Marketing Communication Associate Professor Kristin Lieb published a piece on BuzzFeed News about LGBT women pop stars and how they’re representing the community.
In “2018 Is The Year Of The Queer Woman Pop Star,” Lieb examines how far representation has come in the 10 years since Katy Perry released the “fauxmosexual” song “I Kissed a Girl,” how today’s lesbian, bisexual and pansexual singers (Janelle Monáe, Hayley Kiyoko, Halsey, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, et al) are representing themselves and the LGBT community at large, and how much can reasonably be expected of them.
There’s no one way to be lesbian, bisexual, or pansexual — and precisely because there isn’t, LGBT audiences have different ideas about whose representations count as authentically queer. With fauxmosexuality dominating the foreground in recent years, it is not surprising that some younger people establishing their identities at that time — some of them pop stars — internalized some of its lessons (e.g., women only kiss each other when they are drunk, bored, feeling counter-normatively naughty — shhh, don’t tell your mother — or trying to turn a man on). Fauxmosexuality looked gayer than straightness, so it was the most reasonable choice for those who weren’t quite this but not quite that to choose to emulate. (If the only people “coming out” at the top of the industry were straight proxies, it’s heartbreaking, but not surprising, that these stars would serve as queer advisers for listeners and fans until the real thing came along.)