In case you missed it, Halsey called out Buzzfeed on Twitter for an article written about female singers and their sexuality. The article, written by Shannon Keating and entitled “What Does A Queer Pop Star Look Like In 2016?”, aimed to address how lesbian and bisexual women in the music industry are forced to suppress their sexuality and adopt a more heteronormative persona.
While Keating’s main argument about heteroculture dominating our entertainment industry and causing female artists to comply with said culture, some of her more specific points weren’t phrased as well as they could have been. Keating made assumptions about female artists’ sexuality as a “phase” or a thing of the past, noting examples like Katy Perry, Jessie J, and Demi Lovato.
While I agree with Keating that the music industry makes it very difficult for LGBT+ women to flourish, I don’t think you can safely make assumptions about someone else’s sexuality and decisions. And Halsey didn’t think so either. In response to the article, published on September 16th, Halsey released a series of tweets calling out Buzzfeed. She has since deleted the tweets, but I have screenshots below from Nylon.
Jenny Lee, the author of the Nylon article covering Halsey’s response, writes, “While the article’s intention may not have been a negative one, the suggestion that Halsey is ‘toning down the queerness of her image’ directly plays into the notion that she must choose straight or gay, and Halsey seems to have taken issue with the undertones of bi-erasure in the article.”
Again, I am not criticizing Keating, because I think Buzzfeed’s article raises a lot of valid points. However, I don’t think it should have included a critique of Halsey’s sexuality and her life. Halsey identifies as bisexual, which isn’t a quantifiable label. You cannot “measure” how bisexual she is by analyzing the love interests in her music videos or highlighting her past romantic partners. In the words of Halsey herself, a “tiresome analysis of my 1 year in the public eye and the ignorance of 8+ years of sexual discovery to determine if I’m truly queer.”
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