1D frontman, Harry Styles, who keeps getting better looking every year (seriously, maturity agrees with this guy) recently made tongues wag with a very simple comment during an interview with On Demand Entertainment’s Lucy Jones. When asked what were four traits that they looked for “in a lady”, Liam (who once caused quite some controversy with his Twitter praise for Phil Robertson’s “family values”) immediately quipped, “Female; that’s an important trait.” In response, Harry shook his head nonchalantly and declared, “Not that important.” He went on to state that being “nice” and having a sense of humour were more desirable characteristics.
Let me say right off the bat that I don’t think that Liam was trying to come off as particularly homophobic, and his “female” answer was very likely just an attempt to be funny. I, however, don’t really think it was necessary, as the question already specifically mentioned “in a lady”. As such, Harry’s retort may just have been a witty jab at Liam’s redundancy. However, quite a few people would rather believe that there’s more to it than that and, to some extent, I count myself one of them.
Gay rumours have plagued Harry Styles for years but, then again, you can probably count the number of male celebrities who haven’t been plagued by gay rumours on one hand… and still have two fingers left over. For his part, Styles has neither ever confirmed nor denied the rumours (though his endless string of well-publicised romances with young female celebrities is clearly meant to speak louder than his words – or lack, thereof). However, he apparently quite enjoys the rumours, and whether or not there’s any merit to them, he does his best to keep them fuelled: wearing a marriage equality T-shirt in public, publicly backing Michael Sam etc.) This doesn’t even bring into play the entire fandom which ships “Larry Stylinson”, the couple name for alleged bandmate boyfriends Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. While there is no concrete proof that these two have ever been romantically involved, speculations fly wild, and all sorts of “evidence” is around. In this regard, I readily admit that I ship Larry Stylinson harder than almost any other couple in existence, fictional or real. And, for that, I choose to delude myself into thinking that Harry’s words hinted more at his sexual orientation than just mere interview chitchat.
Now, the legitimacy of Styles’ comments aside, his statement has provoked quite a bit of discussion. Like I said, there are those who are adamant that this is some sort of coming out, while others still argue that it was a mere joke. However, there are many who are using the opportunity to remind us that the comment may not be that black and white, and that Styles may be neither gay nor straight. After all, sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity are as fluid as Evian, and exist on a spectrum so broad that even the most renowned professionals have yet to understand it. So, perhaps Harry Styles isn’t heterosexual… that doesn’t mean that he’s homosexual either. He could fall somewhere between the two, or he could fall completely outside of them. Forcing a label on him – or on anyone – does nothing but perpetuate the false notion that sexual orientation exists within a frame of binary constraints and minimalises the dynamic nature of human sexuality. Not to mention there’s always the old adage that unless they’re sleeping with us, it’s none of our business.