The day people’s sexuality stops being a gossipy conversation topic it’ll mean we’re finally free of labels & norms. Meanwhile, Harry Styles’s pink feathery outfits are still confusing. Is he gay, bisexual, or just copying Elton John? There’s a meme of Harry Styles waving the bisexual flag way too many times at a concert, but what does this mean? And him being bisexual is the last thing we’re referring to.
Harry Styles has shown to be the most talented One Direction former member, also the most “politically correct” one and funny at the same time, a meme icon definitely. Now that we think of it, Harry has been a meme figure since he started being public, especially around his bromance with Tomlinson. Also, his flagrant outfits are meme material on their own, like that campy yellow bird costume for his album shooting.
Anyhow, let’s not forget that not everything around this is funny, and there are discourses we should be more conscious about. Pride month is just around the corner and besides binge-watching LGBT+ series and listening to Mother Gaga, we should question what’s happening with the movement. The end of the rainbow does promise a potential market covered in gold, but where is Styles situated in this scenario? Here’s all you really need to know.
Is Harry Styles bisexual?
Styles has been asked about his sexual orientation for years, still, labels can be tricky, so is making them visible. In a world where the norm weighs as it does, it’s important to have a name to hold on to, but in the end, we’re always changing and sexuality does too. Binarism goes further than being straight, it refers to a binary thought as well, where a grayscale does not exist and change of plans is forbidden.
Let’s not forget there was a time Ricky Martin was publicly “straight”, so Styles dating women and using nail polish can mean a lot of things as it can also mean nothing. In a 2013 interview Styles was asked if he was bisexual, and his response was “I’m pretty sure I’m not.” Some years later in 2017, he said that he doesn’t like to label his sexuality.
In 2019, in an interview with The Guardian, Styles got asked if he was bisexual again but this time his response wasn’t tender at all, people get tired of self-explaining. He said: “You respect that someone is gonna ask. And you hope they might respect they might not get an answer”. He also mentioned that the way he dresses has nothing to do with looking gay or more interesting, but to use something he finds cool.
Styles mentioned self-acceptance has been a big part of the way he makes decisions and mentioned how “lines have been blurred” in music, sexuality, and fashion. It’s completely valid not to showcase sexual orientation, no matter if it’s public figures we’re talking about, yet, Styles does walk over a delicate field, here’s why.
Why is Harry’s sexuality relevant?
Although Styles has always openly shown himself, his sexuality is a blurry territory, and honestly, no one is obligated to explain anything. However, things change if you’re profiting from a political cause you’re not part of and Harry has sold several LGBT+ merchandise, like his 2018 Pride t-shirts. This is definitely the only “shady” or somehow punishable thing the singer has actually done.
When it comes to selling Pride merch without being queer (sometimes even being so) is definitely questionable. The same goes for all the times he used queer flags at concerts, yet, it all depends on the intentions behind it. He could be taking some profit from being perceived as “woke” or he might just be a well-intentioned ally.
Nevertheless, it isn’t that simple to point fingers at Styles for aesthetic appropriation. This might reaffirm straight or not outed queer men are not allowed to wear anything that isn’t masculine. However, there’s a thin line between appropriating the LGBT+ aesthetic and breaking masculinity standards being a straight man.
Styles does break gender stereotypes and has all the right to keep his sexuality private. But as a public figure who stands & benefits from a queer audience making his position clear would be ideal.
We’re queer, we’re here, and people are getting used to it, especially in June when a whole market target suddenly becomes visible. This isn’t a call to cancel pinkwashing, nor Harry Styles, but to be critical of the discourses behind the products & experiences we consume.