The 19-year-old singer was accused of hinting that she may be part of the LGBTQ+ community as a way of marketing her new single, Lost Cause.
It came after she posted behind-the-scenes photographs on her Instagram from the music video, which featured her dancing with a group of girls, with the caption “I love girls”.
The post was flooded by comments from people asking if she was “coming out” and accusing Eilish of “queerbaiting” her LGBTQ+ fans.
One person commented: “Bestie idk if you’e queerbaiting or not but I’m really hoping you aren’t because it’s really rude.”
Another added: “STOP. DOING. THIS. IF YOU’RE STRAIGHT.”
However, other fans defended Eilish, who usually keeps her private life under wraps, and hit out at the accusations as trying to “force” Eilish to identify her sexuality publicly.
Others pointed out that the queerbaiting accusations suggested that neither Eilish nor anyone else could not tell their girl friends they love them.
Responding to comments on Instagram, a gay fan said: “I’m a gay man myself and I love girls too. Am I straightbaiting if I say that?
“Her caption is more a reflection on [slumber parties with girls] and how you can’t have such slumber parties with boys. So it’s about loving and being empowered by her gender and friends.”
One fan took to TikTok to speak about their frustrations with the accusations, and explained that queerbaiting is “pretending that you’re queer for clout”.
“If Billie Eilish says that she’s straight, then she’s straight. She’s not trying to deceive anyone,” they continued.
“Sexuality is not like this rigid binary… stop forcing everything into boxes and forcing labels on everything.
“No one should have to come out. Coming out is kind of f***ing antiquated, to be honest, it’s really important to a lot of people and that’s great, but it reinforces the idea first that you have to be anything, and second that you’re straight until proven otherwise.”
Eilish has not responded officially to the accusations, but posted a selfie on Instagram two days after the behind-the-scenes post with the caption: “I’m tireeeddddddd.”
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