The singer recently revealed that she’s single and named Maya Hawke as her celeb crush

BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGES BY STARSTOCK/FEATUREFLASH/DREAMSTIME

Can you “soft launch” coming out? Billie Eilish’s fans seem to think so. Billie recently confirmed that she and her ex Jesse Rutherford have split and that she is single and last weekend, the award-winning pop star connected with her fans by doing an Instagram Q&A and her answers have left many to ponder over whether she casually came out as queer in doing so.

Out Magazine reported that during the Q&A one fan asked “Who’s your celeb crush BE HONEST” and the What Was I Made For singer responded with a photo of Stranger Things and Do Revenge star Maya Hawke. And yes, I did let out a little squeak that Billie and I share the same crush. When a second fan asked, “Fruity?”, Billie responded with a close-up image of a fruit salad.

It’s important to note that this is definitely not a direct coming out. With that said these posts are enough to make anyone well-versed in the language used by those who are “chronically online” speculate over the meaning of the posts. And that’s just what fans have been doing across social media. One user (@bridgelor) posted screenshots of the answers and asked “did billie just… soft launch???” And according to Out’s report, this is not the first time Billie has hinted at her sexuality.

It’s important to note that no one ever owes anyone a coming out, whether they are a celebrity or not. More and more, we’re seeing both famous and non-famous people not feeling the need to label themselves. Harry Styles – who has frequently been accused of “queerbaiting” – has been open on how he finds it “outdated” to need to tell the world who he is attracted to. Harry is far from the only celeb to be accused of queerbaiting, a term which was designed to critique writing choices on TV and is now frequently wrongly used to describe how individuals live their lives. Accusations such as these can force people into coming out before they are ready to do so, taking away their ability to do so on their own terms. This is what happened with Heartstopper’s Kit Connor and it is not okay.

On the other side of this, celebrities such as Kesha and Angelina Jolie who have openly addressed their queerness often have this erased or questioned by the public due to their relationships with men. So while it’s vital that we establish that no one ever owes anyone a coming out, it’s also important that when people do tell us who they are, we believe them.

@niccrosara

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