A mix of pro-gay pop stars were asked by Billboard to participate in a featured post to celebrate the start of LGBTQ Pride Month, which kicks off June 1, including singer Jessie J, who once famously denounced her own bisexuality.
The “Bang, Bang” vocalist, 29, was one of 65 entertainment notables invited by the music publication to honor their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning fan bases through a set of open “Love Letters to The LGBTQ Community,” despite the singer’s public rebuttal of her own supposed bisexuality three years ago.
“The love and support I [have been] shown [by the LGBTQ community has been] overwhelming and has never stopped,” the performer, born Jessica Cornish, expressed in her Billboard letter.
“I [feel] accepted, understood and respected [by them],” she went on to say.
“The feeling was, and will always be, mutual.”
While the praise in her wording was obvious, many of Jessie’s queer fans were once said to feel anything but respected by the singer after she suddenly turned her back on the LGBTQ-themed narrative she began promoting as early as 2011, when she first told Cosmopolitan that she had previously dated both “guys and girls.”
“I’ve never used it as a gimmick,” she told the women’s mag.
“If I’m in love, I’m in love. I’m not going to hide it.”
In a sit down with The Mirror in 2014, however, Jessie went on to note her bisexuality as being nothing more than an act of sexual experimentation.
“For me, it was [just] a phase,” she told Mirror reporters, as The Independent transcribed, “but I’m not saying bisexuality is a phase for everybody.”
“I feel that if I continue my career not speaking on it, I almost feel more of a liar than if I didn’t. I just want to be honest, and it’s really not a big deal. Who cares?”
Those comments in The Mirror were, as it turned out, an extension of an earlier set of Twitter posts Jessie made to fans about the truth of her “bisexuality.”
“Remember the thing you tried back in the day,” Jessie shared in a tweet dated April 6, 2014.
“That phase you had, [the one] that is so not you anymore? I would never do that now. I only fancy/date/love men, and only men.”
Jessie would go on to remove the questionable tweets from her timeline and spoke to Billboard about the backlash she received from them and her Mirror statements in October of that year.
“I’m a talker [and] I wear my heart on my sleeve,” she expressed, “but sometimes I just have to know when to shut up.”
Jessie then vowed to never speak of her personal life again — as in, immediately following her last speaking of it with the music magazine.
“[She then] declined to talk further about her sexuality,” writers for Billboard remarked.
Journalist Laura Kay for The Guardian would refer to Jessie’s alleged about-face on her bisexuality, as well as her sudden silence on the matter, as being an outright “shame.”
“To have such a strong, female, bisexual role model speak in a way that clearly distances herself from her bi and gay fans is a big letdown,” Kay addressed in an op-ed regarding Jessie’s actions.
“[Furthermore], Jessie J’s assertion that she wants to ‘stop talking about it completely’ is directed at a media fond of asking her questions about her sexuality, but however justified her frustration, the message to young women and men questioning their sexuality is that she’s over it, she doesn’t want it to be a part of her life anymore, it’s something that she wants to move away from.”
Incidentally, Jessie made no mention about her past or current sexual preference in her Billboard love letter, and instead, offered up two memories of recent performances she led at gay-themed events, including a memorial concert to honor the victims of the June 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, FL.
“Late last year, I was asked to perform at the OnePulse Gala to remember all the beautiful people who lost their lives in the awful shooting in Orlando,” Jessie says.
“I was honored and humbled to find out ‘Domino‘ was one of the most requested songs at the club, so I sang it in their honor and memory. I feel so lucky and often so overwhelmed that my music can help people feel okay — okay to be themselves, to feel loved and free, as they should.”
Reps for Billboard have not commented on the past “bisexuality” of Jessie J or their reason for her involvement in their LGBTQ Pride Month piece.
[Featured Image by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images]