Out pop star Hayley Kiyoko is Paper magazine’s latest covergirl, and her photospread is nothing short of a summer delight.
Following on the heels of fellow queer artist Kehlani’s Paper cover, Kiyoko sat down with the magazine for its annual Pride issue, talking candidly about her humble roots, her musical influences, and her dating prospects.
The photos, snapped by photographer Juco, are bold and vibrant, depicting Kiyoko as the object of affection among a colorful smattering of slender limbs. (It’s particularly appropriate given her dedicated fans have dubbed her, “Lesbian Jesus.”)
Returning to Paper was a serendipitous moment for her, the pop star told the magazine.
“I came to [Paper] a couple years ago to share my story after ’Girls Like Girls’ [the video for my 2015 single] went viral,” she said. “I remember saying that someday, I wanted to be on the cover, to embrace women for their strength and beauty, and to be surrounded by them. Now, my exact vision has come to life.”
Kiyoko also shared that out musicians Tegan and Sara were some of her earliest queer inspirations: “I loved how they were still cool and edgy but their melodies were so damn catchy,” she recalled. “In some ways, I think that’s how I ended up in pop: my strength is writing catchy melodies. I knew I wanted to end up in that lane, and still be fresh.”
In terms of what’s in store for her future, Kiyoko says she hopes to continue to use her platform to champion inclusion and acceptance, especially as a queer woman of color.
She also hopes to find a love interest who doesn’t want to play games.
“You know, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t love to go for a nice challenge,” she told the magazine with a laugh. “I’m trying not to be like that. So I hopefully will meet the right one, still out there—still looking for the right one.”
Below, watch Logo’s interview with Kiyoko.