Welcome to Fanlanthropy – a new series here at The Honey POP where we shine a light on incredible stans who are using the power of fandom to do good in the world and help out important causes. Fandoms are super powerful in sharing information and working on projects, so using those impressive skills for a good cause ends in some great results.
There is a rampant anti-LGBTQIA+ movement in South Korea, who shamelessly take to the streets campaigning and calling people out in public. Korean LGBTQIA+ teens are the most vulnerable bracket affected by social queerphobia and can be put in serious danger. For the past eight years, Dding Dong has opened its doors to queer teens with hopes to become a platform for them to share their identities, as well as acknowledge each other’s obstacles and needs all while fulfilling them together. They offer resources such as spaces for individuals to talk freely, a consultation room for guidance counseling or privacy, a comfortable sleeping area for naps, a kitchen where everyone can eat together, a shower room, and facilities, as well as various counseling services, including a hotline and street counseling for homeless youth. However, as of right now, they cannot operate for 24 hours a day due to the financial resources being from private donations and having no governmental support. Dding Dong hopes someday to become a fully functioning shelter.
In honor of Monsta X and Wonho‘s upcoming anniversary, Monwenee are creating an art book to celebrate the milestone in their career and will be using it to fundraise for Dding Dong on their behalf. We spoke to the team behind the project to learn more.
Can you introduce yourselves to our readers?
We are a team of nine people working together to make this project be the best it can be, by supporting Monsta X and Wonho along with providing financial support to a charity. Each of us on the team has different roles, such as graphic designers, social media managers, and more. In order to stay on track, we have 1 to 2 meetings every week in which we discuss goals that we need to accomplish.
Additionally, we have over 60 artists working on this project: the art that they create consists of pieces representing all of Monsta X’s Korean songs, from their debut album, Trespass, to their latest release, Fatal Love.
You are working on an art book in honor of Monsta X’s 6th anniversary, what inspired you to do this? What can fans expect from the artbook?
Monsta X has done a lot of good for charities by donating to them, taking action, and overall raising awareness. They have a big fandom that supports each other and gladly supports others alongside supporting Monsta X. The fandom has a big community of amazing artists. Because Monsta X has supported so many charities, Wiktor, the organizer of the project, wanted to unite a bunch of these amazing artists to work together on a project that could help out a charity while also giving back to the whole fanbase.
You’ve chosen to support DDing Dong, an LGBTQIA+ Youth Crisis Support Center in Korea. What made you choose this charity?
We made a submission form where people could suggest charities, and afterward, we ran a poll on our Twitter to narrow down which charity our audience would be the most interested in supporting. DDing Dong was the charity that got the most votes.
Monsta X and Wonho are also known for being a group that is very welcoming towards the LGBTQIA+ community: mentioning several times that they love everyone no matter who they are and who they love, they have helped the fandom be more accepting towards each other regardless of gender and sexuality. This is also very important considering how the LGBTQIA+ community is looked down upon in Korea. We think that the acceptance within the fandom and the situation in Korea regarding equality encouraged the fandom to choose DDing Dong and help this minority group have a safe space.
How will the profits from the artbook support DDing Dong? Monsta X has been known to get involved with philanthropy and supporting charities.
There are expenses involved in the creation of the project, especially for the physical products, but we have made sure that we will have extra funds and profit that will go towards supporting the charity. The funds that will be donated to DDing Dong will help them provide housing, therapy, and overall safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ youth in South Korea. The funds will also help them spread awareness and work towards bringing support for the marginalized Korean LGBTQIA+ community to the same level as the international norm.
How would you say they have inspired you as fans?
Since everyone on the team is a fan of Monsta X and Wonho, we connect with them on a deeper level of understanding. Having such a group as our favorite, we’ve learned to strive for success even though sometimes it can be tough. They make sure to do their best in helping the fans with self-acceptance by always encouraging us to be ourselves.
We know how powerful fandoms are, what do you think about fandoms and the importance of using their platforms for vital causes such as this one?
Most importantly, we must think of fandoms as a double-edged sword: although we like to see the positive side of fandom, that does not mean they don’t have their own issues. Looking past that, though, the masses that create the fandom can definitely be an unstoppable force that, when motivated properly, can achieve a lot of great things. Social media is the most powerful platform to spread information across the world, and with this platform we have, the amount of people we can reach makes our message and goal more real and appealing. If fandoms come together to support a cause that they believe in, they can be hugely successful.
How can people support the fan book project?
People can support this project by pre-ordering a zine bundle. The more pre-orders we are able to get, the more money we will be able to donate to DDing Dong. If people are not interested in the zine but would still like to support DDing Dong, they can do so by donating to our PayPal Pool without ordering a zine.
We have opened pre-orders on our website. There are a variety of bundles that people can buy according to how much they are able to spend and what benefits they would like. We have digital PDF bundles with additional DIY merch, a physical zine book only, various merch bundles, and more. There are also stretch goals that we would like to meet to be able to produce washi tape and stickers. We plan on having the preorder period be open all the way until Monsta X’s 6th anniversary, May 14th.
Thanks, guys! We know Monsta X and Wonho would be so proud!
Will you be supporting this project? Do you know of any fandoms doing good? Let us know down the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP!
Need more Monsta X in your life? We gotchu
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Want to see what other fandoms are doing good? Over here
Featured Image Source: Bibi Lara for The Honey POP