Shamir Bailey is only 22, but the out singer-songwriter has had his fill having his identity co-opted.
His new single, “Straight Boys,” calls out the heterosexual hegemony and toxic masculinity.
All straight boys care about/is how they’re viewed from the outside
Cause being true is not their thing/though it eats them up internally
And they take it out on people like me all the time.
In the Ryan Carpenter-directed video, Bailey literally fades from view as he’s replaced by a clean-cut white guy who cribs his look and lip-syncs the song.
“It’s about how frustrating it was for me to have my whole identity picked apart at a young age, just to see straight white men use it as an aesthetic choice,” Bailey told NPR.
“The video quite unequivocally depicts the process of whitewashing and the repudiation of the queer and people of color who pioneered.”
Shamir’s new album, Revelations, is out November 3. An accompanying tour launches December 4 in Columbus, Ohio.