Pop singer Hayley Kiyoko has spoken about her experience of coming out – and how fan reaction helped her embrace her sexuality.
Speaking to PAPER in their Pride issue, the ‘Girls Like Girls’ artist looked back on writing the 2015 single. Kiyoko said she was encouraged by the song’s co-writer Lily May Young to reveal her true identity and desires, having avoided the subject previously.
“I came out to her and said, ‘I just want to sing about being cocky and stealing someone’s girl, because that’s my dream.’ She told me to write about it.”
Kiyoko added that she was surprised by the amount of positivity within the track’s comments section. “I was shocked at how people weren’t judging me,” she said. “I was ready to be judged, and I was ready to be labelled.
“That was a moment for me where I was like, I can be myself and people are okay with that.”
The singer’s self-directed video for ‘Girls Like Girls’ has a huge 90 million views on YouTube. Check it out above.
Elsewhere in the chat, Kiyoko referred to Tegan and Sara as a musical inspiration – praising the “cool and edgy” group for their “damn catchy” melodies.
“Only the really cool people knew about them when I was growing up,” she added. ” In some ways, I think that’s how I ended up in pop: My strength is writing catchy melodies.”
While Kiyoko also praised Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’, the singer recently criticised Rita Ora’s single ‘Girls’ for being “downright tone-deaf”. Ora later reflected on the controversy, stating that “there’s not one way to come out”.
“This song is about liberation and freedom and empowerment and celebrating who you are,” she said. “I think the narrative is shifting already. There’s not one way to come out.”