Hayley Kiyoko, the Internet’s favorite out-Lesbian singer and thirst-trap queen, recently explained in a Buzzfeed interview that she wasn’t always a figure of unabashed queer confidence. “I was thinking about how I had all these opportunities with women,” she tells Buzzfeed, “and how I just never took a chance on myself.” It was by remembering the trials and tribulations of her adolescent love life that Kiyoko found the inspiration for her new single “Chance.”
“I was thinking about how I had all these opportunities with women, and how I just never took a chance on myself — so, therefore, I never had a chance with them. And I was like, oh my gosh, like that was my whole adolescence!”
Her relatable account of queer adolescent attempts at romantic relationships hits even closer to home when Kiyoko describes a circular cycle of failure induced by an unshakeable lack of self-confidence. “Complaining and being upset that I didn’t have a chance with these women and I didn’t even take a chance on myself,” she tells Buzzfeed. “I didn’t even believe in myself, that I was worthy or that I had something to offer. So that’s what inspired this song.”
Where self-doubt inspired the song, the singer’s rise to confidence took control of the music video. “I directed a video for it that captures what would have happened if I had taken a chance — that amazing relationship you will find and will experience when that love is reciprocated both ways in that honeymoon stage.” Kiyoko’s “Chance” helps gay kids visualize a healthy, safe, life as a partnered adult, all while emphasizing the importance of just going for it.
The “Chance” singer also takes the time to step back and appreciate her work. “I love “How did it go / we’ll never see” because, not that I have regrets, but I wish I would have believed in myself a little bit. Granted, I probably would have experienced heartbreak as well because sometimes it’s not reciprocated — but at least I would have tried!”
When all is said and done, the singer confirms a desire for her music to have purpose. “What I’m trying to do with my music, fans, and listeners is to inspire them to try and go for it. To have those experiences of heartbreak and love without that self-judgment suffocating you.”
In fact, the song gave Kiyoko an opportunity to take another chance, this time with a new recording experience. “I wrote “Chance,” over Zoom, which is a very different experience. I had to set up a recording studio at my house and recorded it here.” More than the added benefit of a new experience, it gave Kiyoko the chance to dance again. “‘Chance’ was also shot on film. I had been at home, I hadn’t been performing, I hadn’t seen people — so shooting that music video was great because I was able to rediscover my confidence. And dance! I missed dancing.”
With Pride Month just beginning, the single couldn’t have dropped at a better time.
“It’s so cliché, but it’s so hard to love yourself,” Kiyoko explains. “It’s so challenging. I don’t know why we make it so hard for ourselves. It’s so hard to be truthful to yourself, and then on top of that, share that with the world, and then fight for that equality.”
Even though Kiyoko has lived and learned to handle the iconically rare title of gay pop star with grace, her early experience with coming out still stay with her. “I used to be terrified of Pride Month because I was like, “Oh my gosh, someone’s gonna find out I’m gay if I go to that parade.” I was uncomfortable, because I was like, I’m gonna be outed. Now, I realize that’s not what Pride Month is about. It’s about acknowledging and celebrating who you are and where you are in your journey.”
This is a sign from the Goddess herself to use Pride month to take that chance you’ve been waiting on: If Hayley Kiyoko’s providing that extra dose of courage this pride season, we can all take a chance on love.