Everyone could use a little encouragement in life, especially when it feels like the entire world is against you.
For those in the LGBTQ+ community, allies are an essential support system, an accepting group of people, family, and friends who help move them forward rather than hold them back. Love is love. So join us at the BL Xpress as we delve into our favorite BL allies.
There are many allies in BL dramas, and while my list only touches on a few, these are the ones that left the most profound impression on me.
Nam Goong, Light On Me [Korea]
Nam Goong Shi Woo is one of the most beautifully written characters in a drama, BL or otherwise. He’s a shining beacon of joy that manages to remain neutral despite the war of emotions transpiring around him. By offering friendly advice, a lot of encouragement, and undying friendship without ever attempting to sway the main characters’ choices or take sides, Nam Goong is a serious ally role model. Portrayed by actor Go Woo Jin, Nam Goong added an extra dimension to a Korean BL that already seemed destined for success. We all need a Nam Goong in our lives.
Seo Haet Bit, Light On Me [Korea]
There is no better place for an ally to be than a position of authority. Although it’s fairly apparent that teacher Seo Haet Bit is also part of the gay community, his sage advice and guiding support in Light On Me as a teacher and mentor truly left an impression. There aren’t enough BL ally roles in positions of authority, so it was refreshing to see Seo Haet Bit guide his students, not by demanding to know or attempting to change their lifestyles, but to be themselves, to take a moment not to be okay sometimes, and to explore what makes them happy.
Hashimoto Mio, Kieta Hatsukoi [Japan]
One of the least toxic characters I have ever had the pleasure to watch on screen, Hashimoto Mio is the epitome of what a supportive friend should be. Funny enough, she is also the center of all the turmoil that brings the two male leads together in the Japanese BL Kieta Hatsukoi (My Love Mix-Up). Although her sweet nature and understanding personality is enough to melt the coldest of hearts, Hashimoto’s selflessness stole my soul. Even when she suspected she and Aoki had fallen for the same person, she never rejected him as a friend. She never made Aoki feel ashamed for falling for someone of the same sex. Instead, she helps him learn that love goes beyond gender.
Yihwa, Together with Me [Thailand]
In a Thai drama cloaked in angst, Yihwa’s bubbly and extroverted personality set the tone for her friendship with Korn and how that friendship helped buoy him. Korn was involved in a rocky secret relationship and needed someone who had no trouble standing in his corner when needed. Someone prepared to be not only a friend but also a champion. Yihwa does not disappoint.
Chika and Ako, HIS: I Didn’t Think I Would Fall in Love [Japan]
HIS: I Didn’t Think I Would Fall in Love is a sweet coming-of-age Japanese BL that follows two young men as they fall in love one summer. BLs have a bad habit of villainizing women, especially if they happen to have a crush on one of the male leads. HIS not only refrains from doing this, it has both of the female support characters help our leads, Nagisa and Shun, come together despite Chika and Ako’s own broken hearts.
Rokkaku Yuta & Fukisaki Nozomi, Cherry Magic [Japan]
Office workers Rokkaku Yuta and Fukisaki Nozomi are such good friends and allies to their coworkers Kurosawa and Adachi that they even set off fireworks for our leads in a beautiful moment that resonated with me long after the drama ended. Even more impressive was how female coworker Fukisaki Nozomi presented an independent working woman with possible asexual tendencies. In a society where working women aren’t always treated equally, she impressed me on many levels.
Manaow, Until We Meet Again [Thailand]
Any BL ally list isn’t an ally list if Thai actress Sammy doesn’t make it on it. Although most of the characters she’s played have been strong support roles, her role in Until We Meet Again really drew me in. A true friend to both Prem and Pharm, Manaow not only supports her friends, she stays by their side through all of the emotional stuff as well.
This list was easier to make than I thought, not because there aren’t characters who are LGBTQ+ allies in BL series – there can never be to many, of course – but because it was easy to find the ones that really stand out to me.
Pete’s Dad (Dark Blue Kiss)
I mean, everyone knows that Pete’s Dad (and Kao’s mom but to a lesser extent) deserves to be on any list like this. He’s not only one of the most supportive parents I’ve ever seen in BL but also one who is chill enough with his son’s sexuality to give him some awkward safe sex advice.
Chonlatee’s Mom in Tonhon Chonlatee
TonChon was… not a great show, we all know this only too well. But Chonlatee’s mom is a class apart. Supportive of her son and his crush, constantly encouraging him to make good choices and all but smacking Tonhon’s dad in the face while tearing him a new one in that one wonderfully iconic scene.
Tul in A Tale of A Thousand Stars
Every queer kid needs a friend like Tul. A friend who will look you in the face after your dramatic coming out moment and say ‘so?’, then proceed to tell you in the simplest, most supportive way possible, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. And then tell you to stop wasting time and go get your man.
Hashimoto in Kieta Hatsukoi
I love the way that Hashimoto was set up as a love rival before the ‘mix up’ in this ‘Love Mix Up’ series was settled. I love how supportive Hashimoto is the moment she finds out about Aoki’s crush on Ida, and her adorable attempts to give them moments together makes her the absolute best friend a disaster like Aoki could ask for.
Fujisaki-san in Cherry Magic
I love Fujisaki-san for two reasons. She starts off seeming to be the standard fujoshi character but you see that there’s a lot more to her than that. She gives the best advice to a confused Adachi, encourages him on, and to top it all off, she is probably the first confirmed aro/ace character I’ve ever seen in a BL series.
Not included: other parents who deal with their sons coming out in a supportive manner and friends like every single Sammy character in Thai BL.
We will be back next week with the second edition of this feature. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you more updates from the Asian BL World!