Happiness, friendships, fun: North Texas K-poppers on what fandom means to them
It’s not just for ‘teenage girls,’ fans said in answering our questionnaire. It’s not too late to tell us your story, too!
What’s something most people don’t know about K-pop fans in North Texas?
That’s how one person answered our online questionnaire about K-pop culture in North Texas and we have been learning so much more.
Over the past month, The Dallas Morning News and KERA have received over a dozen responses to our questionnaire. We sent it out via social media to give broader context to a story we’re working on about K-pop fans and stans in the Dallas area.
It’s not too late to share your thoughts! Follow this link to tell us your K-pop story: https://bit.ly/kpopNTX.
Here’s what we learned from some of the respondents, who gave us permission to share their answers.
K-pop isn’t just for “teenage girls,” a few respondents wrote. Many said there’s a lot of diversity among fans — or stans — because the musicality and culture transcend language.
According to these K-poppers, what makes the K-pop community in North Texas special is the closeness of the fans.
“It might sound cheesy, but I owe a lot of my happiness in my adulthood to K-pop,” Alisa Douvry from Carrollton said. “If I had not discovered K-pop 11 years ago, I wouldn’t have joined UNT’s Korean Culture Exchange club, where I met my best friends and my partner.”
We also heard from people who say they got through the pandemic by staying connected to other K-pop lovers on social media.
“During the height of the pandemic, I felt very lonely,” Ami Devarajan from Allen wrote. “Keeping up with K-pop releases and anticipating comebacks was the only way I even kept track of the days. Interacting with fans of the groups I like on YouTube videos was my main way of finding other fans and talking about K-pop.”
Devarajan says the fans in North Texas are incredibly passionate. She is thankful for becoming a part of a K-pop dance group, H1P3, where she has met some of her closest friends.
For others, K-pop love stems from their love for their “idols” or their favorite K-pop celebrity or group. Some say that their favorite groups have given them hope and motivation through the hardest times.
Reagan McGee from Crowley wrote about her favorite K-pop group in her response: “My favorite K-pop group is most definitely Loona! Loona is a group that got me through a lot of rough patches in my life and gave me power to move forward. Their song ‘butterfly,’ as cheesy as it might sound, impacted me in a way that’s hard to put into words. Being different and uniquely yourself is OK and beautiful and Loona always helps me remember that.”