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Hayley Kiyoko, Kehlani, and More Speak Out Against Rita Ora’s “Girls”

Hayley Kiyoko has spoken out against Rita Ora’s new song with Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha.  Titled “Girls,” the song addresses same-sex love as a thrilling fantasy for the bi-curious female vocalists; in a new interview with People, Ora says that the song was partly inspired by Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed A Girl,” another song frequently under fire in the LGBT community for similar reasons.

Kiyoko, who is openly gay, now writes on Twitter that the song is outright harmful to the LGBTQ+ community. “But every so often there comes certain songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community,” she writes. “A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women…I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life. This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.”

Since Kiyoko posted these remarks last night, others have since responded to the song. Kehlani and Katie Gavin of MUNA have taken to Twitter to speak out about their frustrations with the song. “Hate to be THAT guy, but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like ‘word? word,” Kehlani wrote on Twitter. Gavin added, “I hear the familiar chorus that women’s sexuality is something to be looked at instead of authentically felt. So thanks for the reminder that we still have a lot of work ahead of us.” Read their statements in full below.