Our all-time favorite queer pop-star Hayley Kiyoko says that she will not back down in singing about her desire for women. Kiyoko released her new album “Expectations” on March 30 and it is filled to the brim with queer girl anthems. Three of the songs came with beautiful music videos directed by Kiyoko herself — and the best part? Every. Single. Video. Has. Girls. Loving. On. Girls.
This is a big deal, y’all. The majority of representation queer and trans people get is still filtered through the lens of white straight, cis men. And while Kiyoko says she’s gotten some criticism for the overt messages of her love of other women, she is committed to it. “I’ve had several music industry execs say, ‘You’re doing another music video about girls?’’’ Kiyoko told Refinery29. “I literally looked at them and was like, ‘Um, yeah … Taylor Swift sings about men in every single song and video, and no one complains that she’s unoriginal.’”
Kiyoko’s representation of queer love feels real because it is. She’s not doing it to get more views or sales, she’s showing queer love because she loves women.
Her latest video “Sleepover” tells the story almost every queer woman can relate to– the sleepovers we’d have as young girls where we’d be asked which boy in class we were crushing on or were asked to “practice” kissing each other for the boys. But for us, it maybe wasn’t so much practice as it was real desire. We see ourselves in her songs. We don’t have to change pronouns to make it relatable. I can’t imagine how different my high school years could have been if I had a role model like Kiyoko to jam out to in my bedroom while getting ready for school.
“I think no matter who you are or what you look like, you just wanna be a person, right?” Kiyoko tells Refinery29. “Sure, I’d love for people to just like me, and my music. But if I don’t allow labels, there’s no way to normalize them. Over time, my existence alone will help people see that a lesbian singer is just a singer. So while I might not want to constantly be asked about my sexuality and just be me, a big part of me is my love of women. So I guess I’m talking about it until it’s no longer seen as something to talk about.”
While many other celebrities prefer their sexual identity to be kept private and only allude to their queerness — Kiyoko recognizes the importance that labels can have. If we don’t speak out loud our truths, then it’s difficult to show the reality of our lives.
To that I say, all hail Lesbian Jesus Hayley Kiyoko.