Op/Ed: Dear Harry Styles, What ARE You Trying to Say?

Harry Styles has been pussyfooting around the issue of his sexuality for years now, and now it has come to a head: is the former boy-bander tapping at the door of the LGBTQ+ community for headlines or is he truly 'family'? Should we care? Do we care?

HomoCulture Gay Culture Triston Brewer

This article was published on April 25th, 2022

A deep dive into Harry’s hole of mystery…

The former boy bander has been making headlines and dominating airwaves since going solo from the hit group One Direction, but in the last few years as his public profile has raised significantly from simply singer to full on thespian (and now possibly part-time lesbian – if you let him tell it, anyway).

Photo credit: HS/MEGA TheMegaAgency.com

But barely two albums into a solo career that will only ascend more thanks to the confirmation of his artistry by industry icons (we see you, Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stones!), the question on many people’s lips (and those of the nether-region area as well) is if Harry is teasing the LGBTQ+ community with his ‘is he or isn’t he?’ stance or if he really (un)cut from a cloth that truly does not give a flying f*ck when it comes to sexuality, gender, and the other plethora of labels that many of his stature are forced to assign themselves once they reach a very high public profile?

Harry meanders betwixt and between the proverbial box(es).

Girls who want boys
Who like boys to be girls
Who do boys like they’re girls
Who do girls like they’re boys
Always should be someone you really love

– Blur

Even if you are not a member of the LGBTQ+ community, as a pop fan (and lover of gorgeous faces), you have noticed that Harry has been letting his freak flag fly at least at half-mast over the last few years. #TeamReceipts has reported on how Harry has been waving Pride flags at his concerts since his tour in 2018, and when asked directly about his leanings, he famously said, “We’re all a little bit gay.” That statement alone was enough to get the queers all in a tizzy, and once he began wearing clothes that are in direct contention with the heteronormative?


But haven’t we seen this before in our pop stars?

From David Bowie and George Michael, to Lady Gaga and Demi Lovato currently, just about every other pop star these days, the (counter)culture has seen a dramatic shift in sexuality and gender fluidity that is becoming less and less of an issue and this may be the very reason why Harry is being both celebrated and vilified in the media. Maybe he doesn’t particularly care about sexuality all that much, but when it comes to whose no-no holes, he might be more inclined to fall into?

Oh, there are questions! 

Harry, bi the way…

The LGBTQ+ community wants Harry to be on their team sooooo badly, and as the straight people cling to him for dear life, Harry – in his own defense – has been publicly linked to actress Olivia Wilde since January 2021. Do you think that has stopped the queers from trying to steer him over to the sunnier side of Castro Street?

Hell to the no!

And when asked about his sexuality yet again, Styles made his PR team proud by answering with another gray response: “I’m pretty sure I’m not.

In 2022, should we even care that this man gives not a care in the world about labeling his sexuality? Is Harry Styles collectively trying to tell the world that we are too caught up in labels and that we all should just get on with our lives? How many women does Harry have to date before fans (and foes) stop counting the receipts and just go with the flow? But even his close friends may not be so sure either, with one Tom Hull telling him: “Just date amazing women, or men, or whatever, who are going to fuck you up… Let it affect you and write songs about it.”

Tastes like strawberries
On a summer evenin’
And it sounds just like a song
I want your belly
And that summer feelin’
I don’t know if I could ever go without

– Harry Styles, ‘Watermelon Sugar’

And if you don’t know what these lyrics are about, you have been living under a cloud and need to be slapped within an inch of your life with Tiger Beat magazine.

Harry will wear what he damn well pleases, thank you very much!

“In terms of how I wanna dress… Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it looks cool. And more than that, I dunno, I just think sexuality’s something that’s fun. Honestly? I can’t say I’ve given it any more thought than that.”

Harry has taken men’s fashion and re-calibrated in such a way that even the straightest of straight men have begun considering adding some high-waisted trousers, sparkly boots, and possibly even pearl necklaces to their wardrobes. For those of you that know anything about the history of clothes and trends, they nearly always begin with the underground (read: the queer community) and then seep into mainstream culture from there. Is this why Harry is being dragged into the LGBTQ+ box so often? Is it impossible for straight men to be clueless about fashion? Perhaps Harry represents the next reincarnation of socially conscious men that are more concerned about the journey as opposed to the destination?

Harry is the personification of the sign of our times…

To paraphrase one famous pop icon: Just leave him alone. 

His pronouns.
His pearls.
His pomposity. 

Or in his own words?

We don’t talk enough
We should open up
Before it’s all too much
Will we ever learn?
We’ve been here before
It’s just what we know

Stop your crying, baby
It’s a sign of the times

Let it BE.
Let him be.

That is all. 


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