The effort was there, but Liam Payne's new interview is amiss.
Yesterday, One Direction's Liam Payne landed on Attitude magazine's latest issue, we imagine to rehab his slightly-homophobic image, and instead of coming off sincere and well-informed, Payne seems sheltered and defensive.
Payne mentions Larry Stylinson, the fan-given name for Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson's relationship - fans speculated for years they are not only gay or bisexual, but fond of each other. Not true, says Payne, who finds the whole idea ridiculous, and thus paints himself further into the corner.
He also finds the sexualized drawings their fans have created a bit disturbing, adding the hobby isn't suitable.
The whole piece screams like a gigantic essay written by Payne's handlers to ensure their millions of fan-girls continue spending their parents' money and maintain the ideal they're available - because being gay would certainly throw a little water on the prepubescent fire. It's the oldest trick in the book, and quite frankly a bit repulsive. We're not labeling Harry Styles or Louis Tomlinson one thing or the other - they should be able to express themselves however they want, but it appears their team is painting a picture and asking us to blindly stare and nod at it.
DON'T FORGET: LOUIS IS GOING TO BE A DAD NOW AND LARRY TOMLINSON DOESN'T EXIST.
Without further adieu, here are the top 10 head-scratching quotes from Payne's latest interview with Attitude magazine.
If Liam was gay for a day, which of his bandmates would he fancy?
“Louis is my best mate; he is the one who I have the strongest connection with. Would I marry him? Well, I couldn’t as he’s taken now.”
Did you ever think ‘I don’t want this anymore?’
"I totally love what I do. Music has become the main part of me. But I do struggle with the attention that comes with the job. But I have to embrace it; there is no stop button on this thing, It’s inevitable that I’m going to have bad moments - but it won’t go to Lindsay Lohan level."
You’ve grown up with gay people all your life, haven’t you?
"Yeah, I have. I have a couple of older gay friends who have been in my life for years, and they were hilarious when I was growing up, squeezing my bum and going ‘Ooooh!’ But that’s the relationship we had. I didn’t mind. A lot of my friends are gay and I don’t think anything about it."
Do you see your fans being more liberated?
“When the law changed in the US there were loads of rainbow flags flying at our shows, but I think that was mainly because people think of the Louis and Harry thing (that they’re secret lovers) which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane.”
Why does it drive you insane? Jealous much?
No, nothing like that. It’s like when you know the ins and outs of what is going on with people it’s just annoying when it’s so stupid. It becomes like a conspiracy or like a cult, the people who watch them and think that every move they make is a gesture toward them being together and I know it’s just not true and it makes me mad.
Where do the rumors come from?
"I think it was when Louis and Harry started living together. The thing is, we as a band mess around with each other. There are certain terms and phrases that we use that we all think are funny that people misunderstand. It’s so funny to be on the inside of it because you know what’s what and then you hear all these crazy theories."
I can imagine it must be frustrating.
“Well, just imagine you’re the man who lands on the moon and you come home to hear people saying you didn’t - naturally, you’d get agitated. ‘Cos you know what they’re saying is not true.”
Well, Louis is going to be a dad…
"Yes, indeed, and he’s very happy about becoming a dad. But the finny thing is, there are some people out there who think that Louis getting Briana pregnant is fake. That it’s not real; it’s a cover up. And that’s the sort of shit that gets to me. But you have to hold your tongue and that’s fine. I mean, it’s not really any of my business anyway."
Even though the fans are young, they are quite knowledgeable about sex.
“I get a lot of drawings sent to us on the Internet. I get tagged in drawings of Louis and Harry being together. I remember this one time I was sitting next to my dad and I see this picture of me on top of Niall, which was quite intimidating. It’s just really weird to have people drawing these sexually explicit pictures of us in strange situations.”
Especially as these girls are so young. Some as young as ten.
“I don’t think it’s the right hobby for these girls to be enjoying. I find it very strange that someone so young can think up these stories or even imagine these things are going on. That for me is the sad and sorry side of what we have done.”