I'm incredibly interested to know how a 30 year old working in reality television decided to ship HL? In a completely uncondescending way - I think it's way rad that people outside their *demographic* have also picked up on this etc. Are you comfortable sharing your story?
Believe me, I didn’t willingly decide to end up obsessed with closeted boybanders, their story just kind of caught and then trapped me here and now I couldn’t leave if I tried!
I actually used to be a Shameless blog; I got addicted to the show (the US version) and ended up joining tumblr because it was the only place where any conversations seemed to be happening about the show.
About two years ago there was a single person on my dash who used to reblog gifs of One Direction and talk about how two of the band were definitely dating. I didn’t pay it much attention; I was completely clueless about the band (boybands hadn’t been my thing since the 90′s); I didn’t know how many members there were, for some reason I thought they were American and I don’t think I’d even heard all of What Makes You Beautiful. From the very first time I saw him I thought that Louis was “the gay one”, but assumed, like so many bands, that any flirting between him and his bandmates was fanservice, I mean, bromances were in, so it made sense that they were playing it up for the attention and surely all of those gifs and quotes and heart eyes were just taken out of context, right? Then one day I had a little bit of time to kill and after seeing yet another flirty gifset, decided to just watch the clips from X Factor to see what all the fuss was about.
Well, that was the beginning of the end. I ended up in an hours-long youtube spiral watching all of the video diaries, concert clips, interviews, everything I could find and I realised, okay, those heart eyes and flirting and quotes really weren’t taken out of context for the gifs.
I could tell right away that Harry and Louis had outrageous chemistry and right away I thought they were definitely smitten with each other, but it still took me quite a while and a hell of a lot of reading and investigation until I was completely, 100% sold on them definitely being in a relationship; I’m fairly cautious when it comes to things like PR and the difference between a person’s public and private life and this was all happening in early to mid 2013, when they were being ferociously separated and aggressively closeted.
Honestly, my background in reality tv just made it easier to see what was going on, because I’ve seen firsthand the way that narratives are built and maintained by the controlling parties and rarely have anything to do with what’s actually going on. Paparazzi called in to ‘catch someone unawares’ in a public place, publicists quietly making real stories go away, while simultaneously encouraging certain agendas to the forefront.
I see and hear stuff that goes on in the entertainment industry that never makes it to the greater public. Celebrities hooking up, drug problems, falling outs, cheating on partners, bad behaviour etc and it never makes it to the greater public.
A the idea of a closeted relationship isn’t far-fetched at all and anyone who thinks that they’re getting all of their celebrity gossip and new at face value, isn’t paying attention to who is providing them with this information and what they have to gain by controlling your points of view.
What’s really strange for me is that I tend not to get overly-focused on or interested in celebrities, because for the most part, they’re so accessible. Even 1D -
I have quite a few friends who’ve worked with the band in some capacity or another, and I mean, they were reality television contestants, for god’s sake, I shouldn’t be remotely intrigued by them! But for some reason, I just can’t help it with Harry and Louis. There’s something very special about those two boys and I cannot wait until it’s all out in the open and people are dealt a very direct lesson about the influence the media has over public perception and how easy it is to hide in plain sight.
In short, Harry and Louis’ love story is an incredible case study for fandom psychology and analysis of the way that information, opinions and people can be controlled through social media, closeting, guilt tactics and online bullying, as well as some of the most remarkable sexual and romantic chemistry I’ve ever seen. I’m 100% caught up in their story and I’m in it for the long-haul.