For some reason, music in general seems to have a pretty big problem with singers using same-gender pronouns to describe their lovers. Gay boyband members are still expected to sing exclusively about women and it was considered revolutionary when Troye Sivan and Frank Ocean used male pronouns. Often gay singers (Olly Alexander, Sam Smith) seem more likely to opt for the gender neutral ‘you’ when it comes to their songs, quite possibly due to pressure to appeal to a wider audience.
It’s pretty sad and when it comes to women loving women, there’s been hardly anything equal to the paltry representation that men in pop have (yes Hayley Kiyoko and Tegan and Sara exist but I’d argue they’re not as mainstream).
All of which is why this collaboration between Halsey and Lauren Jauregui (of Fifth Harmony) is so refreshing to listen to. It’s such explicitly purposefully gay pop music from two openly bi women and seeing people just like you in the music that you love, from artists that you love, is so affirming and really brings home how much I’ve been missing in representation.
LGBT music lovers deserve more from their LGBT idols than vague references to their sexuality (Demi Lovato‘s Cool for the Summer) or total avoidance of pronouns when hetero singers don’t even think twice about completely littering their songs with hetero pronouns and changing songs they cover to remind everyone how Straight they are.
Strangers is also musically amazing, very boppy with amazing vocals but that’s not what’s so special about it.
Coming in the same week as Rita Ora debuted the also Very Gay Girls with Charli XCX and Raye at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, it’s been a solid week for gay girls who like pop.