I would like to start this post with an apology. My aim in writing this blog is to amplify marginalized voices. One Direction, I acknowledge, with their millions of twitter followers and their every utterance subject to intense scrutiny, are possibly the LEAST MARGINALIZED VOICES on the planet. Yet I wanna talk about my experiences of being a fan and how this has to some degree enabled me to move on from the isolation I felt growing up.
Growing up as a closeted gay girl, you kind of don’t have the boy band posters on your wall. Friends of mine would read magazines and gossip about the boys in McFly or whatever that they had crushes on, and I could never join in. I felt completely alienated from that. For that reason, boy bands became symbolic of everything I felt I was missing out on, and thus I could never enjoy their music. I used to roll my eyes at the girls screaming at their concerts and feel like I was so much better than them. I used to ruthlessly tease a friend of mine who liked Justin Beiber. I would drown out the sounds of the Jonas Brothers by listening to Lady Gaga on my Ipod.
And then these idiots came along.
These 4 northern (+ one Irish) lads who have found fame and decided to run with it are the first boy band I’ve ever allowed myself to like. Suddenly, it wasn’t all about having a crush on them. Even though obviously lots of girls do, with One Direction it’s more about loving the cheesy dance routines and camp music videos and stupid jokes.
Finally letting a boy band into my heart has been cathartic for me and enabled me to deal with those feelings of isolation I used to have from not fancying boys. (Even though I might have some conflicting bicurious feelings about Zayn when dressed as a woman in the video for ‘Best Song Ever’.)
Anyways, it seems like they love me too, as the boys have always made an effort to be inclusive to the queer fandom.
Moreover, Harry has even had a bit of a feminist awakening lately, supporting Emma Watson’s He for She campaign which encourages men to break their silence surrounding gender inequality.
(Also, he has great hair, and having great hair is really important when you’re a feminist. Trust me, I would know.)
In all seriousness, being a One Direction fan has been empowering for me because it has enabled me to get over my boy band hating which at the end of the day, was just a product of internalized homophobia. I can be queer and love this boy band and at the end of the day, I know that both of those things are okay. One Direction, Dialecticbitch salutes you 🙂