Billy Porter Slams Harry Styles’ Vogue Cover

Disclaimer: This is a convoluted and I hope well-nuanced exploration of a difficult subject. I want to handle it with care and be fair, but I also want to be totally honest about what I feel and think, and not censor myself for the sake of political correctness. Remember, my thoughts don’t have to be yours, and no this isn’t an invitation for you to tell me how wrong you think I am because I simply don’t care.

Disclaimer: I was gonna put a disclaimer here about this post being harshly critical of Harry at some points, but then I thought, no, phuck off I’m tired of making disclaimers. Don’t read my stuff if you’re easily offended and quick to defend celebrities who don’t know or care that we exist. It just won’t be a good time for you.

Page One: Billy Porter’s Criticism of Harry Styles “The Queerbaiter”

Page Two: Harry Styles Used To Be “Open”

Page Three: Final Thoughts

Harry “daring” to be open in 2019 taught him a major lesson, I daresay. That being: truth is a bitch, truth is a chore, and truth hurts, so let’s hide behind yet another filthy and obnoxious lie. I simply cannot stomach this level of dishonesty. Fakers and liars deeply repel me, and they inhibit me from seeing anything positive about the people who exhibit these unforgivable traits. Curses! (**shakes fist at the heavens**) I never thought I would feel that way about Harry Styles.

Still, I would be remiss if I didn’t admit he did try to be “open” and tried to live his truth in late 2019 and early 2020; but I suppose to little avail. However, can we really give him credit for doing something “brave” or “honest” when he ultimately pulled an extreme 180, erased and overshadowed the openness he attempted last year, and then made himself look like a shallow hypocrite by falling face first into an PR gimmick with an attention whore and pseudofeminist?

As long as Harry keeps that woman around who shamelessly ditched her fiancé of 7 years to date an employee, and who abandons her children constantly to follow him around the country wearing his merch like a deranged groupie, he will never not look like a hypocrite who employs deceptive marketing tactics to maintain a broad audience. Everything he once stood for just comes off as manipulation of late, and clearly I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Billy Porter calling out Harry’s Vogue Cover

From CNN:

In an interview with British paper The Sunday Times, Porter argued there was a disconnect in the opportunities afforded to him as a Black, gay man and those given to Styles. “I feel like the fashion industry has accepted me because they have to,” he said. “I created the conversation (about non-binary fashion) and yet Vogue still put Harry Styles, a straight white man, in a dress on their cover for the first time.”

“I was the first one doing it and now everybody is doing it,” he said. “I’m not dragging Harry Styles, but… He doesn’t care, he’s just doing it because it’s the thing to do. This is politics for me. This is my life. I had to fight my entire life to get to the place where I could wear a dress to the Oscars,” Porter continued. “All (Styles) has to do is be white and straight.”

I’m happy Billy spoke up because it shows that not everyone is buying what Harry and his team are selling, and it sends the message that their tactics are transparent and will not hold up much longer.

Although Billy may not have been the first man to ever challenge gender norms (Freddie Mercury and Prince) nor don a ball gown (tbh I don’t know what other famous male has done this??) he tends to do so consistently, unapologetically, and has made headlines for doing so at major industry events long before Harry ever dared.

Although Harry has attributed his fashion inspiration to other unlikely influences like Shania Twain, it’s clear he felt brave enough to do what he did as a man on the cover of Vogue because of men like Billy Porter (and others) who started the conversation and are helping to destigmatize the idea of non-binary fashion in it’s most extreme forms as a way of life, not just a fleeting fad.

Shania Twain, one of Harry’s fashion influences.

Regardless of whether you completely agree with Billy or not, his broader point was 1000% valid. That being: Harry seems to be a straight white male who only dates females, and who (unlike Billy who has had to overcome a great deal to champion non-binary dress and considers it a political statement and a LIFESTYLE not just a fad) Harry doesn’t seem to actually care about any of the issues he pretends to care about. According to Billy, he theoretically seems to be doing things just because they are the thing to do at the time, and that is arguably illustrated with how much he flip flops when it comes to his public persona.

People try to critique what Billy said about Harry’s Vogue article by pointing out that other people paved the way for non-binary dress before Billy did so himself, but that strikes me as a bit of a strawman argument. Here’s why:

Billy was clearly making a much broader point about Vogue as an establishment. Mainly how their choice of representation for that historical cover (first male ever) was a fickle young white dude who admittedly doesn’t take the non-binary clothing movement as seriously as someone like Billy does. He was pointing out Harry’s perceived “white privilege” which Harry has pointed out himself, yet like many other white celebrities he still accepts undeserved honors and opportunities that could be shared among people who are less priviledged and less represented.

Billy was also making a broader point about Harry as a person. That being: (this is my interpretation of Billy’s point) how Harry’s interest in non-binary fashion seems superficial. Also how he seems to be a straight, cis-gendered white dude (woke society’s public enemy #1) appropriating queer culture for shock value and marketing purposes.

And even if Harry is not actually straight, you can’t really get mad at Billy for assuming he is based on the image that Harry makes a concerted effort to project onto the world. In no reality is it implausible that Billy would conclude Harry is straight based on how he only ever dates women publicly, and also how he makes headlines for saying his songs are about “the female orgasm”, and how he makes a concerted effort to convince the world he’s obsessed with pu$$y.

I suppose ultimately what people are sensing about Harry that disturbs them so much (whether or not they can put a finger on it or describe it precisely with the correct label) is that he is a fraud and a faker (and I must admit that he very much is.) These people just don’t understand that the fake part and the somewhat fraudulent part is the occasional “straight guy” act he pulls in front of the paparazzi and in the media when he openly talks about “the female orgasm”.

The fact that anyone would describe Harry as “straight” these days shows how hard he works to mislead the public by only dating females and pushing his relationships with these females to the forefront of his marketing in both music and film, as opposed to, oh you know, just letting his work speak for itself! Harry is 1000% irrefutably and undeniably a narrative-pusher.

That was demonstrated with how he recorded an ex-girlfriend on a track about their breakup??? And how it was strategically done so that it would become the focal point of the album and became the only topic of concern whenever people discussed his music in the media???

Just like his first album which the media openly links to Kendall Jenner and Taylor Swift by Harry’s design. (I don’t care if he has a good reason for the narrative pushing, that doesn’t change the fact that he does do it and will do so again for his next album.)

Photo by Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock (5550712i) Harry Styles

He also now wants to tell the world Watermelon Sugar is about “the female orgasm” and have an entire arena of young girls shouting “pu$$y” at him every night as he runs around like a manic teenager asking “what does it taste like?” Whether he likes pu$$y or not is irrelevant here. If he doesn’t have the balls to ever come outright and talk about how much he likes dick or that he’s written about a man or that he’s dated a man, then everything he’s doing is calculated, inauthentic, and corny.

He also brings his “girlfriend” to 90% of his entire tour and allows her to dance like a cringy mid-life crisis at every show. He has also implanted a similar “straight” narrative into his acting legacy. Consequently anyone who talks about his resume will undoubtedly mention how he began sleeping with the director of his second movie, that being the tacky and unprofessional Olivia Wilde from “Don’t Worry Darling.”

His media-adored (*gags*) relationship with Olivia Wilde will strategically overshadow the fact that he played a closeted gay man in “My Policeman” (which I believe he signed up for when he as in the mindset of being “open and honest”) so as not to give anyone the impression he may be one himself! Oh gosh, can’t have people thinking he genuinely likes men. We can put him in fishnets and a ball gown and let him wear purses and paint his nails because that’s a playful and woke queer persona he can slip on and off at his convenience, but GOD FORBID anybody sincerely thinks he likes men! That is still TABOO.

Even the possibility that he is “bi” can only be hinted at and never actually confirmed because how else will he keep the hetero audience interested??? Once it’s known for a fact that a man fucks other men then it becomes irreparable, right? There’s no slipping that persona on and off at leisure, so it’s best Harry sticks with only showing the world he fucks women and that he loves pu$$y so much he wrote a song about it!

Since he chose that route, he really can’t get mad at people calling him out for how phony he seems. Consequently, to many it seems like Harry doesn’t actually care about queer issues since he’s not queer himself. He comes off as a deceptive marketer and an exploiter of identity politics. A less charitable label he’s earned over the years would be “queerbaiter.”

Page Two: Harry Styles Used To Be “Open”

Published by AD

AD (formerly Zarry Documentaries) from YouTube and Wattpad

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1 month ago

I have never comented before but feel inspired to today.

Here you have made a really well balanced observation here.

Honestly as hard as some parts of this were to read, I think your conculsions are more or less SPOT ON.

AD, I admire your willingness to call a spade a spade, even though its hard to, as a fan yourself and also knowing that you incur spiteful push-back due to your opinions.

You have created a platform and a space for discourse, and I notice that you moderate the comments section to keep it a safe place for varied opinions to be aired. Thank you.

What stood out for me most was your Final Thoughts on Z’s internalised homphobia and the effect that inevitably has on Harry. It sucks for both of them. To be ashamed by a part of yourself is a heavy burden for Zayn to carry and for Harry, to be rejected by the person who knows you deeply and most intimately, could not feel more devastatingly personal, theres no comfort from the reasoning that “they dont know the real me,” because Z does!

Harry comes across as very sensitive to rejection- even evident in the early years of 1D [upset and tearful H due to -ve social media comments].

1 month ago

If Harry knew how powerful he is, even Zayn himself knows Harry can get any man or woman in the blink of an eye. The biggest problem is Zayn beauty is out of this world, that makes it very hard for Harry to move on, not only that Zayn knows Harry morethan anyone in this world and to top it up they know they are twin flame. There best thing they can do for themselves is to be seen in public as friends for atleast 2 years after that when there are in their 35, they can know admit we fall inlove, they will loose fans, but true fans will never run from them, because they choose their happiness before others. As for Zayn in reality wether we admit it or not his helpless without Harry is his life. While Harry his got more important friends who are gay themselves, both of them you see they are tired of living in pretence. One of the reasons Harry can’t move on its Zayn’s they way they know eachother body, it becomes very difficult to look for love elsewhere, because you other people can’t do what they do to eachother Zarry. Did anyone noticed Harry’s mom, is not happy at all, I believe she reads what is being said about her only son, I do believe she wants him to stop this PR game.

1 month ago
1 month ago

(2) Now, I know that Harry’s still young and going through phases and I think he’s a person who absorbes the energy of whoever he’s with the most, so no wonder he’s changing a lot right now. And I’d never turn my back on him or stop having massive amounts of love for him cause he simply is such a special person. But I have to admit that I’ll be glad when this phase is over, I feel a huge disconnect – and I don’t understand why people don’t see it, even without a Zarry mind. With Zarry in mind, it just hurts. The way he’s been hurt and how he’s now running full force like a maniac into the opposite direction (mind the pun) just makes me want to yell STOP at him and give him the biggest hug ever until he breaks. Being bisexual is an annoying thing btw, I’m bi myself and I’m even judging myself when I develop feelings for a guy cause I ‘actually’ identify as lesbian, but I can’t ignore my history and the way I can still fall for men even though I’d always say I prefer women. So I can fully understand Harry not wanting to defend himself. Doesn’t mean that it’s pretty obvious he and his team are pushing a narrative just like you say, AD.

But I digress. Thanks for Neon Red btw!!

1 month ago

(1) Hey there…I know this is an ‘older’ post, but I’ll comment anyway.

I’m still trying to figure out what exactly bugs me about this new Harry, and I think what I feel is smth like betrayal. I feel betrayed for what Fine Line means to me, for the feeling I had when the Lights Up and Golden mvs came out, he was completely open and I was listening with an open heart, vulnerability all around. And now he turned it into a manic party album. The Love on Tour show doesn’t fit with that delicate album at all, it just doesn’t. And the changes he made in the band don’t fit the album either. Not even the photographer fits, it all kinda sucks. I feel like I’m being ridiculed for taking the album at face value, like he’s saying “Ha, you actually believed that shit?!? LOL – come on, take it easy, it’s just fun & entertainment!”. Now, of course he doesn’t have to be totally miserable all the time, but it’s like the emotion is gone and he feels *ashamed* and stupid about what he wrote and about how open he was. And that makes *me* feel ashamed and stupid for loving him so much and for saying that he and Lights Up were my inspiration to write music myself. [continued above]

Jane Jones
1 month ago

This peice of writing is one of your best it’s a difficult complex subject you have captured beautifully so many of the things that have bugged of of late about H. I kind of had to agree with Billy Porter’s criticism of H and do feel his latest exploits & behaviours have laid him open to receive that sort of criticism because it now casts doubt on his authenticity. All the comments are so thought provoking too ( I love this little haven on the Internet thanks to you ) I could say more but i’m entirely distracted by yolandagate O M G !! But just had to applaud you on your brilliant writing in this article 👏

Sandi P
Sandi P
1 month ago

Harry’s just a big old flaming faker! 🤣 He seems so disinterested on stage & he doesn’t sing his songs with any kind of passion anymore. Before he sings “Lights Up” he always says “This song changed my life” – really? In what way Harry? I’d like to bring a sign to one of his shows that says “Harry, can I help YOU come out?” 😉 I love Harry but I don’t like him very much any more. I totally understand Billy’s pov given that he thinks H is straight. Thanks for this excellent analysis AD! These two jokers are keeping you quite busy these days and I appreciate all of your hard work ❤

1 month ago

You’ve so perfectly articulated what’s been seriously annoying me about H for the past several months. Everything about him, including this tour, just seems so insincere. I hate to watch it, especially because Fine Line was the epitome of honesty and sincerity. I hate watching the regression that’s taken place. I do appreciate your kind reminder of WHY this back-stepping took place, but I guess at the end of the day, I really, REALLY hoped that Zarry would rise up out of the ashes like a Phoenix and face the world hand-in-hand. In time, perhaps they will. In the meantime, it’s one thing for H to not be “open”, it’s quite another to push this straight, O dating “female orgasm” script. As much as it breaks my heart if he’s not being open due to Z, I’d rather it be a sacrifice he’s making in the name of love, then it be because of his career & public image. Idk, he just seems very artificial right now, and I’m just not vibing with it.

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