Pop culture sightings of queer feminine representation are rarer than a Big Foot sighting.
Sure, acts like Tegan and Sara have been doing it for the gals since '95 and modern day Halsey is unapologetic in her bisexuality, but so rarely do we ever see the representation of queer female love that isn't merely "implied" or insinuated.
Enter Hayley Kiyoko.
If Hayley looks a bit familiar, it's because she's been on shows like The Vampire Diaries and Wizards of Waverly Place, and more recently, Hayley had a starring role in 2015's Jem and The Holograms film.
Over the last year, Hayley's music has made her a bit of a gay icon for her young teen fan base.
The new @HayleyKiyoko music video is just her sexually confusing a group of hot girls. I'm into it— Camden Scott (@cammiescott) August 6, 2016
a concept: hayley kiyoko, halsey, troye sivan and olly alexander making one big gay collab— chloe (@everothlo) August 5, 2016
i just remembered hayley kiyoko has a new music vid coming out i cant wait aaaaaaaaa give me the gay content— FUCK THE GARRISON (@franniefey) July 31, 2016
Since releasing visuals for the aptly titled "Girls Like Girls" in June of 2015, Hayley's videos have consistently featured narratives that revolve around same sex female relationships.
This can be likened to Troye Sivan's Blue Neighbourhood series as well as Halsey's own foray into "nontraditional" visuals via "Ghost". It's been a long road but teen sexuality and non binary relationship aesthetics are finally having a real moment in pop.
Hayley's latest video for "Gravel To Tempo" has similar sexual undertones. This time Hayley delves into the nuance of acceptance and standing out from the crowd. In it she dances, struts, and makes advances that feel carefree and weightless.
This is in contrast to so many representations of queer attraction which focus, almost disproportionately, on the harrowing experiences of growing up gay, and not nearly enough on the overwhelming joy of self-acceptance.
Hayley is a woman of colour, tackling issues on sexual attraction, non binary relationships, and self acceptance. Her appearance onto a pop scene finally ready to acknowledge young, queer love is refreshing. She joins the likes of Halsey, Shura, and even a super charged Tegan and Sara--all doing a great deal to pull female focused sexuality into the foreground of modern pop.
If you're not excited about the likes of Hayley Kiyoko, you definitely should be. Her brand of fearless pop feels perfectly in step with the current direction of the genre. She's young, multi-talented, and unafraid to do things differently. If nothing else is exciting you in music, that certainly should.