Harry Styles preaches acceptance, supports LGBT+ activist


Harry Styles in concert. Photo via Scott Barbour/Getty Images for ARIA.

Brooke Sufrin

From a group that generated massive success worldwide and was the heart of a generation of crazed fans, comes a solo artist, one that exudes positivity, enhances spirit, and warms the crowd with his natural charisma. Harry Styles of One Direction fame just ended his first ever solo tour, selling out stadiums and arenas worldwide. With the boy band on a proclaimed hiatus, Styles has continued his music career and captured his audience while doing so in a politically active way.

The 24-year-old first embarked on his tour, titled Treat People With Kindness, in September, and ended it with a bang on July 15. In response to a poster that one of his fans held up that said, “I’m gay and I love you,” Styles said, “I mean, we are all a little bit gay.” This has sent fans and media alike into a frenzy, as this is the first that Styles has spoken out, even indirectly, about his sexuality, which has frequently been questioned.

At his June 14 show at the Hershey Park Stadium, which this reporter attended, Styles wore a blue tuxedo and danced with the Pride flag draped around his shoulders during a number of his songs. During his song “Sweet Creature”, a self-written ballad, a pre-planned fan project was created to honor the artist in which each section of the stadium held up a different color so Styles could see a rainbow across his audience during his performance. Styles commented on this intimate experience between audience and artist, saying that it was something he appreciated and thought was “quite special.”

harry styles june 2018
Photo courtesy of Brooke Sufrin.

In between sets, Styles paused from his vocals to address his fans, explaining that in his crowd, every one of his fans has the right to be whoever they want to be, generating a theme of inclusivity and love among all of his fans. 

Post-One Direction, Styles seems to be embracing a genuine love for his fans and passion for his music. His first solo single, “Sign of the Times”, ranked number one on the U.K. charts and number four in America. In this piece, Styles begs of his listeners to accept the current happenings of their surroundings but to allow for introspection and human communication. With a catchy tune, this single has a deeper meaning that fans enjoy exploring. 

Styles has openly expressed a silly, goofy demeanor when acting as a member of One Direction. Now, as an independent artist, his easy-going manner is still apparent. However, it’s clear that Styles also intends to bring depth and meaning, both to his music and to his image. That he passionately fights for LGBT rights and consciously tries to make his fanbase more accepting and sensitive of others is a sign that these times, however trying, can be used as a way to bring people together.