Creating a Safe Space for Queer Teens?: Some Initial Findings on Queer Teens in K-pop Cover Groups and Fan Community

Alona U. Guevarra

Abstract

In his article on emerging gay communities in the Philippines, Michael L. Tan emphasized that there is no such thing as a homogenous gay and lesbian community; however, he noted that ―the emerging `gay‘ movement is fluid and includes some middle class bakla as well as the parlorista bakla—plus [the] so-called yuppie gays…‖(128). In short, gay communities in the Philippines, however slowly, are being transformed by global and local (glocal) socio-historical forces that push the diverse members of Filipino gay communities to interact with each other and with the members of the dominant straight communities in more frequency and in different scenarios. An example of such a scenario is created by the glocal opportunity is in the area of KPop community whose participatory fan activities (such as the K-Pop Cover Group) has created a space of interaction and a common identity for both Filipino straight and queer teens. This preliminary study on queer teens in K-Pop Cover groups touches on the following intersections: performed sexuality, fandom, Hallyu in the Philippines, gender representation in popular media, global Hallyu and an emerging gender equality in the local teenage community. Through on-line research, textual analyses and email interviews, this preliminary study uncovered the dynamics of queer teens interacting in a still dominantly heterosexual K-pop community.

Keywords

Queer teens; K-Pop cover groups; reverse K-Pop cover groups

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