Students say artists do not have to define sexuality

Jessica GuerrucciReporter

When Ariana Grande sang the line, “I like women and men” in her new song, “Monopoly,” fans began speculating about her sexuality, but she said it is not something she needs to define.

Rumors regarding Grande’s sexuality began to circulate after she released the song with Victoria Monét on April 1. A fan tweeted at her, telling Grande that she does not need to label herself, and Grande replied that she had not felt the need to define her sexuality before, and still does not now.

Several students, including Tia Bonessi, a psychology major, said an artist’s sexuality is not important to her, and it is up to them whether they want to label themselves. Bonessi said no artist should be forced to “come out” about their sexuality because it is not public information.

“They always are in the spotlight and everything, and they can’t go out without paparazzi knowing and everyone knowing everything, so them not defining their sexuality is one piece they get to keep to themselves and have their own privacy,” said Bonessi.

Whether Grande used the song to come out or not, Bonessi said it should not be a huge deal, even though defining one’s sexuality does take a lot of courage.

“Society is jerks about things and everything, but nowadays it should be normalized, like they should be welcomed to be who they are,” said Bonessi.

Zoë Stradinger, a prenursing major, agreed, and said an artist’s sexuality is not anyone’s business. She said it should be about what they want and what they are comfortable with.

“Their choice is their choice,” said Stradinger. “If they want to, they can be open about it, but if they don’t want to tell anyone, they can keep it to themselves.”

Most artists are a big influence on their fans, so a possible benefit of them putting a label on their sexuality could be giving others the confidence to do so as well, but Stradinger still believes artists should only define their sexuality if they are comfortable.

“It will influence people, and that’s one of the pros of telling their audience, but then again, they’re also human, and if they’re not ready to come out, then they shouldn’t,” said Stradinger.

Some speculated that Grande was just sharing her support for the LGBTQ+ community in her song and not placing a label on her sexuality. Madeline Gil, an early childhood education major, said if celebrities like Grande want to use their platform to show support they can, but they do not have to.

Even if Grande was using the song to come out, Gil said putting a label on one’s sexuality is a personal choice, and if artists, or people in general, decide to so do, they can come out on their own terms.

“I feel like it’s whatever the person makes it to be and wants it to be,” said Gil. “If the person wants it to be a big deal and makes it a big deal, then it is a big deal, but I feel like, especially at our age and younger, they’re far more accepting than older generations.”

Jordan Lembo-Frey, a business major, said sexuality is a part of a person’s identity, but it does not define them, nor their music either. He said artists, like Grande, should put themselves first and do what they are comfortable with.

“As they say, it’s 2019, and you are who you are,” said Lembo-Frey. “Just because you’re gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, it doesn’t change who you are as person.”

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