Bad Bunny is killing it right now. The Puerto Rican Latin Trap artist has had a slew of singles on the Billboard charts since his breakthrough in 2017. He’s also currently riding high on two hit singles: “Caro” and “Callaíta.” Still, despite all of his achievements, the rapper recently revealed that it feels most people tend to focus on his nonbinary fashion choices rather than his music.
And he’s refusing to let it bother him one bit.
Paper magazine featured Bad Bunny on their digital cover and the artist spoke out against his haters that simply cannot accept his style.
“I’m not telling people, ‘Hey, paint your nails or color your hair, do this or do that,'” the 25-year-old said in his interview with Paper. “I’m simply saying… do what makes you happy, and to never limit yourself… Just be yourself, and be happy in that. And also not to criticize or judge, because maybe for you something’s bad or not bad — if you like or dislike something, that doesn’t mean everyone has to share your opinion. It’s about that: respect. It’s so basic.”
While Bad Bunny has been upfront about being straight, he said that he embraces how the queer community inspires him.
“It’s a message of respect, of freedom,” he told Paper in the interview. “I think they feel comfortable, and they feel, I don’t know, like part of what I’m doing. They don’t feel excluded from the group, but instead, like, ‘We’re wanted here; we can be ourselves here.'”
He also added that he knows the drag community in Puerto Rico have copied his music and fashion onstage.
“I’ve seen videos,” he told the publication. “I know about it. It’s cool.”
Bad Bunny also talked about his style of music and says the urban genre is just evolving.
“It’s not so much about changing the genre, but instead the way of thinking, not only in the fans but in the artists,” he said. “I’m letting people know there’s another way that maybe didn’t exist, or it wasn’t developed. It’s not about changing what’s already established, either, but instead about opening doors for other messages — another wave, you know?”
Non-binary individuals, also known as genderqueer, encompasses a spectrum of gender identities that escape the traditional definitions of masculine and feminine. In short, their gender identity falls outside the man/woman gender binary, outside cisgender paradigms (cisgender refers to a person whose personal identity and gender both correspond to their birth sex). For years, genderqueer folks were forced to live in the shadows, either due to conservative social norms or due to lack of awareness of this identity.
Recently, a group of celebs have come out as non-binary and we think that’s fabulous. We can think, for example, of Australian model Ruby Rose (remember their steamy affair with Piper in “Orange is the New Black”? Just this month “Queer Eye”hairstylist extraordinaire Jonathan Van Ness came out as non-binary. He told OUT magazine: “The older I get, the more I think that I’m nonbinary — I’m gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman. I don’t really — I think my energies are really all over the place. Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I’m here for it. I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It’s this social construct that I don’t really feel like I fit into the way I used to. I always used to think ‘Oh, I’m like a gay man,’ but I think any way I can let little boys and little girls know that they can express themselves and they can like be.” This pretty much sums up what genderqueer identity is all about.
Because we celebrate identities of all forms, here are some genderqueer POC stars that make us proud and happy! Some of them have identified as genderqueer while others have broken the paradigms of cisnormativity. Bien por ellos, muy bien!
Rico Dalasam, the Brazilian rap dynamo
This Brazilian rap artist and former hairdresser has taken his genderqueer identity to powerful lyrics of political resistance. He told Vice: “All the marginal communities I’m a part of—young, black, gay—all of these identities are forced to be ashamed by the oppressor. But I’m the potential of resistance.” With a career that started in 2014, Rico Dalasam has achieved success thanks to his high couture looks and remorseless combative attitude.
Bad Bunny, the boricua marvel
Bad Bunny wears long nails and jewelry that would commonly be associated with a feminine aesthetic. As we have reported, he is unbothered by those who criticize his non-binary moda. He identifies as a straight man but finds inspiration in the queer community. He has talked about his fashion choices in a GQ interview: “There’s people that appreciate what I do; there’s people that criticize it,. There’s people who say, ‘Thank you for sticking up [for us], thank you for defending [this].’ There’s others that say I’m an opportunist.” Be what it may, Bad Bunny is challenging the role of masculinity in urban culture and in a musical genre, reggaeton, that is often criticized for its often sexist lyrics.
Valentina, global drag phenomenon
“I identify as nonbinary,” Valentina told Out in an interview. “I don’t completely feel like a man, I don’t completely feel like a woman. I feel like a goddess. I feel like I’m my own gender.”
The “RuPaul’s Drag Race” superstar is one of the most recognizable faces in the drag world. We are so proud of the Latino representation Valentina has been able to bring to the drag world.
Aja, bruja extravaganza
Aja’s experience coming to terms with her gender identity was a long one.
“When I was 18, I actually lived as a trans woman for almost a year,” Aja told Them. “I thought I was trans, and then I learned through the education of the queer community about being non-binary, genderqueer, and all these different [identities]. I realized that I do feel like a woman, but I feel comfortable in my body. I don’t feel the need to change anything. I don’t feel the need to appear more feminine to society’s standards.”
Amandla Stenberg, from “The Hunger Games” to queer advocate
This amazing African-American young actress openly uses they/them as pronouns. She came out as non-binary on Tumblr (before she came out to her family!), by writing: “I honestly don’t know… I mean they/them makes me feel comfortable but I know that the media and the general populace that follows me will critique it/not understand which makes me feel sad and almost more uncomfortable. So I guess she/her for now”. Not in the cisgender closet anymore, dear Amandla!
Liniker Barros, the Brazilian soul star
Samba and Latin rhythms find a nice home in the tender voice of this musical prodigy. Liniker is the lead singer if the band Liniker and the Caramelows, and many of their lyrics focus on the joy and tribulations of those who are not cisgender. They told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “Why should I wear jeans and a T-shirt and present myself as just a voice? My body is political. I need to show my audience what I’m living.” Liniker is well aware of the fact that they represent a wider community. They told Now: “[My] visibility as a singer helps me occupy spaces that aren’t the usual ones for trans women. That representation is so important. Brazil remains a very transphobic, chauvinist, racist country, with a lot of hate speech. When a trans woman takes the stage, that alone is political.”
Angel Haze, rapping for freedom
Born Raykeea Raeen-Roes Wilson, this rap artist identifies as pansexual and agender. Angel Haza has said: “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they.’ It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience.” Quite an interesting and revolutionary approach! Angel Haze used to date Ireland Baldwin, the daughter of Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin.
Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Puerto Ricans are American citizens (without the right to vote). Music made in Puerto Rico would then be considered American music since it is part of the U.S. However, one Karen in Wisconsin just doesn’t understand that and had a complete meltdown.
A very angry white woman went on an expletive-filled rant against people barbecuing in the park because of their music.
A woman made a point recently to verbally attack a Puerto Rican family while barbecuing in a park. What did they do to offend the woman? They were playing Bad Bunny. The woman, who has not been identified, called on the group to play American music because they are in America.
“You are so fucking disrespectful,” the Wisconsin Karen told the group when they called her disrespectful. “Puerto Ricans. Fuck all this.”
During her rant, the group turns on Bad Bunny’s “Safaera” and continued to argue with her.
“Safaera” is one of Bad Bunny’s most popular songs. It would be pretty hard to convince people that this song is something that should be turned off. Like, Why can’t people just enjoy their time out and about without having to get into a racist, xenophobic argument?
Some Puerto Ricans on Twitter made sure to remind her how lucky she is to be in Wisconsin.
This isn’t the first time someone was verbally harassed in a park for showing their Puerto Rican heritage. One man was charged with a hate crime after trying to attack a woman in Chicago who was wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rican flag on it. It is a true testament to their resolve that the Puerto Rican family being yelled at were able to stay calm and level-headed. Granted, they did argue back but it seems they were provoked.
It seems the woman needs a basic civics lesson on how Puerto Ricans are Americans.
A poll conducted by Morning Consult found that half of Americans do not know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens. The confusion has been exacerbated by President Trump during the early stages of Hurricane Maria recovery. The Trump administration has been criticized for its treatment of Puerto Rico.
People commented on the Facebook video about how else the situation could have been handled.
If she wants to hear American music, then let her hear American music. Crank that volume all the way up and let her hear the true range of American music. There’s nothing better than educating someone when they let their ignorance be known.
One person is just feeling bad for the man clearly trying to get the confrontational woman moving.
He really just wants to keep it moving. It is almost like he realized before she did that being on camera saying racist things is not a good look in the time of social media and doxxing.
Smartphones have changed the way we live by giving us a chance to capture moments like this and broadcast them to the world. Social media serves as a way to really make the most out of the public shaming.