The ‘Bury A Friend’ singer has said that the song’s title and meaning has been misinterpreted and was meant to be a joke.
In a new interview with PopBuzz, the 17-year-old star responded to a backlash about the song (“queer-baiting”, as suggested elsewhere by Pride.com). “First off I want to be so clear that it’s so not supposed to be an insult. I feel like it’s been a little bit misinterpreted. I tried so hard to not make it in any way offensive,” she said.
got excited bc i thought that wish you were gay song was abt fancying women but turns out its about wishing the boy that rejected u was gay so he had a 'valid' reason im so tired
— sam☔ (@sam_jja) March 4, 2019
“The whole idea of the song is, it’s kind of a joke. It’s kind of like, ‘I’m an ass and you don’t love me.’ And you don’t love me because you don’t love me and that’s the only reason and I wish you didn’t love me because you didn’t love girls.”
The song, which was released this week ahead of ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’, the musician’s debut album which drops March 29, hears Eilish sing about being rejected romantically by a guy and wishing they were gay so that things feel less hurtful.
The chorus includes the lyrics: “To spare my pride / To give your lack of interest an explanation / I’m not your type / Maybe I’m not your preferred gender orientation.”
Eilish also said in the PopBuzz interview: “It could be the opposite way. It could be a girl interested in a girl and maybe that girl likes girls also but she doesn’t like her back. And then it’s like, ‘Well damn. I wish you were straight!’ You know what I’m saying, it could be exactly the other way. I wish you were straight because you didn’t like me because you like boys.”
In 2018, Eilish posted an Instagram story in which she announced that the boy in question did in fact come out as gay. “And guess what? He just came out to me like a couple weeks ago. So I wrote the song and made him fuck a dude. I’m fucking proud, bro! Except not really though because I was really into him, like so into him, he’s so hot oh my God, he’s so attractive.”
- READ MORE: Pop Is Not A Dirty Word: Billie Eilish is the antidote to the pop world’s false smiles – and a role model-cum-peer for her female fans
Meanwhile, Eilish has spoken for the first time at length about living with Tourette syndrome.
“It’s confusing when someone is making a weird face gesture or throwing out their neck,” she told The Fader. “The internet hasn’t really seen the bad [tics] because I’m really good at suppressing them. The thing is, the longer you suppress them, the worse they get afterwards.”