Jo Kwon recently spoke up about being genderless or gender-neutral and how Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si Hyuk supported him through his journey as an entertainer.
It can be recalled that Jo Kwon signed as a solo artist under Big Hit Entertainment in 2012, and he has been experimenting with drag concepts ever since. He said that there is still a certain stigma that affects artists when it comes to gender but CEO Bang was one of the first to show his support to Jo Kwon's concept, Koreaboo reported.
According to Jo Kwon, he identifies as genderless or gender-neutral now but it wasn't as easy to do so before. Because of his idol image, if people compared his looks to a female artist, he would rush to deny it. Now, he embraces these observations and welcomes them with more open views.
When he originally signed with Big Hit Entertainment, Jo Kwon said he discussed his concept idea with CEO Bang and the Big Hit founder told him that his concept will create an impact. However, CEO Bang also cautioned him that he would have to wait for a long time before the public accepts the idea of a genderless idol.
Still, it was CEO Bang who bought Jo Kwon his first pair of high heels, proving how much he believed in his artist.
Jo Kwon was discharged from the military last March and continues to shock and entertain fans with his personality and unique style.
He currently appears in the controversial stage musical Jamie, wherein he stars as a drag king. He admitted that his role has received some criticism which he takes in stride, All Kpop reported.
He expressed optimism that more audiences will begin to accept concepts that go beyond gender as the entertainment industry moves forward.
Jo Kwon said that when he entered his 30s, he became very thankful that he could be freer to do what he wanted, and also shine the spotlight on gender issues - from male and female to sexual minorities, as well as people with handicaps and people who hail from different cultures.
He also expressed gratefulness to his BTS junior J-Hope for featuring in his 2012 solo release Animal, which is now being recognized for its concept. He said that he feels proud to live in an era where the public is slowly embracing new ideas about gender with music like Animal and shows like Jamie.