Harry Styles’ life has been in the spotlight ever since he rose to global stardom. Perhaps his sexuality, out of all aspects of his life, gets the greatest deal of attention from the public. Now, the Grammy Award-winning artist isn’t holding back as he fired back at critics for ‘queerbaiting’ accusations.
Wikipedia defines queerbaiting as a “marketing technique for fiction and entertainment in which creators hint at, but then do not actually depict, same-sex romance or other LGBT representation.” Apparently, this is done to “bait” (really) queer or straight ally audiences with characters that appeal to them, while avoiding alienating its intended audience. TL;DR: Marketers want the gay money, but none of the actual depictions of the representation. Shocking.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Styles opened up about how separating his personal and public life had benefited him. According to the “Fine Line” singer, this “hasn’t been a choice he takes lightly.”
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“I’ve never talked about my life away from work publicly and found that it’s benefited me positively,” Styles said. “There’s always going to be a version of a narrative, and I think I just decided I wasn’t going to spend the time trying to correct it or redirect it in some way.”
Along with Styles choosing to keep things private comes the rumor mill about his sexuality.
Rumors about his sexuality have become louder particularly when the singer started to experiment with his fashion and embrace gender fluidity. At one point, critics accused him of “queerbaiting” — a term that refers to someone benefiting from presenting themselves as queer without explicitly identifying themselves as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Styles broke his silence about the arguments that attempt to define his sexuality, saying that he finds it funny. “Sometimes, people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone,” he said.
“If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something,” he added.
The former One Direction member also mentioned his sexuality while talking about the period drama film My Policeman, where he played the character of Tom, a police officer in the 1950s who began a same-sex affair.
“I think everyone, including myself, has your own journey with figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it,” Styles said.
“It’s not like, ‘This is a gay story about these guys being gay.’ It’s about love and about wasted time to me,” he continued, describing the upcoming film’s theme.
This isn’t the first time Styles had opened up about his sexuality. Earlier this year, the singer told Better Homes & Gardens that the public’s expectation of him publicly defining his sexuality is “outdated.”
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“I’ve been really open with it with my friends, but that’s my personal experience; it’s mine,” Styles said. “It doesn’t matter, and it’s about not having to label everything, not having to clarify what boxes you’re checking.”
Currently, Styles is dating actor and director Olivia Wilde, where the couple met on the set of Don’t Worry Darling, in which Wilde was the director and Styles starred alongside Florence Pugh. The two were first spotted holding hands at Jeff Azoff’s, Styles’ manager, wedding. Since then, Styles and Wilde had been photographed going out and about while being cute and cozy with each other.
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