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Harry Styles: Gender 'Not That Important' In His Significant Other - VIDEO

Harry

One Direction-er and object of lust Harry Styles has hinted that bisexuality might be something he's down with. In a recent interview with ODE, Styles and band-mate Liam Payne were asked what their favorite traits are in a girlfriend. Liam replied, "Female...that's a good trait." No doubt responding to Liam's remark, Harry retorted,  "Not that important." 

Watch the interview for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Yes, Nick Jonas Is (Sort of) Queerbaiting His Gay Fans. So What?

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The Interplay is a special biweekly series exploring the intersections of sex, pop culture, and current events.

BY CHARLES PULLIAM-MOORE

Last week, Flaunt magazine published its highly anticipated profile of Nick Jonas. The conversation was everything that the pre-release photos of Jonas promised it would be. It was prosaic. It was splashy. Mostly though--it was sexy, or rather, it was about sex. There are songs on the eponymously titled Nick Jonas that the 22 year-old singer wants you to be getting down to. With one hand resting on his proverbial “sword,” Jonas frankly endorsed the idea of you having sex to his new album.  

Like many Disney Channel stars before him, Jonas grew up in the public spotlight. His image, like his music, is maturing as he reorients himself towards a different demographic. Purity rings may have worked to sell albums to pre-teen girls, but Jonas circa 2014 is obviously going for a new market. There’s a big difference between signing autographs during a mall tour and pseudo-stripping your way through the gay NYC club circuit. Make no mistake: Nick Jonas is undoubtedly queerbaiting his gay fans. He’d be a fool not to.

 

In 2013 LGBT buying power was projected to peak at about $830 billion dollars, a figure that Jonas’s representation, Island Records, is certainly aware of. In an interview with Pride Source, Jonas chafed at the idea that he was using his Apollo’s belt to drum up gay interest in his music.

Selfie_jonas"I think it's unfortunate that some people have to find a negative in every situation," he explained in response to allegations of queerbaiting. "Clearly my heart is in the right place, and more than anything, if they just looked at my life and my gay friends and the authentic nature of where my heart is, they'd just see that they're kind of ignorant."

“The nature of where we are today is, we're in a time where we need to make strides and step forward as a society and embrace all people from all different walks of life. When you're trying to make a bold statement like that, some people aren't gonna fall in line with that. And that's OK. You gotta stay on your own path.”

Like any savvy business person, Jonas is quick to point out that he loves his gay fans despite his being straight and he’s totally cool with the fact that a large number of men find him attractive. 

Queerbaiting, in its traditional, insidious usage refers to the practice in which content creators position themselves as being a part of the “queer community” through strategic artifice. Katy Perry may have actually enjoyed kissing a woman at some point in her life and Nicki Minaj has been known to sign a breast or two after a concert. 

Neither of these performers has come out as being queer, opting instead to flirt with the ideas of both implicit and explicit bisexuality or lesbianism. Katy and Nicki love their gay fans too, but their histories of fauxmosexuality are egregious in a way that Nick Jonas’s isn’t. Jonas is queerbaiting only in the sense that he’s being an attractive man in public and inviting gay men to hand over their cash as tribute to his abdominal muscles. 

The harms associated with queerbaiting manifest themselves most clearly within the context of television, where long character-arcs, plotlines, and fanbases commingle in a heady mix of storytelling, ratings, and advertising. In a lengthy analysis of the BBC’s Sherlock and TNT’s Rizzoli and Isles, Autostraddle’s Rose Bridges explains how the two shows have a history of poking fun at canonical homosexual subtext. In doing so, she reasons, the shows’ writers turn characters’ implied queerness into the butt of lazy jokes that alienate queer audiences:

Friend 1.1"Indeed, the idea behind “no homo” is both that homosexuality is little more than a gag, and also that it’s deviant and wrong some way – “of course we’re not gay, how could you even think that” is the underlying assumption behind the joke.

When it’s that deliberate as in the cases of Sherlock or Rizzoli & Isles, there is a distinct feeling that the creators are playing with LGBTQ – and invested-in-LGBTQ-relationships (since the core of the “Johnlock” fanbase is slash-fanfiction-writing straight women) – dollars, but don’t care enough about us that they’d risk actually offending homophobes with explicit queer representation."

Friend2The closest musical equivalent to Bridges’s model for queerbaiting are the members of One Direction. Search for “X kissing Y,” where X and Y are the first names of any two members of the band. You’re guaranteed to find thousands of results--gossip articles, videos, fanfiction, etc.--feverishly speculating about the boys’ sexuality. Are they gay? Who knows? More importantly: who cares?

At its core, queerbaiting is tied in the increasingly less factual idea that there aren’t enough LGBT figures in the media. Nick Jonas isn’t the bait dangling from the tip of a musical hook. Rather, he’s a male pop star working in the age of “peak hot guy.” Explicit male sexuality is a cultural commodity, and if Nick Jonas is to be successful, then Nick Jonas is going to have to give the public its pound of flesh.


One Direction Parties With Sumo Wrestlers, a Chimp and Danny DeVito in 'Steal My Girl' - VIDEO

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One Direction's new music video for their latest single "Steal My Girl" has the boys bringing "life to the desert" with the help of zoo animals, sumo wrestlers, some exotic dancers, a marching band and "the greatest artist of his generation" - Danny DeVito.

Watch the awesome randomness of it all, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sam Smith, Kylie, Elton John, One Direction and Others Unite for All-Star Charity Single: VIDEO

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Elton John, Sam Smith, Paul Simon, Florence Welch, Chrissie Hynde, One Direction, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell, Jake Bugg, Lorde, Emeli Sandé, Chris Martin, Kylie Minogue, Paloma Faith,  Brian May, Dave Grohl, and Brian Wilson are among the stars teaming up for a cover of the Beach Boys classic "God Only Knows" for the BBC's Children in Need charity.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Liam Payne Says 'I'm 100% Not Homophobic...Also Not Gay' After Alleged Nude Photo Leak

One Direction's Liam Payne spoke out on Twitter on Sunday after a series of grainy photos taken from a video allegedly showing the singer nude on a bed engaging in sexual acts with another man were posted to the social network and quickly spread.

2_paynePayne responded on Twitter:

“Wow as if people think that weird photo going around is actually me lol think id rather tweet a full frontal than have people look at that🙈"

He added, in a second tweet:

"I'm 100% not homophobic. But I'm also 100% not gay so when somebody says I am I'm gunna say I'm not which does not make me a homophobe"

As you may recall, Payne caused a stir on Instagram over the summer when he posted a blurred-out full-frontal of himself which later turned out to be a prank. He also faced the wrath of Twitter in January after a tweet he posted supporting Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson went viral.

Earlier this week:
One Direction's Niall Horan 'Cracks Up' Over Gay Rumors After 'Kissing' Vine Surfaces


One Direction's Niall Horan 'Cracks Up' Over Gay Rumors After 'Kissing' Vine Surfaces: VIDEO

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One Direction's Niall Horan spurred rumors on the internet today after a Vine allegedly showing the singer kissing a male companion gained popularity on social media. Niall himself responded to the speculation on Twitter, saying: "all these rumours huh? you guys Crack me up".

 

 

From what we can tell, the blurry video seems open to interpretation and most likely just shows Niall trying to talk to a friend in a loud club. Still, the Vine will no doubt keep the hopes of many a fanboy and girl alive and well.

Watch the video in question and decide for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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