Pop singer Hayley Kiyoko says she was told to “tone down” her sexuality because her 2015 single “Girls Like Girls” was thought to be too sexual.
Kiyoko revealed the struggles of being a lesbian singer in the industry in an interview with i-D.
“‘Girls Like Girls’ was too violent and too sexual for a lot of people to premiere,” Kiyoko said. “When you’re in the LGBTQ community and you’re open about your sexuality, it’s not common for you to hear your music played on the radio. It’s more common to be underground and left-of-centre with a selective core that listens to that music. That’s why this is an exciting time to really break those barriers of… I wouldn’t say judgement, but to break out of that box.”
Instead, Kiyoko fought to express herself openly in her music.
“My sexuality, loving myself, and expressing my love for others is not something that’s negotiable,” Kiyoko says.“There’s no toning that down because this is who I am and this is what I experience. I can’t change that.”