“Love Yourself, Speak Yourself”: Identity-making with fans of BTS and Boys’ Love (BL)
This project is interested in understanding the ways in which personhood and identities, particularly that of gender and sexuality, is developed and explored through online communities around K-pop and Boys Love, and how different ideologies around identities are traded, constructed, and consumed among community members. With the increasing popularity of Asian media in the U.S., I explore how it engages with existing categories of identities and representations. This project utilized mixed methods, which includes topic modeling and in-depth interviews with discourse analyses. Fans often referenced these media forms as offering glimpses of future possibilities where their lives and personhood is valued and desired.