Harry Styles straight again

Why saying Harry Styles’ new look means he’s ‘straight again’ is tediously problematic

Let’s all grow up please


The discourse surrounding Harry Styles is many things, but one thing it literally ALWAYS is is exhausting. Harry Styles has reached the calibre of celebrity and fandom that whatever move he makes, how he chooses to do his hair, what he chooses to wear all spark conversation and debate. It feels like for years now the odiously boring conversation on whether Harry Styles has been “queerbaiting” or not is a never ending pollution across social media and the more yawn inducing side of Reddit – but now, it’s pivoted in a new direction thanks to how Harry Styles looked when he went to watch a footie game the other day, with people saying he’s now “straight again”. O-kay.

Just a very bizarre opinion to be fronted with, in my opinion. And even more bizarre to see it’s currently sitting on 138,000 likes – which either means that many people genuinely believe such trite nonsense or they think it’s funny. It’s got to a boring area of the discourse where it doesn’t matter if Harry Styles rocks up in the pretty bog standard, neutral outfit he did or wears a feather boa as per his Love On Tour era – he’d be spoken about with the word queerbaiting not fair behind.

I think where this gets really problematic is that it’s sort of all centred on the nonsensical. If Harry Styles is bi, gay, queer – any of those things being entirely his business to keep to himself or share when he wants – then why would he suddenly not be if he wears a muted colour, goes the footie or cuts his hair shorter? I feel like the fact I’m even having to voice this makes me feel like I’ve fell down a time slip to 2010 or something. And what I find even more baffling is that the outfit in question is a shirt and sweater vest, big 70s vibes – isn’t that how Harry’s been dressing for … years? So we’re saying all this Harry Styles ‘is straight again’ because he’s cropped his hair short? Do me a favour.

— 🤍masterbeef🤍 (@newgamertag) February 19, 2024

Was particularly riled at this one, which suggests the reason that Harry Styles isn’t walking into a footie match with a feather boa on and some pink palazzo trousers is because Love On Tour has ended and so has the album cycle – therefore he has not interest in… Your guess is as good as mine. No interest in being gay, of which he more than likely isn’t anyway? No interest in appealing to gays? Why are we pretending that over half of every stadium on Love On Tour wasn’t filled with heterosexual women?

It’s all just very weird, to be honest with you. I am writing this as a gay man, and whether Harry Styles is presenting himself in whatever way he’s seen fit I have never once felt “queerbaited”. I have not spent the last few years of my life thinking Harry Styles was LGBTQ+ – just that he was a massive ally and someone who wasn’t afraid to be a bit flamboyant from time to time. Even if he was gay or bi or whatever it would make a grand total of zero difference to my life or to my enjoyment of his music.

If your first thought when you see a pop star with shorter hair at a footie game is “oh, Harry Styles is straight again” – you need an urgent life.

@harrisonjbrock

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