She talks being openly queer in the industry, and “Strangers”.
“Unfiltered, unafraid and out.”
Halsey is one of the most visible queer women in the music industry and unashamedly shares her experiences through her songs to break stigmas and challenge the heteronormativity we hear day and night on the radio, so it only makes sense that PAPER magazine wanted her on the cover of their Pride issue.
The singer discusses what it’s like to be LGBT+ in the music industry, how her bisexuality has been challenged by the media and public, and how “Strangers” – her song with Lauren Jauregui – came about.
“I’m a young, bisexual woman and finding that kind of representation in music is really complicated. You don’t want to be limited from listening to music that is relatable to you because you’re a pop music fan,” she says. “Pop music can often be really ostracizing. It’s just a shame that it’s so hard for marginalized or minority people to get the same pop music experience as people who are heterosexual or generally part of the majority. They deserve the same pop music experience.”
When discussing how groundbreaking the success of “Strangers” could be (the first same-sex love song by two bisexual women in mainstream pop), Halsey reflects on how pop music treats bisexuality as a taboo and the negative impact this has.
“”Don’t tell your mom” or “We shouldn’t do this” or “This feels so wrong but it’s so right.” That narrative is so fucking damaging to bisexuality and its place in society. That’s something I’ve had to fight my whole life and something I still fight. I still see people on the internet saying, “Of course Halsey says she’s bisexual. It’ll help her sell albums.” BuzzFeed wrote this article and they were like, “Is Halsey really bisexual? Because when she did the VMAs with the Chainsmokers, she had long hair. Was that because she wanted the public to see her as straight?””
The interview is a really interesting read, and the photo shoot is bomb as she poses and gets intimate with model Caroline Smith so be sure to check it out.