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November 8, 2014

Harry Styles on Gender: “It’s Not that Important.”

Harry_Styles,_2012

Harry Styles, the One Direction heartthrob has made a bold statement with reference to gender-neutral thinking regarding romantic relationships.

Harry has suggested that gender is not that important and that he would forsake choosing gender over qualities, such as, sense of humour and whether a potential love interest is nice to him.

While being interviewed by Lucy Jones for On Demand Entertainment, One Direction bandmates Harry Styles and Liam Payne were asked what qualities they look for in a potential lady.

Liam replies by saying, “Female, that’s a good trait,” whilst Harry shakes his head and interjects, “Not that important,” adding, “I would say sense of humor and natural… Someone who’s nice. You’re not gonna go out with a dickhead, are ya?”

While these comments will be rebuffed by many as just light-hearted remarks that could be taken out of context, the words will be given weight due to the fact that in the last few years Harry has been a strong supporter of the LGBT community.

Harry openly sports t-shirts with slogans, such as, “Love is Equal,” and at one of One Direction’s concerts Harry showed support for Michael Sam, the openly gay NFL player, by wearing a St. Louis Rams jersey with Sam’s name and number on it.

Harry is very aware that every word he speaks receives intense scrutiny. He is only 20 years old, but already shows signs that he is willing to stand up for what he believes in, regardless of the social media explosions that will follow.

Not that it matters whether Harry Styles is gay, straight or bisexual, the point here is the message that he is delivering to his fans and beyond. He is a man who seems very comfortable with his own sexuality and, being part of the biggest boy band globally, millions view him as a role model.

Despite being linked to a string of high profile women such as Taylor Swift, and supermodel Carla Delevingne, Harry’s sexual preferences are constantly questioned.

Harry has received constant questioning over his friendship with another bandmate, Louis Tomlinson, with fans labelling them Larry Stylinson (known as shipping when two names, of people in a romantic relationship, are formed to make one). Harry responds to the rumours in a 2013 interview with GQ Magazine saying, “Bisexual? Me? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I’m not.”

It appears that the media feels the need to pigeonhole Harry into a set a category: gay, straight or bi-sexual.

The idea of falling in love with the person for who they are rather than for gender seems the most natural thing on earth.

While we will all find different characteristics attractive and unattractive, surely the most beautiful thing about a person is their soul.

Some believe that sticking to gender roles is highly important in creating a healthily functioning society, while others believe that gender roles are limiting and force people into roles in which they are not comfortable.

Young people (and old!) should feel free to love whoever they choose to love based primarily on the qualities that they find attractive.

Every one has their opinion and their own preferences and I honestly believe that we should all keep the focus on our own lives, creating happy spaces for ourselves and allow others to live whatever life they choose for themselves.

 

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Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wikimedia Commons 

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