One Direction has not exactly been impervious to the inevitable gay rumors that every boy band has faced. In fact, even in the past week they have managed to stir up more material for gay news stories than even Lance Bass did when he came out.
There has been the fan fiction featuring a romance between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, Styles's pro-gay response to the Westboro Baptist Church's homophobic protest of the band's concert, and let's not forget their fondess for twerking, Styles's planting a kiss on Zayn Malick's cheek in their perfume commercial, and Andy Cohen referring to them as "twinks." Even Lance Bass has said that, statistically speaking, one of the members is most likely gay (He would know).
Whether or not there's any of the rumors, the band continues their group bromance and doesn't seem to care all that much what people say, so much so that in their newest video one of them Malick dons drag and Liam Payne takes a turn as a Richard Simmons-esque (Read: stereotypically gay) choreographer. They're not exactly complex or deep portrayals (Ok, not at all.), but there's something to be said for them not shying away from behavior that will definitely still draw rumors.
And just so you won't miss one gay moment, here are the top five in the 6-minute video.
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This is the big one, heels and all. Other boy bands have donned pretty camp getups before, but going full drag is a whole lot gayer than that, especially when it's done this well. Malick looks damn good and he's not an object of mockery or laughter (Well, not any more than anything else in the video). He's just a guy in drag, dancing with another guy. The Westboro Baptist Church won't like it, which makes us like it that much more.
2. Sexual tension between Styles and drag Malick
Bravo to them for not portraying the interaction between a cis-guy and one in drag as weird or in any way but a playful one. The members have always been publicly affectionate and just because one of them is in a skirt and a wig doesn't make it any less acceptable than bromance behavior.
3. Leroy, the choreographer
Ok, so this guy is super stereotypical and that's not exactly ideal, but it is a short pop music video. It would be kind of difficult to go into any Queer As Folk- or Weekend- style depth of character when there's so much running around and riding in shopping carts to be done. That said, they're willing to play gay and coupled with their public defense of homosexuality, there's no pressing need to criticize them for actually including a gay character.
4. Potential looks taken from other gay-ish musical groups
The "producers" of their movie (Niall Horan and Tomlinson in costume) want a new public image for the band, and all the suggestions are clearly just photos of The Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, New Kids On the Block, and the best—The Village People, and what looks like a male version of the "Single Ladies" dancers. At first when the members reject these ideas it may seem a little homophobic, but it's more likely the fact that the looks are outdated and stale. Except for The Village People. Those outfits are timeless. And they're all obviously attached, both physically and emotionally, to their skinny jeans.
5. The dancing. All of it.
At this point, no one is really expecting any of them to be on Justin Timberlake's level (We all remember the anti-gravity box in "Bye Bye Bye" --that was advanced stuff), but they're making an effort. Most of their "dancing" up until now has been running on beaches. They're still kind of running around, but there's now some butt shaking, shimmying, hip thrusting, jumping, and canoeing. They would actually probably benefit from a choreographer like the one Payne portrays, or maybe a more serious one.
Judge for yourself: