Changing the game! Harry Styles, Billy Porter and more major stars have sparked important conversations about the gender binary, inspiring a generation of fans to be their most authentic selves.
The former One Direction member caused a stir when he posed on the cover of Vogue magazine’s December 2020 issue in a lace-trimmed Gucci dress. One year prior, he spoke about blurring the boundaries in men and women’s fashion.
“What’s feminine and what’s masculine, what men are wearing and what women are wearing — it’s like there are no lines anymore,” he told The Face in 2019. “I’m not always super outspoken. But I think it’s very clear from choices that I make that I feel a certain way about lots of things.”
When asked about his tendency to wave rainbow flags onstage during his concerts, Styles said it was a simple act of allyship. “I want everyone to feel welcome at shows and online,” he explained. “They want to be loved and equal, you know? I’m never unsupported, so it feels weird for me to overthink it for someone else.”
During a conversation with Timothée Chalamet for i-D magazine later that year, the “Adore You” singer reflected on how being raised by his mom after his parents split impacted his definition of masculinity.
“I didn’t grow up in a man’s man world. I grew up with my mum and my sister,” Styles told the Call Me By Your Name actor. “But I definitely think in the last two years, I’ve become a lot more content with who I am. … I think there’s so much masculinity in being vulnerable and allowing yourself to be feminine, and I’m very comfortable with that.”
Porter, for his part, has stepped up his red carpet looks in recent years, striking poses in capes, tuxedo gowns and more. The Broadway legend recalled never feeling “masculine enough” as a child while speaking with Allure in February 2020.
“The heteronormative construct that masculinity is better silenced me for many years,” he said. “It was like my masculinity was in question before I could even comprehend the thought. … Flamboyant was a word that was used to marginalize me and pigeonhole me and keep me in a box.”
Now, Porter is done hiding who he is — despite what haters say. “I’m a part of the first generation of gay men, ever, who gets to be out loud and proud in the world,” he added. “My generation is the first. Bitches are scared. And they should be.”
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Keep scrolling to see how other celebs — from musicians to movie stars — challenge gender norms on the regular: