What labels?

Young Hollywood is just loving who they wanna love

Ariana Grande had a “Monopoly” on the entertainment news cycle this week, after singing that she likes “women and men” in her new song with Victoria Monet. On April 1, the day the single dropped, Grande endorsed a fan’s tweet about how the pop star isn’t going to label herself. “I haven’t before and still don’t feel the need to now,” Grande responded.

The 25-year-old’s attitude toward sexuality mirrors that of many other Hollywood stars: They don’t feel the need to put a label on their sexuality.

Related: Nico Tortorella tells the world why he resists gender and sexual labels

Consider what Big Little Lies star Shailene Woodley told The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, when she was 22: “I fall in love with human beings based on who they are, not based on what they do or what sex they are.”

Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, 21, quoted the Divergent actress in a 2016 interview with Nylon: “It’s like what Shailene Woodley said: ‘I fall in love with personalities and not people or genders.’ I have no problem with anyone who would want to be labeled, but I also think that it is no one’s business. Do what you want.”


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And Williams’ best friend and Game of Thrones costar, 23-year-old said Sophie Turner, unwittingly started a Twitter debate last week when users took her declaration of openness in Rolling Stone’s April cover story — “Everyone experiments. It’s part of growing up. I love a soul, not a gender,” — as a coming-out or as an alignment with a specific sexual identity.

Related: Ben Whishaw gets very candid about his sexuality in rare and revealing new interview

Pop star Bebe Rexha sang the same refrain in Nylon’s April cover story. “If I want to make out with someone, I’ll just make out with them,” the 29-year-old said. “I don’t care who you are. I’m big on energies.”

And it’s not just the young women of Hollywood who are eschewing labels. Lucas Hedges, 22-year-old star of the 2018 gay conversion drama Boy Erased, told Vulture in September that he exists on a spectrum, since he’s “not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily bisexual.”


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That same month, 28-year-old Tyler, the Creator — who has rapped about “kissing white boys” before — told Fantastic Man that it’s “cool” with him that his sexuality is “such a grey area.” A year earlier, One Direction star Harry Styles, 25, told The Sun he “never felt the need to” label his sexuality.


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To be fair, it’s important that queer youth have out and proud heroes. It’s important that they can see themselves reflected in Hollywood. But with only 66 percent of Generation Z identifying as “exclusively heterosexual,” it’s also important for those exploring identities or rejecting labels to have idols, too.

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