One thing is sure; One Direction is much more than a boy band.
Last spring I was looking for music on YouTube for a project and came across a band whose name I was only vaguely familiar with. I watched a clip of One Direction performing on the XFactor, and though I was a grown woman who wasn’t into pop music, I found myself going through their XFactor journey and watching the whole thing from beginning to end. I totally fell in love with them. Their enthusiasm, their personalities, their hope, their cohesiveness, set them apart from other bands; I used “One Thing” for my project.
Then I saw the Video Diaries, and my heart was transfixed by two of the boys who seemed to have a special chemistry. One thing led to another, and I found multiple videos that introduced me to Larry Stylinson…Louis and Harry…and the idea that they had something more than friendship for each other. I was amazed that it had been five years and people were still having discussions and debates about this on social media.
I can’t tell you how moved and intrigued I was, and the following week I spent going back and forth on how I felt about it. One Direction converged on my life, and never had my heart been pulled in so many directions in so short a time. At one point I had decided that the whole shipping thing was wrong…but ultimately things I had seen, things my heart told me, and that space deep in my heart and gut that speaks to me won over; media narratives just became white noise.
When the song “Home” was leaked and the released last October, I couldn’t stop listening to it because there was only one way it made sense to me and was beautifully written…the music, the lyrics…everything about it. This song deserves so much more recognition than it received, and ProjectHome is an amazing effort put for by fans to get the song some well-deserved promo and air time…especially in the face of a lot of up and downs the fandom experienced. The way people came together to make this happen is very special.
One thing was sure; One Direction had made a real impact on their fans. This wasn’t just another “boy band” that played nice, catchy music. 1D is a force that is paving the way for many fans, and Rainbow Direction is a testament to that. They started as boys, and have grown into young men, and their journey has been music but much more than music.
One Direction has the power to move, to shake the status quo, to inspire, and though sometimes the different factions in the fandom have been at odds, it is a testimony of the power One Direction has for change. There have been some heated discussions between these factions, especially recently, but I chose to think of it as evidence of the impact this band has made. For myself, they have truly changed the way I think and how I view the world around me.
Whether what my heart tells me about Larry is true or not, my soul has been cleansed deep down from every last drop of left-over bigotry, and my support for the LGBTQ+ community goes down to the core of me. My peace of mind doesn’t depend on being “right” about Larry; I would never put that pressure on the boys. I just want them to know that no matter what, their existence was put together by a higher force than anyone or anything on this earth. Fate destined for them to come together, and the people responsible were merely tools of a higher power to make it happen.
Thank you One Direction. Though you have no doubt been through a lot in the past six years, I believe you will come back stronger than ever. Know that you are loved and appreciated for your music and so much more.