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Harry Styles opens up about his sexuality and addresses queerbaiting accusations

“I think everyone, including myself, has your own journey with figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it,” the 28-year-old said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Image: Harry Styles
Harry Styles performs on the Main Stage at War Memorial Park on May 29, in Coventry, England.Joseph Okpako / WireImage file

Pop superstar Harry Styles is peeling back the curtain on his personal life, addressing accusations of queerbaiting, his sexuality and his romantic relationship with Olivia Wilde in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

Much has changed for Styles since his "X-Factor" days catapulted him to international stardom with the formation of One Direction, and then onto his solo career debut in 2017.

Styles, now touring for his third solo album, "Harry's House," opened up about the intense scrutiny into his private life, saying in his cover story interview with Rolling Stone published Monday: “I’ve never talked about my life away from work publicly and found that it’s benefited me positively.”

“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,” he explained.

Styles, known for his gender-fluid fashion emulating icons David Bowie and Mick Jagger before him, has fielded harsh criticism of queerbaiting — when one benefits from appearing as queer without claiming the community explicitly. 

Unprompted, Styles brushed off comments regarding his sexual identity. 

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

He's previously called the need to define one's sexuality "outdated," in an April interview with Better Homes & Gardens.

"It doesn’t matter, and it’s about not having to label everything, not having to clarify what boxes you’re checking," he told the magazine.

Styles is dating Wilde, the director of his upcoming September film "Don't Worry Darling." She's been seen at several of his packed shows dancing along to his music, and the two have been snapped by paparazzi hand in hand.

The 28-year-old singer acknowledged the internet can be a toxic place that attacks people in his close circle, calling Twitter "a s---storm of people trying to be awful to people."

"That obviously doesn’t make me feel good," he told Rolling Stone.

“It’s obviously a difficult feeling to feel like being close to me means you’re at the ransom of a corner of Twitter or something,” he explained. “I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that.”

Wilde, 38, also spoke on the online hate in the interview, saying, “What I don’t understand about the cruelty you’re referencing is that that kind of toxic negativity is the antithesis of Harry, and everything he puts out there.”

“I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness,” she continued.

In addition to "Don't Worry Darling," Styles will star in the film "My Policeman," in which he plays an officer in 1950s Britain hiding his sexuality. The film is set to be released in November.

“It’s obviously pretty unfathomable now to think, ‘Oh, you couldn’t be gay. That was illegal,’” Styles said about the role.

“I think everyone, including myself, has your own journey with figuring out sexuality and getting more comfortable with it,” he continued. 

“It’s not like ‘This is a gay story about these guys being gay.’ It’s about love and about wasted time to me,” he added.