Rita Ora has officially come out as bisexual… so where’s all the rainbow confetti?
The announcement comes shortly after her unofficial coming out in the form of a new single, “Girls.”
In the song, which also features Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha, Ora says she’s “50/50” as she describes a dreamy vacation spent kissing, you guessed it, girls.
So what’s the big deal? Well, some have argued the song relies on stereotypes of bisexual women seen through the straight male gaze. In the chorus, Ora sings about kissing girls when there’s red wine, implying all it takes is a little alcohol for women to go gay.
The British singer has apologized for how the jam was received, writing on Twitter:
“Hello everyone reading this. Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life.
I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.
I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone.
Looking forward, I hope that continuing to express myself through my art will empower my fans to feel as proud of themselves as I’m learning to feel about who I am. I’m ever thankful to my fans for teaching me to love myself no matter what. I have strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community throughout my entire career and always will be.”
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
Ora’s ex-husband, Rob Kardashian, retweet her message along with several “praise hands” emojis:
— ROBERT KARDASHIAN (@robkardashian) May 14, 2018
The most prominent critique came from fellow recording artist Kiyoko, who wrote on Twitter:
“It’s important for us artists to move the cultural needle forward, not backwards. There is a new song that came out today featuring a handful of well-known pop artists that has me overwhelmed with thoughts. I literally have a knot in my stomach right now.
To be clear, I fully support other artists who freely express themselves and applaud male and female artists who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities.
But every so often there comes certain songs with messaging that is downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women.
I know this wasn’t the intention of the artists on the song, but it’s the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really get me. I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.
This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community. I feel I have a responsibility to protect that whenever possible. We can and should do better.”
Real talk ? pic.twitter.com/9EbZd5dYZq
— Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko) May 11, 2018