​watch years & years’ glorious gender-queer pop video orgy

Frontman Olly Alexander has written an open letter explaining that, as an openly-gay pop star, he wants to celebrate sex that's inclusive of a diverse range of identities and sexualities.

by Charlotte Gush
|
Mar 4 2016, 2:33pm

Pop music videos have always been sexy. And in celebrating a steamy vision of sex, these visuals have long shocked and offended pop fans' parents. However, those depictions of sex and sexiness have tended to follow a pretty set pattern: heterosexual romance or a kind of aggressive hetero hook up with a macho man and objectified woman. Pop band Years & Years is trying to change that with its sensual, diverse and gender-queer new video for "Desire," featuring Tove Lo.

"I've been wanting to make a video with some of my queer family for a long time and 'Desire' felt like the right time to do it," the band's lead singer, Olly Alexander, writes in an open letter to fans that accompanies the film. "Every Y&Y video has some similar elements that run through it: magical worlds, symbolism, pretty lights and this time I wanted sex added into that mixture. I wanted the video to feel sexy," he says. "Everyone has a different definition of what they find sexy, so why do we so often get given one version of what sexy is time and time again? Is there a rulebook for men and women on how to feel sexy or what sexy is? For me, whoever it is, two women, two men, a group of gender-queer people, it's all cute. It can all be a positive and a joyful expression of sexiness and sexuality, you don't have to be a specific gender to enjoy it."

Olly notes that he's not the only openly-gay frontman, but also that there aren't very many and that he has at times, "felt real pressure to hide or to limit my sexuality." "Most often I see the following kind of attitude -- we don't mind if you're gay, just don't be too gay or that's a bit much; a bit camp; a bit weird; don't shove it in our faces etc," he explains, asserting, "Well, if 'shoving it in your face' essentially refers to the way that lots of straight pop stars get to assert their sexuality then I'll be damned if I'm not gonna shove it in your face if I want to." Yes! Go Olly!

"So yeah, gay people have sex, and it's not just gay people, it's all kinds of people! All these non-straight people, they're out there, having sex! Sex, between two consenting adults, can be a healthy, positive, safe and enjoyable thing! Hopefully most of you know this and you don't need me to give you a sex ed lesson (I didn't have any sex ed at school so I'd probably be bad at it) and to be fair, not everybody wants to hear me bang on about my sex life. But here's the thing, I like having sex, being able to assert myself, and talk about my sexuality is an empowering thing for me."

"What do we expect from pop music? From our pop stars? What do we expect from the ones that are gay? I don't know the answers to these questions but I for one don't want to see a narrow representation of gender and identity on our screens or in our music. I want diversity. We shouldn't have to feel scared about putting our sexualities and identities on display in all their beautiful, interlocking, multi-layered multi-colored glory. I want to be proud. Proud to shove it in people's faces if I want to."

You can read the full open letter from our new favorite pop star on the Years & Years Facebook page.