In case you didn’t know, I f*cking love Hayley Kiyoko. I literally weep every time she comes out with a hella gay music video or song. So you better bet your queer ass that I am currently sitting on my millennial pink velvet couch crying over Kiyoko’s Pride cover for Nylon magazine.
Kiyoko is the covergirl for the FIRST. EVER. PRIDE. ISSUE. of Nylon. Yes, it’s their first Pride issue and a lesbian pop star extraordinaire is gracing the cover. Rainbow tears are now staining my couch. These moments that seem so simplistic from the outside, are monumental for queer women everywhere.
“I really just always wanted to perform and create art. I didn’t think I was gonna have such a connection with so many people. To be able to share that with others, and create a space and give them representation and inspire them to create hope is great. I didn’t think I had that power,” Kiyoko tells Nylon.
She speaks to the fact that when she was growing up, she felt starved for queer content that represented her reality. Kiyoko would jones after Marissa and Alex’s short-lived love story on The O.C. — same, tbh. I lived for Marissa and Alex. But neither actress was queer IRL. And that’s where Kiyoko comes in.
When she first started her career, she reminisces with Nylon that she didn’t want to be “put in a box” as a lesbian woman. But she quickly realized that it wasn’t a box — it was giving representation to a group of people who are so largely mis-represented or ignored altogether in mainstream media. “My fans have given me purpose, and without that purpose, I would be lost,” she told Nylon.
Kiyoko is the FIRST ever lesbian pop star to be signed on a major record label to create multiple music videos (directed by herself) where she is kissing and loving other women. Talk about badass. She is a role model for young queer girls who are questioning their identity. She is paving the way for queer women to follow in her footsteps and create MORE art and content that speaks to our nuanced and beautiful experiences with love.
This cover story with Nylon shows that Kiyoko is something utterly her own. Yes, we’ve had badass lesbian rockstars in Melissa Etheridge or Tegan and Sara — but we’ve never had a teen heartthrob lesbian pop star. And that’s exactly who Kiyoko is. She has swagger, but she’s tender. She’s smoking hot but she also cries on stage when she reads her fans signs.
“I think that’s why I feel like I’m living in a dream world right now. I always idolized how women looked at men growing up. I wanted to be wanted like that — but as a woman. I think that’s different. I don’t think the world has seen that yet. So I would love to be that person,” Kiyoko told Nylon.
Kiyoko also delves into her childhood and growing up with crushes on girl friends that she didn’t know how to process at the time. She now pulls inspiration from those very experiences that caused her so much pain. Those very experiences that so many queer women have also gone through. Which is why her content is very relatable for us.
At the end of the day, Kiyoko is simply a badass woman making art that speaks to her. But in the world we live in, she is so much more. The impact of her work reaches far beyond what she even imagined– Giving young gaybies heartthrob inspiration to hang on the back of their teenage room doors.