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Is Harry Styles Co-opting a Queer Identity?

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nytimes.com

To the Editor: Re “Harry Styles Walks a Fine Line,” by Anna Marks (Opinion guest essay, Aug. 31), about the singer’s use of queer symbols while declining to claim a queer identity: The fine line that Harry Styles actually walks is not between so-called “queerbaiting” and the closet, but between being his authentic self (someone who chooses to use his massive platform to celebrate and uplift gender fluidity, nonconformity and queer positivity) and being the person Ms.

Marks and others wish him to be (explicitly one thing or another). The good he has done in helping so many young people feel comfort in expressing themselves is measurable and profound — not something that, as the author suggests, we should “mourn” just because he hasn’t claimed any specific labels.

David ValdesArlington, Mass. To the Editor: I understand the impulse to ask a celebrity to come out — if they are indeed queer — so that a wider public may increase their acceptance of queer people and queer lives.

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