An open letter to Liam Payne of One Direction – Try a Little harder

Dear Liam,

I believe that you are being honest when you say that you are not homophobic. I also believe that you genuinely meant no harm. I don’t believe that you should be vilified for your “throw away statement” about a song that you love.

“This is my favourite song off the last album, and it is about trying to find that number one woman of your life… which none of you can relate to, because most of you are girls.

“Except for the boys in here, you know what I’m talking about.”

I think that your comments came from a place of innocent ignorance. I think that you were blissfully unaware that your comments were heterosexist and therefore expressed a bias towards heterosexuals and a prejudice against the non-heterosexuals in your audience.

Essentially, you discriminated against your LGBT fans by not including them in the conversation and by implying that they couldn’t experience the emotions that you referred to.

If you are smart you will take a moment to educate yourself about heterosexism and use the opportunity to make people aware that heterosexism is a prejudice that discriminates and causes harm.

I won’t vilify you for your heterosexism because heterosexism is insidious in our society but I would ask that next time you try a little harder to be more inclusive, that next time you check yourself before making presumptions about people’s orientation.

We are surrounded by a world that is dominated by representations of heterosexual love and attraction, making it difficult for young non-heterosexuals to express themselves when they are viewed as not conforming to the norm. LGBT love is already underrepresented in our songs and our movies don’t add to that. Don’t presume that girls only love boys or that boys only love girls.

I won’t vilify you because I see this as an opportunity for me to educate you and for you in turn to put your hands up and say,

hey I was being prejudiced and I didn’t know it. In future I will never make assumptions about a person’s sexual orientation. I will not view the world, or speak about the world in a way that implies that heterosexuality is the only norm because doing that insinuates that any other kind of sexuality is ‘abnormal’ or second-class.

You have an opportunity to acknowledge your  heterosexism and your LGBT fans – go for it.

yours sincerely,

Sabina Brennan

This Open letter was published by Pink News

About sabinabrennan

I don't believe that we are any one thing. What and who we are at any moment in time is complex and context dependent. While labels are a useful shorthand that help us to navigate the world, all too often they play into people's prejudices and preconceptions. Here is a list of labels about me that begin with the letter 'p' Psychologist, Parent, Pro-Equality, Pacifist, Photographer, Perfectionist I could just as easily select another letter and make a different list of 'About me' labels. So try not to prejudge its just a list of labels beginning with 'p'
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3 Responses to An open letter to Liam Payne of One Direction – Try a Little harder

  1. aww… don’t get upset at pop stars being idiots, your head will explode.


    • I’m not upset, I just saw it as an opportunity to highlight how heterosexist our society is. The Pink News republished it and based on the comments heterosexism and homophobia are alive and well – its funny how most of the commenters assumed that I was an offended LGBT One Direction fan.


  2. ditajessica says:

    I think what he said is extremely disrespectful. As someone with the sheer number of fans that he has, surely he should have taken the time by now to consider and educate himself on his LGBT fans?


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