As a die-hard Harry Styles stan, I’m proud to say that the bloke is fairly unproblematic and instead adorns his shows and memorabilia with slogans like “Treat People With Kindness.”
But the one problematic aspect of the princely singer that I have never been able to make peace with is the allegations of queerbaiting.
In his new Rolling Stone interview, in which he graced the cover and looked DIVINE, Harry addressed these long-running allegations.
“Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone,” he told the mag.
“If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something.”
Let’s take a little walk down memory lane, shall we?
After freeing himself from One Direction, Harry Styles’ style (hehe) evolved from basic British dude to the ethereal unicorn we know and love him as today.
Harry Styles (far right) as a preppy member of 1D in 2012. (Credit: Getty)
Now, his nails are always perfectly polished, he swans around on stage with an LGBTQIA+ flag and he even wears dresses in photoshoots.
But with the evolution of his style came all the questions about his sexuality.
Harry Styles for Vogue December 2020 by Tyler Mitchell.
He’s addressed the questions many times in interviews, telling folks he’s sexually fluid but doesn’t want to label himself, all the while only publicly dating women.
And therein lies the issue. Harry is part of a generation of men who profit off queer culture by using parts of our identity without actually identifying as queer (at least not publicly).
So I do understand why people are frustrated that Harry is being celebrated as super brave when he hasn’t actually had to deal with nearly as much discrimination as us queer people.
In my opinion, wearing a dress in a photoshoot isn’t as brave as openly identifying as queer in an incredibly homophobic society.
But on the other hand, why should Harry have to come out as anything?
Just because he’s a singer, people think they have the right to question his sexual preferences.
In his recent Better Homes & Gardens interview, he described the constant questioning of his sexuality as “bizarre” and “outdated.”
“I’ve been really open with it with my friends, but that’s my personal experience; it’s mine,” he told the mag.
“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.”
He absolutely made a valid point there.
I’m also reminded of the fact that Harry was stifled during his time in One Direction and forced to tone down his true style in order to fit the mould carved out for him by the record label in order to cater to our supremely straight society.
So now that he’s free, he should be allowed to do whatever he damn well pleases without being questioned.
But as a powerful role model, is this fair to his queer fans who look up to him?
It’s such a contentious subject and one that I still have mixed feelings about, even after all the recent interviews discussing his sexuality and allegations of queerbaiting.
Live and let live, I say. But then again, doesn’t the LGBTQIA+ community deserve more from our role models?
Matty Galea is the Senior Entertainment Editor at PEDESTRIAN.TV, as well as our resident astrologer who pens our weekly horoscope series, ‘Your Horos Are Here’. He also Tweets about pop culture and astrology and posts spicy content on Instagram.