Harry Styles is the object of affection of millions of women and girls and a bonafide sex symbol on the rise. But while his string of highly publicized relationships, including Cara Delevingne and Taylor Swift, seem to indicate that he’s into women, recent comments suggest he might not play for just one team.
Styles and band member Liam Payne were asked on the talk show On Demand Entertainment what they value most in a significant other. Payne responded first by saying, “Female. That’s an important trait.” This answer caused Styles to shake his head and interject, “Not that important.” The traits he listed instead were “sense of humor” and being “nice to people.”
Rumors have swirled for a while now that the One Direction singer is bisexual. There were even reports (mostly fan fiction) that the 20-year-old was dating band mate Louis Tomlinson — the wishing and hoping that the pair were an item was actually so fervent that their shippers gave them the couple name Larry Stylinson. When asked in a radio interview about their relationship status, Styles said, ““Bisexual? Me? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I’m not.”
Despite his denials, Styles has been a strong supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and even wore a Michael Sam jersey during a concert in St. Louis, Mo., in August. This progressive attitude seems to be reflective of society becoming more accepting of LGBT individuals in general. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center says in the past decade adults have become more accepting of LGBT people.
Additionally, research has indicated that sexual orientation isn’t as immutable as previously thought. The “born this way” theory, while still strong and sound, has been expanded to include the belief that the rules of attraction aren’t set in stone and a number of people experience some degree of flexibility in their romantic interests. “It’s far more common to be someone who is a little bit attracted to the same sex than someone who is exclusively attracted to the same sex,” Lisa Diamond, a professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah, told the Advocate. Being drawn romantically and sexually to the same gender at some point in one’s life is much more common than previously believed.
Perhaps Styles, who has such devoted admirers that a character in a young adult fiction series was even based on him, could just be playing people with his leading answers, growing his following one ambiguous comment at a time.