Lizzo discusses her sexuality in newest album, ‘Special’

Lizzo teased her album by releasing her single “About Damn Time” in April, which then became a smash hit. Lizzo’s sexuality, which was loosely referenced in this song, is covered in her newest album, ‘Special,’ released on July 15.


Grace Hollars/IndyStar

Lizzo tops the USA TODAY Network year-end music survey with her “Cuz I Love You” album. Lizzo Cuz I Love You

Ariana Lessard, Arts Reporter

Long awaited by her fans, Lizzo’s coming-out album, “Special,” was released on July 15.

Lizzo addresses her fans as “Lizzbians,” and has been an active supporter of the LGBTQ online for a long time now; however, she remains unbending in her choice to leave her sexuality unlabeled.

“About Damn Time,” was released ahead of the rest of her newest album on April 14. The smash hit sports the lyric, “In a minute I’ma need a sentimental man or woman to pump me up.” This brief reference to Lizzo’s sexuality is explored in the rest of “Special.”

The song “Everybody’s Gay” immediately stuck out to me because of its provocative title. Through its references to masks and Halloween, as well as its sound, it reminded me a bit of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

At first, I thought “Everybody’s Gay” was going to be “queerbaiting” — when artists try to profit off the LGBTQ community by dropping often misleading hints that they might be part of said community — and that she was using the term “gay” to mean happy. However, as the song’s lyrics became increasingly less subtle, it occurred to me she meant “gay” in a more colloquial sense, using it as a general term for the LGBTQ community.

The lyric that made Lizzo’s queerness undeniable to me was “There’s a Mona Lisa moaning in the room; tell a sexy nurse to meet me in the loo.”

RELATED: Neil Young and Crazy Horse release new album ‘Toast’ after being shelved for over 20 years

I wanted to like this song more than I do. I think it’s an enjoyable and provocative assertation, that “everybody’s gay.” However, I feel like this song may be trying to do too much, and in that, doing too little.

As someone who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community, I’m not sure if Lizzo’s claim that “everyone’s gay” applies to everyone. Although I like what she’s trying to get at, it almost makes me feel like she’s more in denial of her sexuality than claiming it — that being said, I respect the risk she took with this song. Although I don’t think it worked, the song will spark a debate, which may have been her sole purpose in writing it.

The track “2 Be Loved (Am I Ready)” is one of the most mature routes I’ve seen an artist take to discuss love. It’s a bop that asks a crucial and often-overlooked question, at least in pop culture: the whole song is Lizzo debating whether or not she thinks she’s ready to be loved, not just if she wants to be loved.

The lyric “yesterday I would have run away, and I don’t know why,” struck a chord with me, as I appreciated the raw introspection of the lyrics.

The song “I love you b****” grabbed me with its opening. What is cleverly disguised to be mistaken for a song about friendship can also be read as a confession to a female friend who she is in love with.

Lizzo sings “Cause you’re beautiful and smart, f*****’ talented, you’re by my side, I don’t need no wish, I love you, b****.” To me, this is an undeniable proclamation of love, and a pretty compelling one. I also really liked the lyric “Not just that b**** but you my b****, you water all your plants and eat your veggies, I’m obsessed with it.”

Overall, this album was ultimately very different from what I expected, while remaining loyal to the Lizzo sound. I like this new direction for Lizzo, and what music it may inspire in the future.