Harry Styles says the gay sex scenes in My Policeman are not like other gay sex scenes

23 August 2022, 14:51

Watch Harry Styles in the teaser trailer for My Policeman

Emma Kershaw

By Emma Kershaw

“So much of gay sex in film is two guys going at it, and it kind of removes the tenderness from it”

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Harry Styles has addressed accusations that he is “queerbaiting,” and has spoken out about his role in My Policeman.

Adapted from Bethan Robert’s 2012 novel, the forthcoming movie is a period drama set in the 1950s, a time when it was illegal to be in a same-sex relationship in the United Kingdom.

Harry plays a gay man, Tom, who begins a same-sex affair with a museum curator. In a new profile with Rolling Stone, Harry spoke about his role in the movie. “It’s obviously pretty unfathomable now to think, ‘Oh, you couldn’t be gay. That was illegal,’ ” he told the outlet.

“I think everyone, including myself, has your own journey with figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it. It’s not like ‘This is a gay story about these guys being gay.’ It’s about love and about wasted time to me.”

READ MORE: Billie Eilish says her sexuality is no one else's business

Harry Styles in My Policeman
Harry Styles in My Policeman. Picture: Amazon Studios

He also broke down the vision for the sex scenes in My Policeman, commenting that, “So much of gay sex in film is two guys going at it, and it kind of removes the tenderness from it.”

“There will be, I would imagine, some people who watch it who were very much alive during this time when it was illegal to be gay,” he added. “[Director Michael Grandage] wanted to show that it’s tender and loving and sensitive.”

Harry also opened up about his own relationships, disputing “queerbaiting” allegations.

Queerbaiting is commonly defined as the act of marketing someone as being LGBTQ without actually identifying as a member of that community in order to secure the monetary support and following of LGBTQ fans [via i-D].

The accusation is often made against TV characters and storylines, which tease and subtly suggest a queer undertone without making the character or relationship explicitly queer, in order not to offend or upset more conservative audiences.

READ MORE: Harry Styles say he used to feel "ashamed" about his sex life

Harry has been in a high-profile relationship with Olivia Wilde since early 2021, although he has never officially confirmed the relationship himself.

“Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone,” he explained. “If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something.”

He added: “I’ve never talked about my life away from work publicly and found that it’s benefited me positively,” he added. “There’s always going to be a version of a narrative, and I think I just decided I wasn’t going to spend the time trying to correct it or redirect it in some way."

Fans have voiced their own opinions on Harry’s comments, taking to Twitter to open up a discussion around his alleged “queerbaiting”.

“Harry Styles is not queerbaiting. Harry Styles has never said he is unlabeled [sic]. What he did say is: his sexuality is his & it's not your business to force something on him or expect him to talk about it publicly," one person wrote,

Another added: "Saying that a celebrity has to disclose their sexuality or they’re “queerbaiting” is heteronormative behaviour and harmful to the entire lgbtq+ community. Just cause they are celebrities doesn’t mean that they need to come out and tell you what their sexuality is!"

Ultimately, Harry does not owe it to anyone to label his sexuality, and making assumptions about his sexuality - and then accuse him of queerbaiting based solely on those assumptions - is not OK.

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