+
Identity

Harry Styles stops in the middle of concert to help a fan come out

Fans have been using his shows to come out since 2018.

harry styles, coming out, Pride Month, concert

Harry Styles makes his concerts safe spaces to come out.

Coming out can be an emotionally fraught process. Even when you're secure in your queerness, there's still a sense of fear and hesitation. Because it's so emotional, people sometimes choose an unconventional way to do it. That includes coming out in an unlikely place … like a Harry Styles concert. Yes, this has happened more than once.

Most recently, a fan of Styles used the singer's help to come out as gay during the Love On Tour 2022 stop at London's Wembley Stadium.


In a clip posted to Twitter, Styles picks up a cardboard sign that had been thrown onto the stage.

"From Ono to Wembley: help me come out," the sign reads.

"So you would like the people of Wembley to bring you out?" Styles asks, a smile on his face. You can tell he's done this before, and that he's genuinely excited to do it again.

"When this sign," he begins, but returns the sign to the fan and picks up a Pride flag.

"When this flag goes over my head, you're officially gay, my boy," he says with a proud smile on his face. Of course, the crowd begins to cheer.

Styles runs back and forth waving the flag, but hesitates before raising it over his head, joking, "still straight!" before he continues to run. Then he stops, raises the flag in the air while throwing his head back triumphantly.

"Congratulations, Mattia, you are a free man!" Styles screams as the crowd roars.

Styles then takes another minute to revel in what has just happened. It's obvious he takes his role of helping fans come out seriously. There's a level of trust and care between Styles and his fans underpinning what everyone has just witnessed.

Being in the audience of a Harry Styles concert when a fan comes out is both intimate and big. People make the choice to do it knowing their declaration will become a YouTube video or news article by the next morning, and that never seems to scare them. It seems that there's something liberating about coming out to thousands of strangers.

As a longtime Harry Styles fan, I've seen this happen in real life. During the Los Angeles dates of Love On Tour 2021, I attended two shows where fans used the concert as an opportunity to come out. Styles asked each fan if they had an item they wanted him to hold to signal their official outing. He then ran around the stage building the anticipation until the glorious moment the item was lifted over his head and the crowd erupted. It was an honor to be part of such a life-changing moment.

Styles isn't a stranger to helping his fans come out during one of his concerts. In 2018, during a tour stop in San Jose, California, Styles helped another fan come out.

"I'm going to come out to my parents because of you," says the sign Styles reads to the audience. Although the parents weren't in attendance (they were in a nearby hotel), Styles still took the opportunity to help.

"I'm going to tell Tina before you get a chance to," he said.

"Tina, she's gay!" he yells, before telling the young woman that her mom "says" that she loves her. The video has become a bit of an inside joke among fans, but proves that he has always been willing to provide a safe space for his fans.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train" actually saved 21 missing children.

Anyone who was a teen in the '90s will remember the grunge era. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were topping the charts with their gravely metaphorical lyrics, but they weren't alone. Soul Asylum burst onto the scene with their solemn anthem "Runaway Train" complete with a video that showcased missing kids.

The video gave missing and exploited children a much bigger platform to be recognized on, because before the video was showcased on MTV, milk cartons were the common method to distribute these photos. In theory, milk cartons seem like a pretty effective way to highlight missing children, but in reality, eventually people would become blind to the photos.

The music video for "Runaway Train" was played all around the world and to the target audience that would most likely recognize the faces. It should come as no surprise, then, that the video helped to bring home 21 missing children. What is surprising, is that the band had to push to keep the pictures of the missing kids in the music video because people didn't think it was working.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo from Pixabay

Courage and coming forward after a sexual assault

This article originally appeared on 10.12.17


"Why didn't she say anything sooner?"

It's the question that frustrates sexual assault prevention advocates and discredits the victims who bravely come forward after they've been targeted.

Stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — who both disclosed to The New York Times they'd been sexually harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein years ago — are among the latest women now having to trudge through a predictable wave of victim-blaming following their disclosures.

Keep ReadingShow less

Fox was granted the award for his contributions to Parkinson's disease research through his foundation.

Following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease back in the early '90s, beloved “Back to the Future” star Michael J. Fox became an unwavering advocate for others living with the condition. His Michael J. Fox Foundation, founded in 2000, has become the leading provider of funds for Parkinson's research in the world. A large chunk of that research goes into investigating potential cures for the disease.

His contributions to Parkinson's research were highlighted at the 13th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Los Angeles as a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which honors individuals "whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

As the now-retired actor took to the stage to accept his honorary Oscar, he delivered a speech full of emotion, grace and a sense of humor that shoots straight to the heart.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo pulled from YouTube video

Animated short about closeted love.

This article originally appeared on 07.31.17


After much breathless waiting and anticipation, the animated kids short "In a Heartbeat" was finally released on July 31, 2017.


The four-minute short film — which follows a closeted boy as he "runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams" — has captivated certain corners of the internet since its trailer was released in May and instantly went viral.

Keep ReadingShow less