Rita Ora reveals female romances after LGBT lyrics backlash
RITA ORA revealed she has had ‘romantic relationships’ with women as well as men, in a bid to play down a storm of criticism from LGBT musicians about the lyrics to her latest song.
Ora, 27, released Girls last week and in it she includes lyrics such as ‘I’m 50-50 and I’m never going to hide it’ before rejecting a man’s advances and breaking into the chorus: ‘Sometimes, I just want to kiss girls / Red wine, I just want to kiss girls’, while further lyrics from Cardi B read: ‘I could be your lipstick just for one night.’
But Rita’s fellow singers Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko have criticised the song, with Kiyoko saying its message was ‘dangerous’ to the bisexual community.
Kiyoko tweeted that the song did ‘more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalising the idea of women loving women… I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.’
Meanwhile, Kehlani, who recently described herself as queer on Twitter, wrote that certain of Rita’s lyrics ‘weren’t progressive’.
DJ Kittens wrote: ‘This song is literally about wanting to hehe kiss girls when you’re drinking and smoking weed… It’s harmful when LGBT women are fetishised and no relationships are ever taken seriously.’
Now Ora has responded to the criticism, apologising for the song, revealing her female romances and aligning herself with ‘other LGBTQ+ people’.
She said: ‘Hello everyone reading this. Girls was written to represent a truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life. I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.
‘I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone.
‘Looking forward, I hope that continuing to express myself through my art will empower my fans to feel as proud of themselves as I’m learning to feel about who I am.’
Ora added: ‘I’m ever thankful to my fans for teaching me to love myself no matter what. I have strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community throughout my entire career and always will be.’
Ora previously told People magazine she wanted the song, which also features Charli XCX, Cardi B and Bebe Rexha, to be a bisexual anthem.
Author: Anna Thomson