British singer Harry Styles has been asked about his sexuality again in a new interview. Speaking to Better Homes and Gardens magazine, he was asked about the speculation around who he sleeps with after the release of his last album, Fine Line.
Promoting that work, Styles posed wearing dresses in some photoshoots and waved rainbow flags and a bisexual flag given to him by fans at concerts. Some criticized him for doing so without explicitly stating his sexuality to the media, but Styles now says he finds that expectation “outdated” and bizarre.
“I’ve been really open with it with my friends, but that’s my personal experience; it’s mine,” he said. “The whole point of where we should be heading, which is toward accepting everybody and being more open, is that it doesn’t matter, and it’s about not having to label everything, not having to clarify what boxes you’re checking.”
Related: Harry Styles on hooking up with his male co-stars: “I’d never done that before. On camera at least”
The British singer, 28, shot to fame with the boy band, One Direction. He is soon to release his third album, Harry’s House. His current single, ‘As It Was’, sits at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK singles chart, and he was recently among the headliners at the Coachella music festival.
He’s also made an impression on the big screen. After appearing in World War II drama Dunkirk, Styles will soon be seen in the Olivia Wilde-directed psychological drama, Don’t Worry Darling. He will also star this year in My Policeman, a 1950s-set closeted romance in which Styles’ titular copper has a gay fling with a museum curator behind his wife’s back.
Related: Anti-gay pundit trolled hard on Twitter for criticizing Harry Style’s rainbow Coachella outfit
Straight baiters can’t give away all their secrets… We’re the fish ya’ll…
Every straight man is gay after 12 beers.
does nobody understand what the song “watermelon sugar” was about?
In the future everyone will accept the fact that people are some degree of bisexual.
These labels will not be defining.
People really do need to stop asking these public figures about their sexual dimensions or lifestyle. If they don’t bring it up then the interviewer shouldn’t be bringing it up. And as I’ve said many times before, trying to force someone out or trying to force them to adhere to an identity is always gonna be problematic and just lead to more division and manipulation. While you never know people’s internal and external struggles, what type of pressures they’re experiencing, the nature of someone’s sexuality, what types of fluidity or questioning or contradictions they have or are still experiencing, the state of their mental health, where they are in the gender, sexual, affection, romantic, emotion, commitment spectrum. So, folks do need to be more understanding and be less a-hole-like.
On the other hand, Harry is constantly and calculatedly using queer signifiers and gay stereotypes for the sake of giving his image more depth and intrigue. And he’s doing so while still leaning on hetero appeal and hetero privilege and being seen as pretty much a “regular ‘straight’ guy” who might have some quirks or dimensions. None of this ambiguity and “balanced” image is an accidental. It’s all calculated as hell. And at this point it is starting to strain and come off more than a bit exploitative, leech-like and cartoonish.
Harry could be “gay” and “non-binary” presenting and could also unapologetically have a whole ass boyfriend, and what he’s doing would still come off a bit forced and exploitative and cringe-y. But the kids and the old-heads love it. So, I guess it’s whatever.
Ok, I’ve heard of him, but I’ve never heard him. Also, the likely hood of finding him naked on my bed is zero. So, yeah…
Hmm, I don’t believe for one second that Harry is gay, bi, or confused. I get the feeling that he’s a heterosexual man who’s intentionally being ambiguous just to sell records. Some of the greats, which he obviously patterns himself after, were sexually ambiguous and a bit androgynous and it did wonders for their careers (Prince, Bowie, Boy George, etc). I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other. You can be in the queer spectrum and still exploit queerness and ambiguity for the sake of your ego and image and career. This is something Bowie admitted to doing. He was bi/pan presenting and behaving but still admitted to playing up a lot of his queerness and playing up ambiguity for show and conversation and controversy.
I’m not of a fan of telling people what the dimensions of their sexuality or preferences or sexual journey are, what their exact motivations are, or where they are in the gender, sexual, affection, romantic, emotion, relationship, commitment. But it’s very obvious that a lot of what Harry presents is for conversation and speculation’s sake. The aim isn’t even all that subtle.
Honey I hate to burst your bubble but Boy George has straight up admitted to being gay and came out of the closet. Yes he likes to present androgynously and flirt with different identities, but he’s 100% come out of the closet as one of us so technically he’s not flirting with his sexuality he just is a gay man like some of us.
There’s a pretty good chance that they know about Boy George. However, during his height of fame, there was a lot of questions surrounding him and a lot of speculation. So, maybe that’s why they mentioned Boy George. Also, like I just said, it doesn’t matter what your identities are or where you fit in the overall spectrum, you can still play up or exploit ambiguity/speculation for attention, conversation, controversy, to maintain appeal to as many demo’s as possible.
@Donston – Scruitny and assumptions about celebrity sex lives come with the territory. Yes, queers can and do exploit their own. But in my opinion, I don’t believe Harry is on the queer spectrum at all. His comments around sexuality seem like a contrived act to create mystery and draw people in.
@thisisnotreal – Boy Goerge didn’t admit to being 100% gay until about 10 years into his career. After he’d already built a huge fan base.
He’s right that it shouldn’t matter. It’s not like he’s a lawmaker writing new laws that punish gay people while secretly meeting gay people for sex. We can call out powerful hypocrites or dangerous people while also leaving everyone else alone.
I would completely agree with this if he was just doing his thing yet kept getting asked questions about his identities, dimensions, preferences, lifestyle, love life. I’m a fan of letting people do them and letting them share what they wish. And it never should be about identities and “box checking”. We do need to start seeing sexual dimensions, preferences, journeys, psychologies, love, relationships as individual things and respecting people’s individual journeys.
What makes Harry different and kinda awkward is that he very much provokes the conversation and speculation, and he has crudely adhered to queer signifiers and gay stereotypes while still taking advantage of conventional white male good looks and hetero appeal/privilege. I don’t think he’s a bad person, and I do find it corny the way some are trashing him. But he and his team very much know what they’re doing and are crafting this image carefully.
…here we go again. Round 38,459.
Are we not trying to move past this dogma where everyone needs to fit perfectly in a box?
Isn’t the challenge we have is letting people be people, with all there nuisances so that who you choose to love is completely irrelevant. Why does the media give air time to something that shouldn’t matter. Isn’t that the point Harry is trying to make???!
No one else should be trying to push you, persecute you and worst case, kill you because of who you love. It’s the fundamental tenant of every religion to ‘love your neighbour’, yet we seem to believe that fundamental statement gives people the right to decide who other people are entitled to love!
Everyone must be respected for their decision to declare who they love, WHEN THEY ARE READY! More importantly it should be a complete Non event!
Sorry, for some of us old queens, finding love in a world of people who no longer bother to even try to open the cover of the book, dog-eared and tattered, is an elusive human to locate. Yet all your social media “want to be’s” don’t know how many people died and fought for the recognition for you to able to be a non persecuted gay or lesbian to even be able to existing the world without persecution, torture and imprisonment.
Forget all the letters after LG, they only could be added once we stopped all the brutally society metered out to lesbians and Gay’s! Let’s not forget Matthew Shepard!
Alan Touring broke the enigma code of WWII and still was charged with being gay, chemically castrated and committed suicide in 1952. Pardoned in 2013, 62 years after his death!
You young gay boys all now reap the benefits of the fight but you don’t even know that history. You all don’t have time to reflect on the now old crinkly gay people as It just takes so much time trying to be the next big influencing.
Try that stuff 15 years ago and you’d be having facial reconstruction surgery for all the wrong reasons!
Who would have thought 15 years ago I’d be seeing straight guys baiting the gays on TikTok/instagram, or just for fans services where straight guys get $$$ for putting a lovesense toy in a place where the sun seems to only shine in Brazil and Columbia where they all seem to be into trans, girls and guys!
Wow has the world changed!
So, for some deity’s sack or whoever you worship, WILL JUST LET HARRY BE HARRY!
Who cares who he loves as long as his happy.
God he could be channeling “Madam lash” every night in his secret dungeon. Honestly, WHO CARES, (oh sorry forgot that gossip columns would go out of business. Hmm Sorry Harry, think you need to change you finger nail colour at least every week to keep them in business!)
Ok I know you want a young social media influencer to be some LBtGI++++——???!!! gay deity, but that won’t and can’t happen till they and everyone else decides to follow a rather insightful series of words delivered by Mahatma Gandhi:
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a “man’ changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
While I believe it’s truth, it exclusivity was due to the context at the time. The only update required is that it isn’t “man’, it humans, given the increasing knowledge and understanding of our broad diversity. In that context of difference, his insightful words are so much more significant then in the context of when he made them.
So everyone can you take the pressure of Harry and just him life his truth. Respect his talents. I’m sure that’s all he’d be wanting from everyone!
Charming cowardice is still cowardice.
A lot of people in the comments section are saying this about “boxes” or “categories” or “labels” in a negative sense as if to say taking issue with his approach is a denial of sexual ambiguity. I don’t really think that’s what makes reaction to him among gay men so charged. I don’t think identifying with a label to generally address your sexual orientation is something that is stupid or antiquated, it’s just words that YOU choose to use to express yourself. So please, none of the bi-erasure of “Everyone is bisexual” and please no shaming of people for feeling like their sexuality is uncomplicated in it’s general definition. You’re just being hypocritical when you do that.
But beyond that, I don’t think it’s labels or a rigid definition of sexuality is why response to Harry among gay men is so charged. At any point Harry could just say he’s “not straight” or better yet “queer” (which is essentially the same thing) and most people would accept that….but he won’t even do that. If he just so happened to be a straight man who only dabbled with the idea of sexual fluidity, it’d wouldn’t be unlike Bowie who admitted he kind of just exploited the image of bisexuality in the early 90s. It’s not like that hasn’t happened, many men in the music industry have appropriated aspects of gay culture to thrust their career ahead of the rest. If they owned it, that might be okay because they could just be genuinely inspired. But if they just keep leading people on and acting coy, there’s a level of vanity and cruelty to that along with plausible deniability that is pretty despicable.
If Ellen had said “Yep, it’s none of your business” instead of “Yep, I’m gay” then we’d be in a different place culturally- this applies to any number of comings out. There is tremendous value in that kind of transparency as a public figure and so long as Harry just tries to be artfully elusive, he’s going to run into this every time. He could just say “queer” or “not straight” and it’d be over but instead he’s just trying to be all artfully elusive and superficially provocative.
Hey, maybe he’s for real. I don’t know one way or the other and I’m okay not knowing but I understand why people take offense to it. We’re exploited, appropriated, misled, any number of things ALL THE TIME and I’d really like a lot of gay men to wisen up to that.
it totally doesnt matter. sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you dont.
my beard is just waiting to give rides to all those very nice young men…hmmm let’s see…timothee chalamet, JGL. ezra miller, exra miller, ezra miller, harry styles if need be and shwan mendez, ezra miller too, and have i mentioned ezra miller? well if not, id prefer ezra to come to our island and leave those hawaiian islands and come to vancouver island. please.
No one should care past his 12yo fan base.
Of course it matters if you want to try to pick someone up. Try telling them you’re not classifying your sexuality and see how far you get.
Styles has quite literally waved the rainbow flag in concerts and publicity shots. He’s made a big deal of doing fashion spreads in which he’s photographed in feminine attire. He’s just done two gay/bi-themed films, playing gay-bi characters, back to back. His entire solo career has been charged by deliberate “is he bi? is he queer?” speculation, which comes directly from his publicists, not the media. It’s therefore more than reasonable for the media to ask about his sexuality. And it’s beyond disingenuous for him to now pull the “it doesn’t matter, leave me alone” angle. The challenge for his publicists now is to segue to the next stage of his career – which will be securing (straight) leading roles in mainstream films, finessing his marriage to some appropriate starlet or pop princess, and trying to make it not-so-screamingly-obvious that this whole “is he queer?” phase was the most cynical gay-baiting by any mainstream artist to date.
We don’t want him. Now let’s get back to Sean Mendez.
Funny how he walks the line to get ahead but won’t really own anything. I can’t stand his music and think he is one of the least attract guys from One Direction. Next!