Harry Styles sparks huge online debate over queerbaiting (and some memes) with latest interview discussing gay sex

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Queerbaiting definition

 

Harry Styles’ latest magazine feature has prompted debate over both queerbaiting and forced-outing on social media. 

 

Pop heartthrob and global superstar Harry Styles became Rolling Stones‘ debut global cover star this week, with a feature titled “How Harry Styles Became the World’s Most Wanted Man”

 

During the interview, Styles chips in on the relentless public speculation about his sexuality, which has been a hot topic of conversation since he found fame on The X Factor UK all those years ago.

 

“Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone. If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something,” he said.

 

Although Styles gave a valid response to accusations of queerbaiting, it only seems to have provoked more allegations of… queerbaiting. 

 

Harry Styles on the Cover of Rolling Stone magazine
Harry Styles looking gorgeous on the Cover of Rolling Stone magazine (August, 2022). Cr: Rolling Stone

 

A veritable storm began brewing on social media over whether or not Harry was, if fact, queerbaiting, or if he was just staying private (which of course he has every right to do).

 

The internet’s response to Harry’s interview answers was truly divided – with even Grindr getting dragged into it at one point (more on that below) – and the conversation is showing no signs of slowing down.

 

However, while some folk were were focused on the (serious and actually very important) topics of queerbaiting and forced-outings, others picked up on a more light-hearted approach.

 

In the Rolling Stone feature, Harry talks about filming queer sex scenes for his new movie ‘My Policeman’, saying:

 

“So much of gay sex in film is two guys going at it, and it kind of removes the tenderness from it … [but it can be] tender and loving and sensitive”.

 

The internet gay Twitter soon latched on to this comment and, subsequently, the gays were keen to jovially and unapologetically defend their right to enjoy sex that is neither tender nor sensitive.

Like this…

 

 

While some adopted a more light-hearted response to the interview, others online – both LGBTQ+ folk and hardcore Harry fans – were less chilled. 

 

Now, this isn’t the first time Harry has been drawn on the topic of his sexuality. Only in April, for a feature with Better Homes & Gardens, he said:

“I’ve been really open with it with my friends, but that’s my personal experience; it’s mine”, adding: 

“The whole point of where we should be heading, which is toward accepting everybody and being more open, is that it doesn’t matter, and it’s about not having to label everything, not having to clarify what boxes you’re checking.”

 

However, many saw Harry’s answers in Rolling Stone as dismissive and/or minimising the severity of queerbaiting, saying his refusal to label his sexual orientation was damaging to individuals and the wider community.

 

While others defended his right to privacy and to live freely as however he feels is most authentic, questioning why people care so much about someone’s private information – regardless of their personal orientation – when they ultimately are supportive of LGBTQ+ rights. 

 

Here is a handful, in no particular order, of the commentary from Twitter. 

 

Feel free to share your thoughts over on our Insta – as ever, lively and open discussion is encouraged. Trolling and offensive comments, however, are not – replies will be moderated. 

 

See what you think (tw: charged LGBTQ+ opinions).

CULTURE

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