‘The queer aesthetic cannot be sold’
Christine and the Queens has criticised how queer issues are being used as a marketing ploy. The singer, real name Heloise Letissier, has hit out at Taylor Swift’s LGBTQ+ anthem “You Need To Calm Down” for highjacking the gay rights movement.
Speaking in an interview with Cosmopolitan, Letissier explained how she feels “conflicted” over the video. She said: “I guess somewhere, young gay men might watch that Taylor Swift video and feel a sense of relief.” But she went onto criticise the way that some artists are exploiting the LGBTQ+ community, continuing: “Being queer has been glossed out as this super-fancy accessory. You can tell that the queer aesthetic is being used to sell things. But I think the core of the queer aesthetic cannot be sold.”
Swift’s single was released this summer during Pride month, with the accompanying music video featuring a host of gay celebrities including the Fab Five from Netflix’s Queer Eye. The video encouraged fans to sign a petition pressing the US government to support the Equality Act. However, it’s divided opinion with critics claiming that Swift’s LGBTQ+ advocacy piggybacks off queer culture as a self-promotion tactic.
Further addressing accusations of succumbing to marketing ploys, Letissier discussed receiving backlash after changing her name to Chris on her second album, with some fans seeing it as a way to sell records. “It was so painful,” she said. “I’ve been singing ‘iT’ (a track which Letissier has said is about ‘wanting to have a dick in order to have an easy life’) for the past five years. It’s never been marketing for me. It’s about jumping into the unknown and saying things loudly.”
Look back at our profile of Chris here.