Jo Kwon claimed in a recent interview with Newsis that he sees himself as genderless.
“Being genderless is my weapon. In the past, I was afraid of having a neutral image. If people said I looked like a woman, I would pretend it wasn’t true. But now, I’m fine with it. I’m okay with people saying I look like Choi Ji Woo or Tae Yeon” Jo Kwon told the news outlet.
Jo Kwon continued, “I have come to accept who I am. I have a weapon that will help me keep going for a long time, ahead of an era without gender.” The K-pop idol is currently busy performing in the musical “Jamie”, where he plays a drag queen character.
For those who don’t know, the “Never Let You Go” singer joined BTS’ agency Big Hit Entertainment back in 2012. During his tenure with the label, he released a song titled “Animal”.
Jo Kwon recalled, “Bang Shi Hyuk (Big Hit CEO) asked me if I wanted to opt for a full commercial route for my promotion, or if I wanted to do the concept I wanted to do. I told him that I wanted to do what I want, like Lady Gaga.”
“Bang Si Hyuk then said 'Jo Kwon, listen to your hyung. If you try to throw a curveball (drag concept) into a still lake (cookie-cutter K-Pop image), there will still be an impact but it will require a long time'. But still, he bought me my first pair of high heels” he further added in the chat.
However, Jo Kwon feels that the times are changing. 'Animal' -- featured by BTS member J-Hope -- has been gaining worldwide attention.
"Of course, I have greatly benefited from BTS, but I'm happy that'Animal' has become popular. I also think that Korea's world views is changing a little bit".
Jo Kwon looked back when he was in his twenties, living under the public eye: “When I was in my 20s, whether it was with 2AM, or on a variety show, I lived to satisfy others. When I entered my 30s, I entered a new chapter in my life. And I’m very grateful that now I can do what I want, and tell my story as Jo Kwon". After serving in the military Kwon says he feels catharsis while playing Jamie.
The interviewer then asked: "is there anything that you would like to say to those who hate people that are different, like Dean who hates Jamie?"
"There are so many different people in the world. From men and women to sexual minorities, people with disabilities, or multicultural people. Everyone’s appearance and the way they walk are different, there is no law stating that women must have long hair or men cannot wear makeup. Women don’t have to only wear high heels, and men don’t have to just wear soccer cleats. These people should be respected” Kwon concluded.