American songwriter and pop singer, Hayley Kiyoko says she was advised to “tone down” her sexuality because her 2015 single Girls Like Girls was thought to be too sexual, and would hurt her career.
Kiyoko who revealed her struggles of being a lesbian singer in the industry in an interview with i-D, says that Girls Like Girls was too violent and too sexual for a lot of people to premiere,” Kiyoko explained.
“When you’re in the LGBTQ community and you’re open about your sexuality, it’s not common for you to hear your music played on the radio. It’s more common to be underground and left-of-centre with a selective core that listens to that music.”
“That’s why this is an exciting time to really break those barriers of… I wouldn’t say judgment, but to break out of that box.”
Despite the advice, Kiyoko says she instead chose to express herself openly in her music, regardless of what effect that may have in her career.
“My sexuality, loving myself, and expressing my love for others is not something that’s negotiable,” Kiyoko says.“There’s no toning that down because this is who I am and this is what I experience. I can’t change that.”
Watch Girls Like Girls on express below: