The mystery of Kaylor & Larry
von Redaktion

Why we desperately want our idols to be gay

Videos have been analyzed, photos detected and interviews taken apart until there was no millisecond left uninterpreted: They are called “Larry” and “Kaylor” and are perhaps the most wrapped around phenomena in the history of pop culture.

In times of raised pride flags and LGBTQ hash tags, especially young people are looking for role models in celebrities. However, in terms of homosexuality this might turn out to be more difficult than expected as the huge majority of well-known actors, actresses, singers etc. are still (officially) straight, dating their co-stars of opposing sex and releasing love songs about the corresponding persons. So who can a teenager idolize? Of course there are stars such as "Girl in red", Neil Patrick Harris and Miley Cyrus, who are living their non-straight sexuality openly. And yet one might still feel out of place when scrolling through all the heterosexual news, edits etc.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that fans are starting to re-sexualize their idols, looking for clues and hints in their words and actions. Possibly two of the most famous examples are Harry Styles and Taylor Swift – by the way former lovers themselves – whom were even paired with another celebrity each. To Harry Styles, this is his one-time One Direction colleague Louis Tomlinson, while Taylor has been matched with model and previous best friend Karlie Kloss (who actually looks a lot like her). In fact, the Kaylor theory is so popular it has its own website – – that is all about their rumored relationship and Taylor's potential homosexuality in general. (By the way, this part of the fan group is called “Gaylor”.) In expanding this topic, the website lists Taylor songs that might be about Karlie Kloss, most of which are from her albums Reputation (2017) and Lover (2019). The two of them are said to have met at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, at which Karlie had a modeling job, in November 2013 and became close during Taylor's so-called “1989 Era”, meaning mainly the years 2014 and 2015, when her highly successful album 1989 was released and she went on a world tour with it. However, as explained earlier, it's her next album Reputation that is supposedly honored to her potential ex(?)-girlfriend, most of all its song Dress that spreads highly gay and sexual energy with lyrics like 'Cause I don't want you like a best friend/Only bought this dress so you could take it off, while hinting numerous times at a secret love affair (Our secret moments in your crowded room/They've got no idea about me and you.) Also, the song includes the description There is an indentation/In the shape of you which relates to a woman's figure rather than a man's (Especially considering the way Taylor moved her arms when she performed the song live on the Reputation Stadium Tour). However, it needs to be mentioned that Taylor's relationship with current boyfriend Joe Alwyn, whom Reputation's love songs officially are about, has also been kept a secret for the first few months. Thus, lyrics like Late in the night, the city's asleep/Your love is a secret I'm hoping, dreaming, dying to keep from Reputation's “King of my heart” could just as well be directed towards him. Or could their entire relationship be nothing but a PR stunt in order to keep up the illusion of the straight, beautiful, blond woman who has finally arrived in a happy and steady relationship?

Undoubtedly, Karlie Kloss and Taylor Swift were seen holding hands and standing physically close a couple of times during their “friendship” period. Still, things have been quiet around them for a while – basically since Taylor disappeared in 2016 after a public feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian during which she was trademarked as a “snake” and a “bitch”, mainly by Social Media. Her strong comeback album Reputation (2017) clearly deals with faux friends and betrayal, stating Did you think I wouldn't hear all the things you said about me? as well as But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand/And therein lies the issue, friends don't try to trick you in “This is why we can't have nice things”. On the contrary, there is a person that saved Taylor in this difficult time, seeing her for the woman she really is instead of being tricked by her public image at the time. This is especially dealt with in “New Year's Day”, “Delicate” and “Call it what you want”. Now the remaining question is, which side Karlie was on and why exactly their relationship – may it be romantic or on a friendship basis – broke apart. Because after all it is a fact that their lives are not as intertwined as they used to be back when they were doing joint Vogue photo shoots and friendship tests, since they stopped appearing together in public. But was it society's pressure, their reputation that needed to be upheld or disloyalty (in this case, probably Karlie's)? OR did they in fact just make it appear like they split and are having a secret love affair?

Actually, we know ALL TOO WELL from Taylor's “illicit affairs”, “august” and “ivy” out of her albums folklore and evermore (both released in 2020) how well she is informed about keeping a romantic relationship a secret: Make sure nobody sees you leave/Hood over your head, keep your eyes down/Tell your friends you're out for a run/You'll be flushed when you return. Of course we'll never know for sure until one of them spills the tea, but there are tons of other detected clues, photos and similarities between the two of them. For example, Joe once stated in an interview that he preferred London over New York – however, aside from Lover's “London Boy”, Taylor wrote A LOT of songs about NYC, with it being one of the central images of her 1989 era. Nevertheless, the Big Apple is also mentioned in Reputation's “Delicate” and, very prominently, in Lover's “Cornelia Street”. A mere coincidence? Not to mention all the rainbows during Taylor's Reputation Era in 2017/2018. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. After all, the Gaylor trend reached a new peek when 2019's LGBTQ celebration and anti-homophobia-anthem “You Need To Calm Down” dropped. Still, let's not forget to mention that Taylor has been referring to Selena Gomez, whom she has definitely had more public appearances with during the last few years than with Karlie, as her best friend. And again we can debate the question of loyalty, since Karlie is said to be friendly with Taylor’s current arch-enemy Scooter Brown. Also, Taylor missed both her former best friend's weddings in 2018 and 2019. All just a show or the tragic ending of a once passionate love affair? Moreover, Taylor has dealt with close ones not turning out quite as devoted more than once – most dominantly on Reputation, but also in Lover's “I forgot that you existed”, which, self-explanatorily, deals with her closure of an unhealthy relationship  (or friendship) with a disloyal counterpart.

Let’s also keep in mind how strong the Gaylor base actually is. Even though Taylor, as a former country star, began her career in a mostly conservative branch, the public perception of her and the celebrity industry in general has changed over the past one and a half decades in which she has been present. In other words: Taylor has positioned herself as a Democrat's supporter and taken a clear stand on LGBTQ rights. We're not living in the 1950s, homosexuality is, at least in the US, completely legal and Taylor is at times even seen as a queer icon. With this occupit, would the fear of a change in the public's opinion really stop her from coming out as gay? As a matter of fact, it would probably do the opposite, even stimulating her fame. And if you know Taylor at least a little, you can tell that's what she's aiming at. May it be by rerecording her old masters, making her way around the celebrity world or releasing another iconic music video: Taylor is undoubtedly one of the smartest businesswomen in the world, having carefully influenced the public perception of hers and creating an unforgettable, unique image. So perhaps she's just waiting for the right moment to come out – Or she decided to keep this little detail of hers a secret in order to compensate her other private affairs being discussed all over Social Media.

No matter if Kaylor is a true thing or not, it is without doubt incredibly interesting how much effort Swifties – aka Taylor Swift fans – put into the analysis of their idol's love life and sexuality. Currently being one of the most successful women in the world, Taylor has spent years carefully constructing a well-thought-through narrative, including Easter Eggs, hidden messages and links between song lyrics and interview answers. While making her way through the music industry and the celebrity world in general, she has left her traces all over pop culture, especially by prominently dating a series of very famous MEN, one of whom being the iconic Harry Styles. Which brings us to our next aspect of gay culture – because if two women can be shipped, why can't two men be as well? In Harry's case, we're talking about a bromance with his former One Direction band mate, Louis Tomlinson. The potential couple has been called “Larry Stylinson” for years, and just like Kaylor, there are tons of edits, allegedly “unambiguous” evidence and interview pieces all over the internet. Furthermore, there are SO MANY Wattpad stories inspired by the two of them. Even though One Direction split in 2016, rumors about their (past?) relationship are still going strong. Hardcore fans believe all their heterosexual relationships, including Harry's girlfriends Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner as well as Louis' long-time partner Eleanor Calder, were nothing but a set-up in order to maintain the profitable image of the cute, straight Good Guys. Thus, once cut loose from their previous 1D-chains, they could come out every second according to this theory. But the obvious question remains: Why didn't they since they've had half a decade to do so?

At least Harry has turned into kind of a queer icon after his band time, waving pride flags on concerts and having been the first man in a dress on the VOGUE cover. However, he is currently dating the FEMALE Olivia Wilde and hasn't come out as bisexual yet. Still, everyone seems to be sure that he, in fact, is. And whom better to collect first gay experience with than cute 18-year-old Louis? After all, as an immensely successful boy band, the two of them must have spent A LOT of time together at concerts, photo shoots, interviews, album recordings etc. And all you need to do is google their names just to find an endless amount of video clips and photos showing the two of them intertwined in a very intimate kind of way. Or might THIS have been the real PR stunt after all?

It might be an obsession that heated up itself in the course of the internet. One started seeing things, another one got attached and suddenly everyone was talking about Kaylor and Larry. And now we’re all too deep down the rabbit hole to stop seeing clues, inventing stories that fit our narrative without ever being able to proof anything for real. Because ultimately, no matter how much mega stars like Harry and Taylor discuss their love life in front of the world, in the end it’s all just a role they play and a version of themselves they want us to see. We’ll never know who they were or are really in love with as their name is a brand and so are their faces, feelings, troubles and personal experiences. We like to believe that our idols are, in some way, similar to us, and having to hide your real love is just the perfect sweet-bitter drama we all want to see. It’s the kind of story for a romantasy novel, and it just so happens that we’re all dreaming romantics in the bottom of our hearts.

But switching back to Larry, most of the theory is based on photos, video snippets and, generally, the way they behave around one another. Also, they have matching tattoos and supposedly wrote songs about one another, including lyrics like I know when we started/Just two hearts in one home out of “Sweet Creature” from Harry’s solo debut album. Besides, the two of them remained friendly after the 1D break-up. However, things are similar to Kaylor: It’s mainly the idea of two beautiful people everybody is in love with. It’s the riddles in their behaviour and words that keep the conversation flowing, continuingly digging up more clues spread over the years. In a way, this is to adolescents what is watching a crime movie to older people: We’re given hints and theories and are now to solve the puzzle. The only difference is that we’ll never get a sure answer – just like philosophers.

Still, I believe the phenomenon is even more profound than that. It’s about equality, diversity and the representation of non-straights. In the US, the number of non-heterosexual teenagers rose from 8.3% to 11.7% between 2015 and 2019. Yet this could also depend on a risen awareness and acceptance in American society. German numbers are similar: According to Bild, 10% of German adolescents see themselves as LGBTQ members. Taking a look at the population as a whole, things are a little different: As published by, in 2020 only 7% of Germans identified as homo- or bisexual (while 8% did not indicate their sexual orientation). Noting that the community is increasing, while conservative standards in terms of love and sexuality are losing popularity, one doesn’t need to wonder people are starting to look for famous gay couples. We all need a role model to some extent, may it be to morally guide us or to make us feel like we aren’t left to ourselves. We’re looking for someone to admire, and the thing is, especially young persons making their first relationship steps see their sexuality as an important part of their personality. So naturally, those people want to relate to their idols, having something significant in common. A love affair seems exciting and adventurous when you’re young, all the more so when it has to be hidden or when it’s as special as a same-sex-fling. Because in the end, even though homosexual couples might not be a rarity anymore, they still aren’t standard. It’s the bitter-sweet taste of something formerly forbidden that makes the situation all the more electrifying. We’d never want it for ourselves, to hide and have to steal away with our beau, but just like on TV, we simply love to watch the drama from afar, longing for a sensation. Besides, we want to look at beautiful people and crush on someone we can never embarrass ourselves in front of because we’ll never meet them anyways. This, I consider the mystery of Larry and Kaylor.

von Merle (17), Q1 Gymnasium, Lerngruppe 2 - 02/2022

Bild- und Videoquellen: