Instagram influencer Oli London slammed for announcing they ‘identify as non-binary Korean’

Instagram influencer Oli London slammed for announcing they ‘identify as non-binary Korean’

Instagram influencer Oli London has been hit with a social media storm after coming out as a “non-binary person who identifies as Korean.”

Last week, the self-styled “British reality TV personality and K-Pop singer”, 31, announced that they would now be using the pronouns “they/them/Korean/Jimin,” – the latter being a reference to BTS star Park Jimin.

London’s longing to emulate their 25-year-old boyband idol has prompted them to spend more than £100,000 ($150,000) on plastic surgery procedures, including skin lightening and blepharoplasty, which alters eye shape.

Fellow BTS fans – known as the ARMY – have long shunned the 31-year-old, who has spoken out against “constant bullying”. But London’s latest announcement has further alienated them from their ranks.

“I do identify as Korean,” they said in a YouTube video on Monday. “This is my choice, my decision. It’s not hurting anyone.”

Revealing their transition on June 16, London wrote in a lengthy thread: “It feels so good to finally come out as a Korean non-binary person after being trapped in the wrong body and wrong culture my whole life.”

They went on: “My new official Korean name is Park Jimin HueningKai Taeyong Imnida,” and reiterated:

The prolific Instagrammer, TikToker and Twitter user then shared an image of “my new official flag for being a non-binary person who identifies as Korean.”

But scores of viewers found the flag, and London’s claims to a new nationality, insulting – accusing them of cultural appropriation and disrespect towards South Korea.

One wrote:

Another said simply:

A third commented bluntly:

And another pointed out the history of the country’s flag, insisting no national emblem should be appropriated for someone’s personal use:

Responding to the backlash, London said that critics of their move were being “homophobic and non-binary phobic”.

They insisted that the aforementioned flag was “actually the official LGBTQI+ flag of South Korea,” adding: “Anyone that puts a negative comment is anti-LGBT and anti-equality.”

And in a statement shared with indy100 they defended their actions.

“People may judge me, call me a racist- when I’m not- but it’s 2021 people can identify how they want,” London said.

“I love Korea, I respect korean people and the Korean people love me for appreciating their culture. I never want to offend anyone but sadly these days people get offended online very easily these days and people have misinterpreted me and who I am as a person.

“While I recognise it may be unusual for people to accept who I am, I will never allow other people’s opinions to stop me being me- being non-binary and being Korean.

“People should spread more love in the world and peace and we should all come together as human beings to celebrate and accept our differences”.

This story was updated on June 29 to replace a statement from London’s manager's with their own following a request for comment.

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