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White Influencer Sparks Backlash After Announcing They Identify As 'Non-Binary Korean'

White Influencer Sparks Backlash After Announcing They Identify As 'Non-Binary Korean'
Oli London/YouTube

Instagram influencer Oli London is facing a new controversy after a 9-minute-long YouTube video in which they came out as a "non-binary person who identifies as Korean."

London's speech, given under a mask, in a bucket hat and sunglasses, said the pronouns they prefer are "they/them/Korean/Jimin," the latter being in reference to BTS boyband member Park Jimin.

They posted their announcement of YouTube...

...and Twitter.

London was born and raised racially, ethnically and culturally as British and White.

London has undergone several cosmetic surgery procedures to change their appearance. They also said they would be asking to be referred to as "Park Jimin HueningKai Taeyong Imnida."

London's "transracial transition" was condemned as racist, culturally appropriative, entitled, an example of White privilege and transphobic—especially by fans of the Korean boyband BTS.

London has spent over $150,000 on plastic surgery in order to make themselves look more Korean, including skin lightening and blepharoplasty—which is used to alter eye shape.

Trying on another culture through superficial stereotypes without actually living as a part of that culture, knowing what it really means to be another race or ethnicity or ever experiencing any of the negative racism or xenophobia is the criticism leveled at London and other White people who have tried to claim "transracialism" should be recognized.

Asian people and organizations criticized London for stealing only the positive stereotypes they wanted from Korean culture. Trans activists called London's transracial declaration transphobic.

London responded by saying they were the real victim, calling Asians and trans advocates who criticized their racism and transphobia "homophobic and non-binary phobic" without addressing any specific points their detractors made.

"This is actually the official LGBTQI+ flag of South Korea…GOOGLE IT," he said, of the rainbow version of the South Korean flag he posted.

"Anyone that puts a negative comment is anti-LGBT and anti-equality. So sad in 2021 people will judge others on how they identify! 🏳️🌈"

People pointed out negative criticism based on somebody adopting a racist version of other people's culture was not homophobia.

While we can congratulate the bravery of coming out as non-binary, identifying as a different race by adopting cultural stereotypes is actually racism.

You can read more about why "transracialism" and transgender identity are not similar here.