Harisu transitioned very young and went on to become an international sensation as a singer. model and actress.
Born in Songnam, Korea as Lee Kyoung-eun in 1975, Harisu (which means "Hot Issue") underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1998 at the age of 23. She began modeling in Japan while studying hair design, and after her first major commercial shoot for the make up company DODO, became an overnight star and the most recognizable model in China.
Harisu recorded her first album entitled Temptation (released in 2001) and was thereafter referred to as the Kylie Minogue of the East. Her five albumns have sold millions of copies, switching genres between techno and R&B, and include Reaction. She also gained additional tremendous world attention as a model during the 2006 World Cup.
She is noted for being South Korea's first transgender entertainer, and in 2002 became only the second person in Korea to legally change their gender. Reuters News notes that that "sex-change helped the country to change its family registry laws."
Harisu became so mainstream that she was the first transsexual to ever be featured in a Maxi-Pad menstrual pad ad, and has also been in several movies; her first major acting role was in the 2001 film Yellow Hair 2, and since then her credits have included Hi! Honey, a Taiwanese drama series, and Colour Blossoms, an erotic drama by Hong Kong filmmaker Yonfan.
In 2007, the then 32-year old Harisu maried her boyfriend of two years Micky Jung.
When asked about her families reaction when she came out, she said, "There wasn't any reaction at all. When I was young, I was already "Harisu". They treated me as their son. I am still me. It's just that I have changed my sex."
When asked about advice to those who want to follow in your footsteps? she said "For those who feel trapped in their bodies, destiny is in their own hands. It's like if your ambition is to be a teacher, you attend a teacher's training course. If you want to have a sex change, it's your choice. For those who want to be an entertainer, they have to work hard at it.
Her beauty and charm is without question. In her photo gallery she radiates an endearing warmness, and her girl-ness is omnipresent.