Harry Styles unwrapped sophomore album ‘Fine Line’ this week to ample acclaim and stellar sales out of the gate.
But beyond its bopable music, the project has been interpreted by some as hinting heavily at Styles’ sexuality. With a sect of commenters citing the fluid flare of the video + lyrics of the LP’s lead single ‘Lights Up,‘ as well as Styles’ androgynous dress sense across the whole campaign.
In being an act who shuns the glare of the spotlight and the incessant attempts to pry into his private life, his silence on the matter (not that he owes anyone anything) has only served to the fuel the chatter.
Now, he’s setting the record straight. Or is he? See what we mean below…
In an interview with The Guardian, the former One Direction lead waxed candid on the discourse surrounding whether he’s gay, bi, or pandering for promotion.
Peep Styles’ answers in bold:
There’s a popular perception, I say, that you don’t define as straight. The lyrics to your songs, the clothes you choose to wear, even the sleeve of your new record – all of these things get picked apart for clues that you’re bisexual. Has anyone ever asked you though?
“Um. I guess I haaaaave been asked? But, I dunno. Why?”
You mean, why ask the question?
“Yeah, I think I do mean that. It’s not like I’m sitting on an answer, and protecting it, and holding it back. It’s not a case of: I’m not telling you cos I don’t want to tell you. It’s not: ooh this is mine and it’s not yours.”
What is it then?
I suppose my only question, then, is about the stuff that looks like clue dropping. Because if you don’t want people to care, why hint? Take the album sleeve for Fine Line. With its horizontal pink and blue stripes, a splash of magenta, the design seems to gesture at the trans and bisexual pride flags. Which is great – unless the person behind it happens to be a straight dude, sprinkling LGBTQ crumbs that lead nowhere. Does that make sense?
Styles nods. “Am I sprinkling in nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting? No.” As for the rest, he says, “in terms of how I wanna dress, and what the album sleeve’s gonna be, I tend to make decisions in terms of collaborators I want to work with. I want things to look a certain way. 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.”