Harry Styles “likes to cultivate an aura of sexual ambiguity” Rolling Stone noted in a new cover story on the One Direction-gone-solo star. Styles also became known for waving rainbow flags on stage at his concerts. The magazine asked him what those flags mean to him.
Replied Styles: “I want to make people feel comfortable being whatever they want to be. Maybe at a show you can have a moment of knowing that you’re not alone. I’m aware that as a white male, I don’t go through the same things as a lot of the people that come to the shows. I can’t claim that I know what it’s like, because I don’t. So I’m not trying to say, ‘I understand what it’s like.’ I’m just trying to make people feel included and seen.”
“On tour, he had an End Gun Violence sticker on his guitar; he added a Black Lives Matter sticker, as well as the flag,” the magazine notes.
Added Styles: “It’s not about me trying to champion the cause, because I’m not the person to do that. It’s just about not ignoring it, I guess. I was a little nervous to do that because the last thing I wanted was for it to feel like I was saying, ‘Look at me! I’m the good guy!’ I didn’t want anyone who was really involved in the movement to think, ‘What the fuck do you know?’ But then when I did it, I realized people got it. Everyone in that room is on the same page and everyone knows what I stand for. I’m not saying I understand how it feels. I’m just trying to say, ‘I see you.’”
Styles finished his solo world tour a little more than a year ago at The Forum in Los Angeles.
During the concert he reacted to a gay fan who was holding up a sign for the singer.
Said Styles after approaching the fan: “Can I read [the sign]? It says ‘I’m gay and I love you.’”
“I love you as well,” Styles replied. “Thank you for coming. I mean, we’re all a little bit gay.”
Styles showed support for the LGBTQ community throughout the tour. He sold tour merchandise – rainbow t-shirts with the phrase “Treat People With Kindness” – that benefited GLSEN. He held up a rainbow flag that said “Make America Gay Again”.
Styles was tight-lipped when asked about his sexuality in a 2017 interview with UK tabloid The Sun.
“It’s weird for me — everyone should just be who they want to be,” said Styles. “It’s tough to justify somebody having to answer to someone else about stuff like that.”
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When asked if he gives his sexual orientation a label, Styles said: “No, I’ve never felt the need to really. No.”
But he praised artists like Miley Cyrus, who do discuss it: “Being in a creative field, it’s important to be progressive. People doing stuff like that is great.”
Styles also told a French talk show that he sees LGBT equality as something that’s “fundamental” and not political.
In 2014, Styles told One Direction bandmate Niall Horan “Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it,” when Horan was asked about dating men.