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We review the year #20GayTeen with Hayley Kiyoko

We review the year #20GayTeen with Hayley Kiyoko

On 1 January 2018 at 6:17pm (native time), Hayley Kiyoko hit ‘send’ on a tweet that might outline her year.

“It’s our year, it’s our time,” she wrote to her large following. “To thrive and let our souls feel alive.” It learn like a prophecy from Lesbian Jesus herself. After which got here the hashtag that cemented the tweet as legendary. #20GAYTEEN.

“I had no idea that it was going to catch on and that people were going to continually post about it and talk about it,” Hayley tells us, reflecting on its plain reputation in LGBTQ web tradition. “It’s almost become the mantra of the year. It’s been a fun year. Obviously the world is going through hard times, so it’s been nice to have some lightheartedness with my fans and being able to share that mantra with them. It makes them feel good and proud of who they are.”

For each unimaginable, empowering, and humourous LGBTQ second in 2018, a response together with the #20GAYTEEN hashtag would comply with shortly after, declaring it the results of a year the queer group dominated supreme. And whereas LGBTQ rights and other people have been threatened in very actual methods in in the present day’s local weather of divisive politics, in fashionable tradition it seems like queer voices are rising up and making thrilling, partaking and, fairly frankly, far more wonderful artwork in comparison with our heterosexual siblings.

At the forefront of that revolution has been Lesbian Jesus – the moniker her followers have lovingly given Hayley Kiyoko. However she hasn’t been provided that title simply due to her prophetic declarations, but in addition as a result of she is a divine pressure in queer pop.

Hayley wears shirt by Patrick McDowell, bralet by Elisa Poppy, sun shades by Nature of Actuality, earrings by Dinny Corridor


Hayley’s full-length debut album Expectations was launched a number of months into #20GAYTEEN, however stays a glistening jewel because it involves an in depth. “This brilliant debut album is a kind of female companion piece to Troye Sivan’s Wild and Years & Years’ Communion: a cool, contemporary mainstream pop record which explores inherently queer themes, sometimes subtly and sometimes more overtly,” we stated in our five-star review of the report earlier this year. With singles as infectious as Curious, as free spirited as What I Want, and as wistful as Emotions, it can go down as a stand-out queer report.

However it’s Mercy/Gatekeeper that Hayley names as the second on the document she’s most pleased with. “That was a song that was a journey for me, and a dark time for me,” she reveals. “For any artist it’s exciting and inspiring to feel that feeling and emulate that sonically. I didn’t really know what it was going to be at the time until I finished it. I feel like a lot of the songs I’m extremely proud of.”

We’re taking the alternative to look again at the year #20GAYTEEN throughout our time with Hayley to mirror each on her large successes, but in addition a couple of different LGBTQ moments we’ve celebrated in the previous 12 months.

Though Hayley continues to be busy touring her debut album Expectations, the impression of her music is already being felt. Each time I’ve sat down with younger queer feminine musicians this year and dialog inevitably turns to their inspirations, Hayley Kiyoko’s identify has regularly popped up. “I think it’s amazing that, first of all, people know who I am and can find inspiration and courage to be themselves,” Hayley says once I inform her that reality. “I’m thankful that I’m able to inspire them and kind of give them that extra push. I’m really just here to give everyone that extra push to be themselves, and to go for it. I’m their cheerleader so to speak.”

Click on right here to purchase the digital version of Hayley Kiyoko’s Homosexual Occasions cowl concern

All you need to do is scroll via the replies to Hayley’s tweets, or feedback beneath her Instagram posts to see that she additionally has an analogous impression on her LGBTQ followers. “I get a wide spectrum of comments and messages,” she says. “I think that the thing that really connects with me are messages about not being able to relate with their parents. Having them not understand who they are, and not having that dialogue. I think that’s the hardest thing sometimes is when you don’t understand one another, how do you even begin that conversation? You need communication to be able to build that bridge.”

Hayley enjoys her place as a task mannequin to LGBTQ youth, prepared and prepared to encourage a brand new era of youngsters to like and stay as their true selves. She additionally acknowledges that it’s about visibility, utilizing her platform to teach and promote empathy. Certainly one of the extra memorable moments of #20GAYTEEN was Hayley’s cinematic music video for What I Want, which noticed her embark on a street journey with fellow queer music artist Kehlani. “I just wanted to tell a story that maybe parents or adults could relate to when they watch the video with their kids or their friends,” Hayley explains. “To be able to be like, ‘Wow, that’s what I feel.’ That opening scene in What I Need is really two people not understanding eye-to-eye. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other, they just don’t understand. I really wanted to just show the realness of how it is sometimes. When that happens you seek happiness in other places and hope within friends. Friendship is so important to discuss your everyday lives, so everything just kind of started building up through those concepts and ideas.”

Hayley has directed all of her music movies since 2014, arising with storyboards that often centre round a queer narrative. “With my music videos I really just try to validate those feelings that we all feel,” she provides. “We all have aspirations and dreams of falling in love, and getting the girl or boy or whoever we want, and so I try to showcase that.”

Click on right here to purchase the digital version of Hayley Kiyoko’s Homosexual Occasions cowl concern

Hayley wears shirt by Patrick McDowell, bralet by Elisa Poppy, trousers by Vjera V, boots by ASOS


To say these movies empower Hayley’s followers to be loud and proud about who they’re is an understatement. The truth is, studying via the feedback beneath one in every of her movies is like the on-line equal of getting glittered up and unapologetically celebrating your queerness throughout a Satisfaction parade. “Being straight has left the chat,” one fan put beneath the What I Want video. One other added: “I didn’t think I could get any gayer but this made me 173727% more gay.” Oh, and there’s the compulsory “Lesbian Jesus come through!”

“I love them,” Hayley laughs once I learn a number of out to her. “I’m always cracking up. I’m like, ‘Who is writing this?’ There’s so many different Twitter accounts and comments and again, life can be so hard sometimes – well, most of the time quite honestly – so it’s just nice to have a moment to laugh and get to share those experiences. Sometimes being gay can be such a dark feeling for a lot of people, so to be able to make light of it and be like, ‘I’m gayer than ever!’ and laugh about it is really healthy.”

In fact Hayley is ready to take pleasure in this as an brazenly homosexual artist, utilizing her queerness to domesticate a fanbase that’s really inclusive and celebratory. “It’s really empowering. It makes me emotional,” she says. “We all go through tough times accepting ourselves and to be able to know so many people accept me for who I am – I just feel like we all want that validation and to be able to love yourself. You’re wanting people to approve so then you can feel free to be who you are. My fans are able to give me that, and I try to give them that energy straight back to them – give them that space to love themselves, and to feel open and free.”

Hayley wears jacket by Boy Kloves, prime by Teatum Jones, trousers by River Island


Her followers additionally gave her one other present this summer time once they voted of their droves for her to win her very first MTV Video Music Award – an accolade all pop stars value their salt dream in the future of attaining. “This validates any queer woman of colour that you can follow your dreams,” she stated at the present, earlier than declaring them the “VMGAYS!”

“It really meant a lot to have everyone come together and be like, ‘Hey, this is someone who is really important to us so recognise her.’ That’s a part of what that win meant,” she elaborates now, reflecting on the second. “The other part meant that you can be what you’ve always dreamed of. It’s been my dream to succeed, win a VMA, and be recognised for my work. My fans were able to accomplish that for me.”

#20GAYTEEN additionally noticed Hayley Kiyoko embark on a world tour, taking Expectations throughout North America and Europe. “Touring is obviously exhausting, and I’m not used to the cold so I’ve learned to wear appropriate clothing,” she laughs. “But I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been so amazing to meet fans who have been there since day one, and be able to connect to them on a personal level.”

This chance to satisfy queer youngsters in several nations allowed her to talk to them about the adversity they nonetheless face. “I think the biggest challenge is their parents loving them and accepting them for who they are,” Hayley explains. “People forget that although times have changed and progressed, they haven’t changed immensely for a lot of people. So I meet a lot of kids who have been kicked out of their homes and their parents don’t speak to them anymore. It’s really about creating a community of love, and reminding people that there’s a place for them. We need to remind them of unconditional love. I think that’s been hard for a lot of people to experience.”

Click on right here to purchase the digital version of Hayley Kiyoko’s Homosexual Occasions cowl concern

Hayley wears jacket by DB Berdan


As we discuss acceptance, speak turns to the energy of allies to assist change attitudes and contribute in the struggle for true equality. A type of allies is somebody Hayley truly obtained to carry out with in entrance of 70,000 individuals again in July in what she describes to me as a “godly experience”. Hayley Kiyoko was launched on stage to carry out Curious with Taylor Swift as a part of the latter’s Status stadium tour. “This is someone whose music I’m absolutely obsessed with,” Taylor stated throughout her intro. “This is someone who I think is one of the most exciting new artists out there.”

Hayley admits that she had no concept Taylor was going to introduce her with such reward. “I hadn’t even met her and she was just so genuine with her words,” she says. “It was a really touching moment to have someone of her status to validate my work, and give me a stamp of approval.” When it comes to Taylor’s place as a visual ally following her public political help for LGBTQ rights in the run-up to the US midterm elections earlier this year, Hayley agrees that it’s very important we respect those that use their platform to raise our causes. “It’s so important to have allies,” she says. “It’s important in general as an artist to speak up and be brave for your beliefs and what you believe in, because once one does, everyone else follows. I think it’s really important to try to better the world.”

Hayley wears jacket by Levi’s, gown by Katie Eary, boots by DB Berdan, earrings by Dinny Corridor


However as we’ve witnessed time and time once more, in style tradition actually does have the energy to vary the world. As a part of our look again at #20GAYTEEN we highlighted a couple of breakthrough moments that basically captured the spirit of that mantra. It goes with out saying that Love, Simon – the first main studio romcom to function homosexual lead characters – was a watershed second. “I loved Love, Simon,” says Hayley. “I just loved the whole campaign. It was just a great big romantic comedy that felt real, authentic and genuine.” She provides that the concept of “wanting to feel normal” as teen is what resonated with her the most in the movie. So, would Hayley Kiyoko wish to star in a lesbian romcom in the future? “Yeah I think I could,” she says. “I would like to direct one.”

Subsequent on the listing is FX’s groundbreaking collection Pose, which took us again to the ballroom scene of 1980s New York Metropolis. Ryan Murphy assembled the largest forged and crew of trans expertise for this fierce tv collection. “Representation is extremely important, and having the opportunity [to tell your own story] is extremely important,” Hayley says of the collection. “There’s an authenticity about this show specifically, and I think that is inspiring for people to be able to look up to.”

No dialog about the year #20GAYTEEN can be full with out mentioning Netflix’s reboot of Queer Eye. “I’m a big fan,” Hayley instantly says once I point out the present, including that she has cried “way too many times” whereas watching it. “It’s an important show because it reminds people to love one another, and to get along and not judge each other based on stereotypes.”

Click on right here to purchase the digital version of Hayley Kiyoko’s Homosexual Occasions cowl difficulty



Lastly, I deliver up the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, which needs to be the final #20GAYTEEN second. “It’s incredible to see the progress and growth that we’ve had, but across the world there’s so much more to do to continue to help people be who they are, have equal rights, and be treated with respect for just being human,” Hayley remarks. “I think there’s still a lot of room to grow in a lot of countries. Obviously what happened in India was really inspiring and gives hope that things are starting to change.”

And with that, Lesbian Jesus provides a name to arms for the complete group to rally collectively and battle for the rights of each LGBTQ individual from each nation. “Everyone has a responsibility to stand up for our neighbours, and our strangers as humans,” she says. “As people we all have hopes and aspirations, we all wanted to be treated equally. That’s still not the case. Whether it’s gender, race, sexuality, there’s still so much room to do more. So we have to stay aware and vocal. If you’re vocal and brave, then someone else will also be vocal and brave. We need leaders, and we need people to stand up.”

In order #20GAYTEEN attracts to an in depth, the hashtag might fade however the spirit gained’t. Hayley is again on tour in Europe in January and February, and there’s promise of brand name new music in the close to future. “I’m just going to try keep creating. For me, I just want to do bigger and better things,” she says. “I’m just going to continue to spread the word. People still don’t know who I am so I’m going to continue doing my thing.”

Click on right here to purchase tickets for Hayley Kiyoko’s new UK tour dates, which can happen in early 2019


Images Jack Alexander
Style Darkwah Kyei-Darkwah
Artwork course/retouching Ross Geelan
Videographer Tommy Bruce
Trend assistant Paul Scott-Coombs
Hair Oskar Pera
Make-up Marla Vasquez
Nails Picasso Mani

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