In a new interview with Cosmopolitan the artist Héloïse Letissier, more commonly known as ‘Christine and the Queens‘ spoke out about the use of “the queer aesthetic” by other artists as a tool to “sell things”.
The French singer faced backlash in the media in 2014 when she came out as pansexual, saying it felt like a “detonation” explaining that “when your sexuality is not the norm, you have to find words to express it. Sometimes [she] was made to feel dirty, or like it was obscene. It’s just a sexual orientation – there’s nothing perverse about that.”
Letissier created the character ‘Christine’ in response to the scrutiny she faced as a sexually fluid young woman in the spotlight, stating Christine was a “fantasy of escaping” this ignorance.
On the topic of celebrity advocacy of LGBT+ issues, particularly related to Taylor Swift’s seemingly newfound advocacy, Christine admits to feeling “conflicted”.
The recent release of Swift’s official music video for ‘You Need To Calm Down’ sparked a multitude of responses online, with many fans excited to see their favourite drag queen or member of the Fab Five, while others were more critical of the pop stars move to include such a long list of LGBT+ talent.
While many were thrilled at Swift’s use of her large platform to bring to light issues faced by the LGBT+ community, others were less than impressed, claiming the production missed the mark.
So Taylor Swift put drag queens in her new music video and it got me wondering why fading pop stars commodify queer people just to retain relevence (i.e Iggy Azalea, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry)
— julián (@brutalistboy) June 17, 2019
"There are many ways to describe a parent who disowns a trans kid, or a lawmaker who tries to nullify same-sex marriages, or a church member who crashes a gay soldier’s funeral. Shady isn’t one." https://t.co/DpODi29TGT
— Ellen Cushing (@elcush) June 17, 2019
Christine explained her conflicting views of Swift’s new intense focus on the LGBT+ community saying; “I guess somewhere, young gay men might watch that Taylor Swift video and feel a sense of relief. Five years on [since she entered the industry] and you can tell that being queer has been glossed out as this super-fancy accessory. You can tell that the queer aesthetic is being used to sell things. The mainstream needs that life because it’s so vibrant.”
Christine, however, emphasised that although many seem to be flocking to the LGBT+ community to garner popularity and make a profit, she stands firm on her belief that “the core of the queer aesthetic cannot be sold.”
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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