“I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”
Rita Ora has come out as having “romantic relationships” with both men and women.
The Anywhere singer revealed her status as part of the community in an apology letter to LGTBQ fans, due to the backlash she received from her bisexual anthem, Girls.
The track, which sees Rita collaborate with the likes of Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha and Cardi B, contains lyrics such as: “I ain’t one-sided, I’m open-minded, I’m 50-50 and I’m never gonna hide it.”
American singer/songwriter Hayley Kiyoko, who is openly lesbian, slammed the song on Twitter over the weekend.
“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.
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
“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.”
R&B singer Kehlani – who identifies as pansexual – praised the artists on the track, but called it “harmful” in a series of tweets.
In response, Rita admitted: “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.”
She continued: “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.”
Listen to Girls below.