Liam Payne has graced the cover of Attitude Mag not once, but twice, for his solo interview that covered his “wild nights, gay rights, and why homophobia should be a thing of the past”.
The lengthly article hits shelves in the UK on September 11th but fans have been given a two day heads up about the piece from Liam himself on twitter. Since then the buzz surrounding this issue has been hard to ignore.
There have been mixed feelings about Liam taking the cover of Attitude Magazine. Some fans stating that it should have been other members of the band, some fans still a bit sour with Liam for a remark he made and apologized for at a concert earlier this summer. We think Liam was the perfect cover man for the article! He’s graciously given himself to fans during concerts and time off, he’s always trying to make sure fans are loved and taken care of, and his support and concern for us has always been at the top of his priority list.
I'm just here to make people smile I kinda consider it my job role
— Liam (@LiamPayne) August 19, 2015
Liam tackling topics like homophobia and gay rights makes a statement. It says I have a voice, one that’s heard and admired by many, and I’m going to use it for positivity, to spread light.
Or that’s what we expected.
The article dropped early and snap shots of it were plastered around twitter and tumblr. Much to fan dismay, it was not the home run we were waiting for. The tag line on the front that invited us all in to what seemed to be a positive, hopeful piece…was not any of the above.
Fans of One Direction have been schooled at this point on how to spot the difference between our boys online and in print interviews VS in real life and video interviews. There are videos of the boys questions and answers being edited out (management in the background saying we’ll have to cut that), of management telling the boys where to sit, where to stand, and who to interact with, and there have been tweets by the boys (specifically Harry) that lead us to believe some of what we see in them is not all it’s cracked up to be.
I'm being forced into it….
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) June 10, 2011
I advise them not to whisper to each other until they're off stage.
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) December 11, 2011
So the immediate reaction to Liam’s Attitude Mag interview was split, some fans outraged at the claims he made, while others took to his defense reminding fans that it isn’t always clear cut when it comes to the boys of One Direction.
Liam briefly discusses what’s next for One Direction, in a one line statement where he says “This won’t last forever, and there will be a point where we will break off and do our own things, but it’s something that comes back around and we will work together again”.
He touches on homosexuality when he says “My mates are my mates, regardless of their sexuality” and gay rights a question later where he says “It’s strange to me that countries are still refusing to pass the law.”
Not the big whopping statement we were looking forward to.
So when the interviewer asks Liam next if he sees his fans being more liberated, he has an open floor to acknowledge the beauty of the meaning behind the rainbows at the concerts and Rainbow Direction.
Instead, this is where the interview blows up.
He turns the question, the gesture of fans that makes them feel safe, loved, and comforted, into a moment to take a stab at ‘Larry’.
“When the law changed in the US there were loads of rainbow flags flying at our shows, but I think was mainly because people think of the Louis and Harry thing (that they’re secret lovers), which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane.”
There’s still hope for redemption at this point.
Until there isn’t.
The next question only allows for further stabs to be made at Larry fans where Liam confirms that he isn’t jealous at all, it’s just mad because it’s like being on the moon but people saying you weren’t there.
I’m still at a loss.
Then he addresses baby-gate and reassures fans that Louis is buzzin to be a father and in no way shape form or fashion is the pregnancy fake or a set up by their management company.
So we’ve got further confirmation about the baby, more proof and talk about how exciting of a time it is while Louis anticipates becoming a father (still not from Louis’ own mouth). We’ve got another Larry denial (bullsh*t 3.0 as the fandom has already coined it) and we’ve got our efforts as fans to make the lgbtq fans feel safe and loved being written off as more Larry rubbish.
All of this still comes from everyone but Louis and Harry, just a little thing I find painfully ironic.
So the fans are up in arms, and I can’t blame them. The article was pushed for almost 48 hours about being this lovely, eye opening, new view into the more mature side of the boys.
This article could have made change, it could have been the catalyst that inspired fans to really see the boys as adults, as more mature. It could have sent outsiders a glimpse into welcoming hearts and kind spirits of the boys who love, accept, and acknowledge all of their fans. It was the first time ANY of the boys were featured on a “gay” magazine and it could have been a platform for Liam to preach acceptance.
It could have created change.
It could have been the first of many steps in a new direction for the boys to create a different future after their break.
All it did was create more confused fans, left fans feeling alienated, and gave fans more ammo when we wonder where management stops and the boys begin.
To address what Liam said about uncomfortable situations: I do understand that when fans try to make everything about a ship it can get tiring, maybe collectively we can show appreciation to the boys in different ways. We shouldn’t have to hide what makes us happy but we don’t want to make them uncomfortable either. That being said, it’d be nice if it was understood that rainbows and pride don’t exist because of people who believe in Larry, or Ziam or Narry.
The article can be found in full on tumblr.
I still have faith in the boys. I still believe that Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam are the loving and respectful boys we see online. The boys that fans run into on a lucky day and feel like they’re loved and cared for. I still hope that these interviews are a product of Modest and their PR team, the team that should have their back but shows us time and time again that they don’t. However, at what point do we wonder if they’ve had enough, if we’ve had enough, and if we’ll ever really know the truth at all?
Their fifth album drops anytime now, and their contract is up soon after, I hope for our sake, and theirs, that we get a refreshed set of boys after their break.
We love you Liam, Harry, Louis, and Niall, we always will. We hope that you know that the fans who support you do it out of love. The rainbows we bring are for safety and acceptance, not because of Harry and Louis and a secret romance. If anything, the flags we bring that are acknowledged by any of you just mean that much more to us, because we see it as you noticing fans who have felt different and wrong, and loving them the same way you love all of your fans.
And those of us who believe there to be a bit more between Louis and Harry don’t do it to make you angry, we do it because we believe in love.
Happy days, right lads? That’s all any of us want with you.
To the fans who are disappointed by the article, please remember how great it feels to be at a One Direction concert lately, remember that loving feeling and hold on to that. We’ve seen our boys be manipulated before, here’s hoping that’s what this was again.