Femme Fashion

Bad Bunny addresses queerbaiting accusations: “Maybe the queer person suffers more”

Bad Bunny is famous for many things: his crossover success as a Spanish-speaking artist, his chart-topping albums like Un Verano Sin Ti, and his signature androgynous style. He’s gone so far as dressing in drag for his “Yo Perreo Sola” video, and beyond his outfits, he’s kissed a male backup dancer on stage.

It all adds up to lots of speculation about Bad Bunny (aka Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) holding a queer identity — and if he doesn’t, that he’s queerbaiting, meaning benefiting from queer aesthetics and fans without being authentically queer.

Now, in a new interview with Vanity Fair, Martínez is addressing those accusations of queerbaiting head on. He’s not queer, he says, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t suffer for his fashion choices.

“I get an endless number of negative comments and sexist and homophobic ones, without being homosexual, for dressing like that,” Martínez said. “Maybe the queer person suffers more, but it is not like I put on a skirt and go out and they say ‘Look, how cool.’ They’re going to attack me with all their force anyway.”

That “maybe” in Martínez’s explanation has struck a chord — because, duh, queer people suffer more from discrimination than cis and straight people, a fact it wouldn’t hurt Martínez to acknowledge. Then again, the interview was conducted in both English and Martínez’s native Spanish, so who knows if this is his direct quote or a translation.

Martínez continued, saying, “You don’t know the reasons why a person is wearing that. You weren’t in his mind when he decided to put on a skirt or a blouse. You don’t know what’s inside him, what’s in his heart.” 

The interviewer also asked Martínez if he sees wearing feminine clothing as part of his identity — but to him, it’s not that serious. “You do it because you want to and it makes you feel good and it makes you feel happy,” he said.

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