Like it or not, Harry Styles has seen how his sexuality has been at the center of multiple conversations for several years. Whether it’s for her fashion choices in magazine poses or professional events (from skirts to dresses), or for leaving the answer up in the air every time a journalist dared to ask her, the truth is that the matter haunts her. And he didn’t do much to settle it, either. In my opinion, he is fully entitled to it. Nobody should care, just as there’s nothing wrong with him dressing however he really wants. Personally, I applaud his freedom and the example that he spreads throughout the world of doing, being and dressing as best he feels represented.
But that does not mean that the temita has been bringing tail for a long time. And now that he will premiere My Policeman on Prime Video in October, a series where he plays a policeman who explores his bisexuality through a relationship with a woman and another with a man, it was inevitable that the press would start asking him. However, for an artist adored by the LGBTQ community, who contributes his grain of sand in the fight for equality with personal freedom as a flag and who, in addition, has just played a character that represents them, he seems to know nothing of what is cooked in the modern representation in cinema and series.
Since in 2017 he said in an interview with Bizarre that he had never felt the need to label himself sexually, the matter has not stopped haunting him. “I don’t feel that it is something that I have never felt that I have to explain about myself” he added and a year later he premiered one of his songs in a concert -which he never published later- that many pointed out as a kind of bisexual anthem . It was about Medicine, whose lyrics said “The boys and girls are here. I play with it and it seems fine to me” (Billboard). On several occasions, Harry Styles spoke of the non-existent line that he perceives between masculinity and femininity, adapting his artistic visions according to the people with whom he wants to collaborate and not because there is a sexual identification involved. But as much as he tried to settle the issue by making it clear that his sexuality is not something he feels the need to expose to the world, (“Who cares?” he told The Guardian in 2019), the issue has not stopped treading on him. the heels.
Some may believe that he is capitalizing on the confusion to attract more (if possible) the LGBTQ community to his music and concerts. In the aforementioned interview he clearly stated that this is not the case and that he just wants everyone to feel welcome at his shows, rainbow flags included. However, his last words in another meeting with Rolling Stone reveal the lack of knowledge that he seems to have when it comes to that community that adores him and that, indirectly, represents with that ambiguity that, like it or not, he chases.
When the pandemic forced him to cancel his tour in 2020, Harry Styles took the opportunity to spread wings as an actor after his first, and well-received, foray into Dunkirk. First it was the turn Don’t worry dear, the thriller directed by his girlfriend Olivia Wilde that will hit theaters on September 23, and then moved to the universe of the series with the intimate drama My Policeman. In this story he plays Tom, a policeman who begins a secret relationship with a museum curator (David Dawson) in the context of the 1950s, when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK. While at the same time he is looking to marry a teacher named Marion (Emma Corrin).
“Obviously it’s quite incomprehensible now to think, ‘Oh, you couldn’t be gay. It was illegal,'” Styles told the magazine. “I think everyone, including me, has their own journey to discover sexuality and become more comfortable with it.” While the series is a very human story, without sexual labels involved. “It’s not like, ‘This is a gay story about these guys being gay.’ It’s about love and wasting time for me.”
And here I noticed the first sentence that squeaks. For Styles to say that it might be incomprehensible to us to think it was illegal to be gay leads me to believe that the singer-actor lives in his own Western cosmopolitan bubble. In other words, it shows me an apparent lack of knowledge of the reality that this community still lives, today, in several countries. Because no, it is not incomprehensible unfortunately. There are no fewer than 69 countries that still have laws criminalizing homosexuality (nearly half are African). Certain territories are taking measures, but the discrimination and penalization for being homosexual sadly continues in many places.
On the other hand, Harry Styles adds that the director wanted to give importance to intimacy and emotional connection in the male sexual scenes. “A lot of gay sex on film is two guys doing it, and it kind of removes all the cuteness […] There will be, I imagine, some people who watch it who were very much alive during this time when it was illegal to be gay, and [Michael] I wanted to show that he is tender, loving, and sensitive.”
Okay, sentence number two. That image of desperately rough and crude Brokeback Mountain gay sex scenes is a thing of the past. Long time. From small movies like Firebird (2021), which captured the passionate love between two soldiers during the Cold War, to blockbusters like Rocketman (2019) where Taron Egerton and Richard Madden conveyed the intimacy of the act in a delicate and sensitive scene.
Although it is true that the cinema has frequently fled from the explicit representation of homosexual sex, in recent years we have witnessed ‘references’ that speak to us of an intimate, passionate and tender act. Just what Harry Styles points out as if it were something that did not exist in modern audiovisual art. From A single man to Call me by your name, Supernova, The power of the dog, etc. While the series win the game by doing exactly what the director of My Policeman intends to capture according to the singer.
From the sequence of almost 10 minutes that bordered on the explicit in the first season of American God (chapter 3) where a man from the Middle East (Omid Abtahi) had sex with a taxi driver God. The scene was extremely physical but conveyed the emotional connection the characters had forged just by touching hands. Or the scene from the second season of Pose (episode 8) that made history by capturing the first sexual scene between two black, queer and HIV-positive men. And to them we can add Queer as folk, True Blood, etc.
When it comes to movies and series, taboos have long been breaking down when it comes to capturing sex for all sexual orientations in adult content. There are those that use the suggestion without showing the act, such as Sex Education, and those that go through the hoop of the explicit. So if the director of My Policeman wants to show that homosexual sex is “tender, loving and sensitive”, great. Another point in favor of equality for the LGTBQ community. But to say that “a lot of gay sex in movies is two guys doing it” makes me think that Harry Styles is not very up to date with what is going on in that community that he will represent with his character.