Harry Styles Is Over “Outdated” Pressure to Label His Sexuality
Pop star Harry Styles, whose sexuality has long been the subject of public conjecture, revealed in a recent interview that he’s frankly a little sick of the “outdated” speculation.
In an exclusive conversation with the magazine Better Homes and Gardens ahead of his third album Harry’s House, Styles said that his refusal to clarify his sexuality — even as his queer following continues to speculate about the meaning behind his elaborate dresses and his affinity for waving Pride flags at shows — is actually quite intentional.
“I’ve been really open with it with my friends, but that’s my personal experience; it’s mine,” Styles 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.”
Styles has faced criticism in the past from some LGBTQ+ fans for declining to label his sexuality, with some accusing him of implying queerness in aesthetics and lyrics merely for marketing purposes. In a 2019 interview with the Guardian, Styles pushed back against this argument, stating that he was not “sprinkling in nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting,” and expressing a “who cares” attitude when it came to speculations about his sexuality.
But the speculations have continued nonetheless, most recently with the pop star’s performance at this year’s Coachella music festival, in which he sang while hoisting a Pride flag offered up to him by the audience. At the festival, Styles also debuted a new song called “Boyfriends” with lyrics about bad boyfriends who “take you for granted” and know “just how to get under your skin.”
In the Better Homes interview, the former One Direction star added that he once felt “ashamed” of his sex life. “For a long time, it felt like the only thing that was mine was my sex life,” he said. “But I think I got to a place where I was like, why do I feel ashamed? I’m a 26-year-old man who’s single; it’s like, yes, I have sex.”
The new album, which debuted its jaunty first single “As It Was” earlier this month ahead of its May 20 release, is about “metamorphosis,” according to Styles. He added in the interview that he finally feels free to make the kind of music he actually wants to make: “I just want to make stuff that is right, that is fun, in terms of the process, that I can be proud of for a long time, that my friends can be proud of, that my family can be proud of, that my kids will be proud of one day.”
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