Lesbian Jesus said that expressing her sexuality in her music was something that wasn’t “negotiable.”
On 1 January 2018 at 6:17pm (local time), Hayley Kiyoko hit ‘send’ on a tweet that would define her year.
“It’s our year, it’s our time,” she wrote to her huge following. “To thrive and let our souls feel alive.” It read like a prophecy from Lesbian Jesus herself. And then came the hashtag that cemented the tweet as legendary. #20GAYTEEN.
And in an interview with i-D Magazine, she reflected on how she had received advice to “tone down” on her sexuality in her music, and idea that she completely rejected.
She said: “When you’re in the LGBTQ community and you’re open about your sexuality, it’s not common for you to hear your music played on the radio. It’s more common to be underground and left of centre with a selective core that listens to that music.
“That’s why this is an exciting time to really break those barriers of… I wouldn’t say judgement, but to break out of that box.”
Speaking about her 2018 album cover for Expectations, that features Kiyoko sat in front of a naked woman, she said: “I don’t like to play it safe. I like to make a statement.
“My sexuality, loving myself and expressing my love for others is not something that’s negotiable. There’s no toning that down because this is who I am and this is what I experience. I can’t change that.
“I still have a lot of room to grow as a person and think that anyone being brave, bold and willing enough to stand up for what they believe in and protest is really inspiring.
“It inspires me to put just as much energy into not only putting out art, but putting out art that can help move people forward.”