whether she was identifying as LGBT and coming out, or was talking about the title, “LGBT Queen,” that fans have applied to her due to her support of LGBT fans and rights.
Sunmi is one of the few stars in the Korean entertainment world that regularly addresses her support of LGBT issues, and the idea of her potentially identifying that way publicly resulted in major excitement before she later clarified the concert video in a tweet.
“Haha I was saying,” she wrote late Tuesday night. “‘I have so many different sides of me like dorky and LGBT queen…’ Yeah, I support LGBT but don't get me wrong guys.” She also added laughing emojis.
The South Korean entertainment industry is particularly conservative and only a handful of entertainers identify as publicly being LGBT or allies. Sunmi has long been praised for her vocal support of LGBTQ+ fans, and her recent European tour coinciding with 2019 Pride Month has resulted in several instances where she’s addressed the topic in passing.
Known both for being part the Wonder Girls, which became the first K-pop act to land a single on the Hot 100 chart back in 2009, and a dynmaic solo artist, Sunmi most recently released the single "Noir," which was inspired by the social media interactions.