Hayley Kiyoko/Sleepover

Unrequited Gay Love Is Bittersweet In Hayley Kiyoko’s Video For “Sleepover”

Relive all the joy and pain of falling in love with your BFF.

Singer Hayley Kiyoko plays a woman hopelessly in love with her best friend in the new music video for “Sleepover.”

The clip shows Kiyoko, who directed, cuddling, sharing a sensual bubble bath, dancing, and making out with co-star Christina Santini in bed. But it becomes painfully clear that those romantic moments are only happening in Kiyoko’s mind.

The lyrics—including lines like, “Even when you’re next to me / It’s not the way I’m picturing” and “You want to be friends forever / I can think of something better”—will resonate all too well with queer folk (or anyone) who’s fallen for an unavailable BFF.

“Having these fantasies of liking girls and not knowing if they liked me back—I think everyone can relate to that longing, yearning feeling,” the 25-year-old, whose also made a name as an actress in Jem and the Holograms, The Fosters, and CSI: Cyber, told BuzzFeed.

Kiyoko expanded on the inspiration for “Sleepover” in a heartfelt Tumblr post:

“I’ve never truly believed that sexuality defines who you are. I do believe, though, that sexuality helps shape and build who you become. How you act, what you pursue, who you surround yourself with.

This music video for “Sleepover” is not a concept or an idea for me. It is my life. It defines a part of who I am today. I grew up a dreamer and found comfort through a safe haven in my head. It’s where I was able to find self-love and feel validated. This music video validates those feelings for me, even if in those moments the girl I fell for was unavailable.

I made this video to help validate those fantasies. To create a space for the lovers, dreamers and seekers. Falling in love can be a bittersweet feeling, especially if you know it’ll never be reciprocated. I think we can all relate to that.”

It’s not the first time Kiyoko has addressed LGBT issues in her work: There’s a queer edge to the videos for “Girls Like Girls,” “Cliff’s Edge,” “Gravel to Tempo,” and “One Bad Night,” which features a trans woman connecting with a kind stranger after a terrible evening.

“Sleepover” is the first single from Hayley Kiyoko since her third solo EP, Citrine, dropped last fall. She’s currently touring the U.S. with plans to release her first full album later this year.

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