On an evening when Dangerous Bunny turned the first-ever non-English act to win the coveted Artist of the Yr award at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, a lot of the web discourse concerning the reggaeton star has been centered round him kissing a male dancer throughout a efficiency.
Total, this on-line discourse contains many posts declaring that Bunny is now formally “homosexual” or “at the least bi” – an extremely outdated oversimplification. There are additionally those that are claiming that Bunny’s profession has taken successful as of late and that he’s due to this fact “queerbaiting” audiences for consideration’s sake. And final, however actually not least, some are even selecting to match Bunny’s on-stage homosexual kiss to Harry Kinds’ current statements in interviews.
First, the information. Bunny’s “Titi Me Preguntó” is a tune about having your aunties always ask you about your girlfriends throughout household gatherings. The tune talks concerning the pressures of answering that query, irrespective of which solutions you’re capable of give. Although the tune doesn’t come from a queer perspective, this dynamic is unquestionably one thing that queer individuals can relate to.
Bunny’s efficiency of “Titi Me Preguntó” on the 2022 VMAs begins with wedding ceremony bells taking part in within the background and the silhouette of a marriage chapel. Bunny seems on stage carrying what is meant to be his bride on this efficiency, after which begins singing the tune. It’s overtly established that this can be a wedding-themed efficiency. , precisely like Madonna’s wedding-themed efficiency on the 2003 VMAs the place she kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Although Bunny in all probability wasn’t referencing that particular, iconic VMA second, the parallels are nonetheless there.
Bunny’s final main assertion about his sexuality got here up throughout an interview with the Los Angeles Occasions. The reggaeton star famous that sexuality “doesn’t outline” him, including: “On the finish of the day, I don’t know if in 20 years I’ll like a person. One by no means is aware of in life. However in the intervening time I’m heterosexual and I like ladies.” As a substitute of skirting across the subject and giving non-answers, Bunny very clearly recognized as a heterosexual man who doesn’t rule out being with males sooner or later. In different phrases, he’s open about his sexuality having a sure fluidity.
So far as his profession, this has been Bunny’s most profitable yr to this point. As famous by @chartdata on Twitter, Bunny broke “his personal all-time report for greatest streaming yr for any artist in Spotify historical past” in 2022. His newest album, Un Verano Sin Ti, had 356.66 million streams in its first week alone. In the meantime, Bunny’s newest tour, El Último Tour del Mundo, offered 575,000 tickets and grossed as a lot as $116.8 million. He has additionally damaged a number of Billboard data this yr, not solely inside the style of Latin music, but additionally in main charts from the publication. By actually any normal, Bunny’s profession has by no means been larger… therefore why he gained the Artist of the Yr award on the VMAs.
However the wildest recurring themes on this discourse have been the “queerbaiting” comparisons between Bunny and Kinds. Sure individuals are actually saying that queer individuals shouldn’t accuse Kinds however excuse Bunny, as if these two artists have the very same historical past with the LGBTQ+ neighborhood and have taken actions which are mainly the identical.
Lately, Kinds confronted queerbaiting accusations for telling Rolling Stone, “Generally individuals say, ‘You’ve solely publicly been with ladies,’ and I don’t suppose I’ve publicly been with anybody. If somebody takes an image of you with somebody, it doesn’t imply you’re selecting to have a public relationship or one thing.” The criticism that emerged from this assertion is that Kinds seemed to be baiting individuals into believing that he might need had a queer relationship previously, probably. That is utterly completely different from Bunny’s aforementioned assertion affirming that he’s solely been with ladies however isn’t closed off to the potential of being with males sooner or later.
Bunny’s whole historical past with the LGBTQ+ neighborhood has been about breaking down the “macho” stereotype that has been set over the course of so a few years by male reggaeton stars in Latin America. The hypothesis or the definitive conclusion of whether or not Bunny is fluid, bi, homosexual, or queer has by no means been the purpose, and has by no means been his level, both.
When Bunny will get in full drag for the “Yo Perreo Sola” music video (after which shares a behind-the-scenes clip of him stunning his girlfriend whereas in full drag and giving her a kiss) or kisses a male dancer on the VMAs, he’s not making an attempt to bait individuals into considering that he’s this, that, or the opposite. He’s making an attempt to indicate straight Latin males that you would be able to be the largest star on this planet with out being misogynistic, homophobic, and/or transphobic. Bunny’s personal id and sexuality are extremely unimportant inside the grand scheme of what he’s making an attempt to do and say as an artist, which is why accusing him of “queerbaiting” feels so extremely fallacious and uncalled-for.
Certain, Bunny knew that kissing a person on the VMAs would learn as shock worth. He in all probability additionally knew that some critics would accuse him of queerbaiting. However Bunny’s whole level to shock individuals and seize their consideration has been to indicate that the “macho” archetype in Latin America is totally outdated and pointless, even for artists who need to break into the mainstream.
A male Latin singer could be one of many world’s greatest popstars with out counting on the drained outdated tropes of misogyny and homophobia. Bunny is actively telling and exhibiting males the best way to loosen up and get comfy with themselves – or at the least the best way to cease being prejudiced machistas – which seems like a totally completely different intention and context than queerbaiting.
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