Tyler the Creative doesn’t just get creative with his music. He also creates sexual ambiguity around his relationship preferences and embraces the gossip and questions that arise. Some people may wonder, Is Tyler the Creator Gay? Others may speculate that Tyler the Creator is bisexual. Either way you look at it, he is challenging gender norms in the black community, rap music, and society at large. Being that male bisexuality is still often a subject that is considered taboo, aa ‘phase,’ or a way to get attention. Tyler has become a celebrity that has joined the likes of Frank Ocean and Syd from his Odd Future music crew to come out of the closet and into the world of their non-heterosexual preferences. Frack Ocean explained his first homosexual experience and the impact that it had on his sexuality moving forward:“4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days, we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence…until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life.”
Tyler’s 2017 Tweets
Although Tyler previous came out on Twitter back in 2017 — stating that he made the attempt to inform people, but no one noticed or took him seriously, he hasn’t ever been totally clear about his sexually, not that he needs to. Whatever he chooses in the romance department is completely his choice and his business.Fans on the other hand have jumped to the conclusion that Tyle identifies as bisexual. Remember the 2018 song “OKRA” where Tyler talks about wanting to get with actor heart throb Timothée Chalamet?
The Flower Boy Album
On Tyler the Creator’s 2017 album Flower Boy that was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rap Album category, he had a song called “I Ain’t Got Time!” containing the lyrics, “I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004. Then on the song “Garden Shed” also contains nuanced references to sexuality with lines like, “That was real love I was in/Ain’t no reason to pretend” as well as “All my friends was lost/They couldn’t read the signs/I didn’t want to talk/I tell ’em my location and they ain’t want to walk.”These moments had much more fuel to the fire when it came to the question, is Tyler the Creator gay? To make matters even more confusing, these songs seemed to contradict previous assumptions that Tyler was homophobic due to controversial lyrics from prior albums, some of which led to him being banned from entering the United Kingdom for three to five years back in 2015.
While Talking to GQ
Maybe the most direct statement Tyler has made in the media on his personal stance when it comes to buddies in the bedroom is in the “Men of the Year” issue of GQ magazine where he stated: “I like girls…I just end up f**king their brother every time.”He also makes mention of the types of individuals that he would rather steer clear of. He calls those that he is socially allergic to “goob-goobers.” How does one get labeled a goober? According to Tyler the Creator, you get filed away in this category if you refuse moisturizing, your breath consistently reeks of weed, you struggle trying to lose weight, your footwear style consists of chunky Fila sneakers or “loose boots” that your jeans can be tucked into. “Goobers’ also obnoxiously play Tyler’s own music at him when they see him on the street. When it is all said and done, he said that he wants to stick to people who could be on his “zombie-apocalypse team.”
IGOR and the Blonde Wig
Tyler the Creator has talked about his alter-ego IGOR from that blockbuster hit album IGOR: “The IGOR sh*t plays a thin line between goofy and funny and art…I always have to be careful so it doesn’t f**k everyone’s perception up. It’s art and an idea.” What exactly inspired this character? Tyler says that the blonde hair and gender ambiguous look that he wanted to be able to pull off but couldn’t was him imagining himself as a “white lady in Denmark.”He had absolutely no problem embracing sexual fluidity. The IGOR resulted in one of his most overt queer expressions in music during his career thus far. He flipped passionate songs, including one about the breakup with an unnamed man. At the end of the day, IGOR became Tyler’s first to hit no. 1 album on the Billboard Hot 100, and it became the project that won Tyler the Creator his first Grammy win for Best Rap album.Tyler expressed how much that moment meant to him:“When you finally find someone to listen to you after years of not being taken seriously…you hold [onto] that sh*t to your heart.”
Challenging the Rumors
Tyler the Creator has never had a problem taking the middle fingers up, punk rock approach to dealing with conservative, oppressive stereotypes and stigmas. Whether it was his mixing of hardcore lyrical imagery early on to toeing the line between silliness and seriousness, Tyler maintains his freedom of expression at all times.In an interview with Noisey, Tyler the Creator didn’t hold back and stuck back at his haters that seemed all too convinced that Tyler was homophobic. His response to those assumptions went something like this: “I had a boyfriend when I was fifteen in f*cking Hawthorne [California]…If that’s not open-minded, I don’t know what the f*ck that is.”If you think Tyler the Creator is a gay man, a bisexual rapper, or a blonde wig-rocking a-sexual pop star, Tyler is Tyler. He reserves the right to like gals, guys, and anyone in between, just not ‘goobers.’