Some people don’t understand the power of the four letters arranged to form a simple word.
Sometimes it’s because they haven’t experienced it themselves, other times it’s because they’ve been taught that love has to fit a certain mold, look a certain way, and when it doesn’t; they can’t accept it.
Sometimes it’s because they’ve been burned and after feeling that much pain they’re unable to grasp that happiness in love exists again.
But then there are the believers.
There are the people who have seen love flourish and they can’t give up on it. They won’t give up on it.
There are people who believe in fairytales, they see color in a world where most only see black and white. There are people who believe in magic even when they’ve been told that it only exists in storybooks.
These are the people who keep love alive; the ones who do the work to provide beauty for the world without even realizing it. These are the people who make others believe again.
These are people like Louis and Harry.
When the boys were just starting out; young and doe eyed, they entered a world where they’d experience things they never imagined. They would see incredible places and get the chance to do things most people only dream of. They’d also be faced with an unkindness that they wouldn’t have seen at the magnitude they have, had it not been for their career.
Louis and Harry found strength in each other, a sense of home in one another, and they lived this incredible 5 year journey together with their best friends. They were never quite the same as everyone else though, having experienced a unique bond from the day they met, there was always something more to the two of them.
At first, it was joked about, humored even by the people around them. Larry Stylinson was an often romanticized relationship between the two of them and they didn’t get upset about it. The young, wide eyed, full hearted duo smiled and made fond faces at each other when asked about their ‘bromance’. The infamous “some people genuinely think” quote came from an interview where the boys were asked about Larry (also notable: Liam slides in “you are though, aren’t you”). There was a woman who asked a young Harry if he and Louis were dating, he smiled and nodded and she replied with “I figured” and his face lit up. He was asked by Sugarscape who his first real crush was; he replied with “Louis Tomlinson” and “It’s mutual, we’ve discussed it” was born.
It could be argued that @Louis_Tomlinson denied Larry, and sure the twitter persona has, but in person the two couldn’t even bring themselves to shut down rumors that there’s more to them than friendship. It can also be argued that @Lous_Tomlinson said that he was straight, but neither he nor Harry have spoken out about their sexuality, and we shouldn’t expect them to. Sexuality is not a deciding factor on what makes a person admirable, and we are not owed an answer or a declaration of who/what they’re attracted to.
There were beautiful months when Louis and Harry were able to interact and do so without looking over their shoulders or asking for permission, but as time went on and there was more weight given to their relationship by the public, Larry fans began to notice a shift in the atmosphere, a break in the way they cared about each other.
We saw the entire thing begin to fall apart in front of our eyes and we could do nothing but sit back and watch, but it wasn’t just Larry that was changing. It was Louis, it was Harry, individually our boys were different and it was more than just ‘growing up’.
Louis went from a loud, flamboyant young man to a quiet, snarky guy in a relationship. Harry went from someone who frequently talked about his attraction and love for Louis to someone who tattooed things on his things I can’t arm and wrote let us love on a leather bound journal he carried clutched tight to his body. They weren’t able to express themselves through words, so they found a new way to communicate.
Fans started noticing special gestures between the two boys, silent ways of communicating. We noticed seemingly hidden movements between the two of them and what came out as a type of sign language between the two was a frequent part of not only their shows, but meet and greets, interviews, and private performances. Some of the most famous being the thumbs up and the way they pressed their thumbs into the skin of one another, the ‘mine’ hand gesture, and the sign for sweetheart/lover.
They were told they couldn’t use their voices to communicate, so they used their bodies instead.
Louis, who earlier said tattoos weren’t his thing, displayed ink on his skin. In some circumstances, the art on his body mirrored Harry’s. The ‘oops’ and ‘hi’, the anchor and rope, the stag and 17 black, the ship and the compass, the heart and the arrow, the rose and the DAGGER (Yes, Louis got the dagger), and the butterfly to the it is what it is. At first glance, the tattoos could be explained away as coincidence to an outsider, but when set one turned into two, and then three and then four, we started to believe there was a big more than just a ship or just a fat bird on their bodies.
When they were told their love made them less, they proved to the world that they were, in fact, more.
There were years of minimal contact between Louis and Harry, times where we saw them close to tears in the presence of one another because they couldn’t be together in the way they both wanted. There were concerts after concerts, tour dates after tour dates where the boys hardly acknowledged that they were on the same stage, let alone the same band. They were shoved in different directions publicly, made to be lesser versions of themselves to fit the mold of “normal boy-bander” and given training on how to be more of who their management team wanted them to be. The changes seemed subtle to outsiders, but the dynamic of their relationship slowly falling apart hit fans like a freight train. We didn’t buy it, and most of us still don’t.
The rift between them, the “fan” induced disdain because “Larry shippers tried to force sexuality” upon them, and the narrative that Louis and Harry who had once been so close in public now hated each other was not one that we bought, but it was one that we were gifted. It was thrown out that specific One Direction fans were going to be the undoing of the band, and sadly people caught it. This allowed their management team, the people behind the scenes who should have been looking out for them, got to prop their feet up, place their hands securely in their laps, and watch it all blow up knowing that they lit the match.
So Larry fans had all but grown used to constant negativity, being questioned and sometimes questioning ourselves, and knowing that the small interactions we all missed were sadly, long gone.
Then, OTRA happened. The tour that started in February of 2015 brought a different window of opportunity for the boys and while we still saw a lot of them being apart off stage, we began to see a lot of them being together while on it. We also saw them travel together, publicly, for the first time in years. They began to smile at each other again, get closer during certain songs, and more recently, we’ve seen them interact on stage. They took part in the familiar act of note changes once more and we’ve even seen them turn their bodies towards each other during telling lyrics of love songs.
We’ve also seen different interaction between Louis and Harry in meet and greets. Fan stories used to be released that said the handlers backstage would say no to certain things that they asked Harry and Louis to do, never going over the top with their requests, but they simply weren’t allowed to touch. However a sweet girl who was backstage for a meet and greet recently asked all of the boys to hold hands and instead of keeping her story to herself, she shared it with all of us openly, knowing she’d get criticized, knowing she’d receive hate, but realizing that her adoration for Larry was worth whatever was thrown her way. The story of her experience with Louis and Harry was one of beauty and love and a little bit of magic, if you’d like to read about it, she posted a run down here.
It’s almost as if Larry was reborn, given a gift of a second life, and fans couldn’t keep quiet about it. Larry fans took to twitter and tumblr to describe their joy at the interaction between the boys, but with open admiration comes the window for people to tell you that what you enjoy is wrong.
Larry fans are frequently blamed for being the subgroup of One Direction fans who cause the most problems, but the majority of them just want to see Louis and Harry happy, and can’t help it if they’ve seen them at their best when they’re together. Larry fans are constantly hated on by other One Direction fans who go around preaching tolerance and acceptance, but only if their opinion is the one being matched. I am an older fan of the boys myself, still in my mid twenties, but not their stereotypical age range. I’ve seen fans on both sides of the matter tear each other apart, but it’s usually only after a fan of Larry tweets about them doing something that makes us happy, that these arguments begin.
I almost wonder if sometimes we forget that our idols want us to love everyone, want us to accept people even when we have differences. I sometimes think fans lose sight of the message we love our boys for preaching because the desire to be right overrides everything.
Regardless of what side of the fence you stand on, Louis and Harry have undoubtedly been interacting more in 2015, specifically in the last couple months, and it’s a big topic of conversation.
In Larry seemingly getting a second life, it seems as if Louis and Harry did also. In their own ways the boys have been able to come into themselves a bit more. We’ve seen Louis come back; a bit of his flamboyant side surfacing again. Louis has been the whipping boy of One Direction, the easiest one to take the swing at and the one who catches most of the punches, but while all of that happens to him, real fans of Louis know the truth. We’ve seen Louis as the boy we were meant to see him as, but we never forgot about the sweet boy who lived underneath the public image, the Louis that existed outside of the spotlight. While it’s obvious that Louis still can’t speak out about certain issues and he couldn’t possibly hold up a rainbow flag or be adorned with a rainbow bracelet without catching flack for it the very next moment, he sees the walls around him beginning to crumble, and he’s enjoying the view.
Harry posted in color for the first time in months in 2015, most Larry fans linked this to Louis. Harry has become more comfortable wearing the clothes he wants, allowing his curls to grow great lengths and waving them around the stage each night. We’ve seen him embrace things that most people would label feminine and do so with a smile and an air of confidence that looks so beautiful on him. We’ve also seen Harry become more open about his acceptance and openness to love everyone. He congratulated American’s on the day all marriage was declared legal in our country, he’s worn rainbow bracelets, and he’s given us his acceptance as fans, supporting us in all that we do.
In Buffalo, Harry draped a rainbow flag around his body and danced with it during Act My Age. It caused a plethora of humbled fans to take to social media and thank him for the kind gesture.
In Montreal, Harry draped a rainbow flag around his body and danced with it again. This time, we caught a glimpse of Louis too.
Louis stood behind Harry and watched him with a fond appreciation as Harry threw the rainbow flag up, for the second show in a row, and paraded it around the stage. He looked on with a warm smile as he ran up the catwalk knowing that Harry was brave, he was lovely and he was using his social status to do something good for everyone. Louis watched his friend make a statement to millions without having to say a word, and he did it with such pride I felt my own heart grow in size.
Does Harry carrying a rainbow flag around the stage prove that Larry is real? Not a chance, it proves that he uses his celebrity to bring awareness to social issues and that his heart is huge and loving and accepting of all people. Does Harry wearing a rainbow bracelet prove that Larry is real? No but it proves that he knows that love is love, no matter who it exists between, no matter what the body of the individual your soulmate resides in looks like. Does Harry speaking up for all love prove that Larry is real? No, but it proves that Harry is supportive.
Does Louis being enchanted by Harry fondly while he dances around with a rainbow flag prove that Larry is real? No but it proves that he’s proud of his friend for making a statement. Does Louis watching Harry prance around with the rainbow flag and not being able to contain the smile plastered across hit face prove that Larry is real? No but it proves that Louis is supportive.
And you know what they say.
Pick someone supportive.