Disclaimer: This is a convoluted and I hope well-nuanced exploration of a difficult subject. I want to handle it with care and be fair, but I also want to be totally honest about what I feel and think, and not censor myself for the sake of political correctness. Remember, my thoughts don’t have to be yours, and no this isn’t an invitation for you to tell me how wrong you think I am because I simply don’t care.
Disclaimer: I was gonna put a disclaimer here about this post being harshly critical of Harry at some points, but then I thought, no, phuck off I’m tired of making disclaimers. Don’t read my stuff if you’re easily offended and quick to defend celebrities who don’t know or care that we exist. It just won’t be a good time for you.
Page One: Billy Porter’s Criticism of Harry Styles “The Queerbaiter”
Page Two: Harry Styles Used To Be “Open”
Page Three: Final Thoughts
Harry “daring” to be open in 2019 taught him a major lesson, I daresay. That being: truth is a bitch, truth is a chore, and truth hurts, so let’s hide behind yet another filthy and obnoxious lie. I simply cannot stomach this level of dishonesty. Fakers and liars deeply repel me, and they inhibit me from seeing anything positive about the people who exhibit these unforgivable traits. Curses! (**shakes fist at the heavens**) I never thought I would feel that way about Harry Styles.
Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit he did try to be “open” and tried to live his truth in late 2019 and early 2020; but I suppose to little avail. However, can we really give him credit for doing something “brave” or “honest” when he ultimately pulled an extreme 180, erased and overshadowed the openness he attempted last year, and then made himself look like a shallow hypocrite by falling face first into an PR gimmick with an attention whore and pseudofeminist?
As long as Harry keeps that woman around who shamelessly ditched her fiancé of 7 years to date an employee, and who abandons her children constantly to follow him around the country wearing his merch like a deranged groupie, he will never not look like a hypocrite who employs deceptive marketing tactics to maintain a broad audience. Everything he once stood for just comes off as manipulation of late, and clearly I’m not the only one who feels that way.
In an interview with British paper The Sunday Times, Porter argued there was a disconnect in the opportunities afforded to him as a Black, gay man and those given to Styles. “I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to,” he said. “I created the conversation (about non-binary fashion) and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time.”
“I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it,” he said. “I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but… He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life. I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars,” Porter continued. “All (Styles) has to do is be white and straight.”
I’m happy Billy spoke up because it shows that not everyone is buying what Harry and his team are selling, and it sends the message that their tactics are transparent and will not hold up much longer.
Although Billy may not have been the first man to ever challenge gender norms (Freddie Mercury and Prince) nor don a ball gown (tbh I don’t know what other famous male has done this??) he tends to do so consistently, unapologetically, and has made headlines for doing so at major industry events long before Harry ever dared.
Although Harry has attributed his fashion inspiration to other unlikely influences like Shania Twain, it’s clear he felt brave enough to do what he did as a man on the cover of Vogue because of men like Billy Porter (and others) who started the conversation and are helping to destigmatize the idea of non-binary fashion in it’s most extreme forms as a way of life, not just a fleeting fad.
Regardless of whether you completely agree with Billy or not, his broader point was 1000% valid. That being: Harry seems to be a straight white male who only dates females, and who (unlike Billy who has had to overcome a great deal to champion non-binary dress and considers it a political statement and a LIFESTYLE not just a fad) Harry doesn’t seem to actually care about any of the issues he pretends to care about. According to Billy, he theoretically seems to be doing things just because they are the thing to do at the time, and that is arguably illustrated with how much he flip flops when it comes to his public persona.
People try to critique what Billy said about Harry’s Vogue article by pointing out that other people paved the way for non-binary dress before Billy did so himself, but that strikes me as a bit of a strawman argument. Here’s why:
Billy was clearly making a much broader point about Vogue as an establishment. Mainly how their choice of representation for that historical cover (first male ever) was a fickle young white dude who admittedly doesn’t take the non-binary clothing movement as seriously as someone like Billy does. He was pointing out Harry’s perceived “white privilege” which Harry has pointed out himself, yet like many other white celebrities he still accepts undeserved honors and opportunities that could be shared among people who are less priviledged and less represented.
Billy was also making a broader point about Harry as a person. That being: (this is my interpretation of Billy’s point) how Harry’s interest in non-binary fashion seems superficial. Also how he seems to be a straight, cis-gendered white dude (woke society’s public enemy #1) appropriating queer culture for shock value and marketing purposes.
And even if Harry is not actually straight, you can’t really get mad at Billy for assuming he is based on the image that Harry makes a concerted effort to project onto the world. In no reality is it implausible that Billy would conclude Harry is straight based on how he only ever dates women publicly, and also how he makes headlines for saying his songs are about “the female orgasm”, and how he makes a concerted effort to convince the world he’s obsessed with pu$$y.
I suppose ultimately what people are sensing about Harry that disturbs them so much (whether or not they can put a finger on it or describe it precisely with the correct label) is that he is a fraud and a faker (and I must admit that he very much is.) These people just don’t understand that the fake part and the somewhat fraudulent part is the occasional “straight guy” act he pulls in front of the paparazzi and in the media when he openly talks about “the female orgasm”.
The fact that anyone would describe Harry as “straight” these days shows how hard he works to mislead the public by only dating females and pushing his relationships with these females to the forefront of his marketing in both music and film, as opposed to, oh you know, just letting his work speak for itself! Harry is 1000% irrefutably and undeniably a narrative-pusher.
That was demonstrated with how he recorded an ex-girlfriend on a track about their breakup??? And how it was strategically done so that it would become the focal point of the album and became the only topic of concern whenever people discussed his music in the media???
Just like his first album which the media openly links to Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift by Harry’s design. (I don’t care if he has a good reason for the narrative pushing, that doesn’t change the fact that he does do it and will do so again for his next album.)
He also now wants to tell the world Watermelon Sugar is about “the female orgasm” and have an entire arena of young girls shouting “pu$$y” at him every night as he runs around like a manic teenager asking “what does it taste like?” Whether he likes pu$$y or not is irrelevant here. If he doesn’t have the balls to ever come outright and talk about how much he likes dick or that he’s written about a man or that he’s dated a man, then everything he’s doing is calculated, inauthentic, and corny.
He also brings his “girlfriend” to 90% of his entire tour and allows her to dance like a cringy mid-life crisis at every show. He has also implanted a similar “straight” narrative into his acting legacy. Consequently anyone who talks about his resume will undoubtedly mention how he began sleeping with the director of his second movie, that being the tacky and unprofessional Olivia Wilde from “Don’t Worry Darling.”
His media-adored (*gags*) relationship with Olivia Wilde will strategically overshadow the fact that he played a closeted gay man in “My Policeman” (which I believe he signed up for when he as in the mindset of being “open and honest”) so as not to give anyone the impression he may be one himself! Oh gosh, can’t have people thinking he genuinely likes men. We can put him in fishnets and a ball gown and let him wear purses and paint his nails because that’s a playful and woke queer persona he can slip on and off at his convenience, but GOD FORBID anybody sincerely thinks he likes men! That is still TABOO.
Even the possibility that he is “bi” can only be hinted at and never actually confirmed because how else will he keep the hetero audience interested??? Once it’s known for a fact that a man fucks other men then it becomes irreparable, right? There’s no slipping that persona on and off at leisure, so it’s best Harry sticks with only showing the world he fucks women and that he loves pu$$y so much he wrote a song about it!
Since he chose that route, he really can’t get mad at people calling him out for how phony he seems. Consequently, to many it seems like Harry doesn’t actually care about queer issues since he’s not queer himself. He comes off as a deceptive marketer and an exploiter of identity politics. A less charitable label he’s earned over the years would be “queerbaiter.”
Page Two: Harry Styles Used To Be “Open”