Is Harry Styles Ashamed of Being Straight? by Brendan O’Neill
This seems similar to an editorial I excerpted on this blog a few months ago.
For those of you over the age of 35 (as I am), Harry Styles is a twenty-something British pop singer who makes mostly terrible pop music, and he sometimes dabbles in movie acting.
(Yes, I marginally keep up with contemporary music, and yes, the majority of it is trash. To Silent Gen, Baby Boomers, Gen X: keep your old mp3s, cassette tapes, vinyl albums, or CDs.)
Queer, genderqueer, genderfluid, pansexual, demisexual — these are the preferred identities of the new generation
August 24, 2022
Celebrities used to dread being outed as gay. Now they seem to dread being outed as straight. Consider Harry Styles. The poor fellow seems to live in constant fear of being exposed as a boring old heterosexual.
Mr. Styles, the current king of pop, dances around questions about his sexuality. It’s “outdated” to define your sexuality, he says. We shouldn’t have to “label everything,” he insists. Why should you have to go around clarifying “what boxes you’re checking,” he said to an interviewer.
…Where those guys [previous closeted homosexual celebrities such as singer George Michael] ducked and dived queries about their sexuality because society was still pretty homophobic back then, and therefore honesty was not an option for many homosexuals, Styles seems to erm and ahh on the sexuality question because he cannot bring himself to say: “I’m straight.”
[Styles is apparently hetero – he doesn’t give any signs of being anything but hetero]
…And yet when this was put to him by Rolling Stone this week, he got defensive again. “Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone,” he said.
You have, Harry. You’ve been publicly linked with women. It’s OK. There’s no shame in straightness.
If there were a straight version of a gaydar — a straightdar? — most people’s would go off if they encountered Styles. So why can’t he just say he’s heterosexual? Or at least that he’s mainly dating women right now?
It’s because something very odd is happening with sexuality among late millennials (like Harry) and the even younger Generation Z. Many of them seem absolutely desperate to avoid the tag of “heterosexual.”
They’d rather be anything but straight. Queer, genderqueer, genderfluid, pansexual, demisexual — these are the preferred identities of a new generation that thinks heterosexuality is for boring old farts.
…The number of young people identifying as LGBTQIA etc is soaring.
….Get this: between 2017 and 2021, the proportion of American Gen Z-ers who identify as LGBTQ rose from 10.5 percent to 20.8 percent. Now, either Alex Jones was right all along and there’s something in the water turning people “queer,” or there’s some kind of social contagion taking place here.
Some will say that the reason more young people are identifying as something other than heterosexual is because it has become more socially acceptable to do so, and that’s a good thing.
There may be a little truth in this. But it cannot be the entire explanation. I just do not believe that 20 percent of American youths are non-straight. Rather, I think they’ve imbibed the new, social-media-fueled trend for being queer, genderqueer, genderfluid, pansexual or whatever — anything but straight.
I would also dispute that this fashion for “queerness” — where even mortified straights feel the need to adopt a queer persona — is good for gay rights.
After all, the new rage for identifying with some seemingly exotic sexuality sits fairly well with the rise of what we might call woke homophobia. Consider the number of gay boys and young lesbians who now find themselves on the transgender conveyor belt, being offered medical treatment to cure their “confusion.”
…There is little healthy in any of this. Straights ashamed of being straight, homosexual youths wondering if they’re bigots for being attracted to people on the basis of sex rather than gender identity — what a mess.