While other boy bands played up their homoeroticism before, no other group in history has ever gone as far as One Direction.
Doing so has won the five British and Irish boys a legion of screaming teenage fans.
You might expect an average person to expect their fans to be pre-pubescent girls, all delusional, all dreaming of one day they will marry their teen idols.
Gay Star News decided to discover what is it like to be a gay, ‘crazy’ One Direction fan at the London premiere of their new documentary film This Is Us yesterday (20 August).
We were greeted by over 4,000 fans packed into Leicester Square, all hoping for a chance to see Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne.
Looking for the gay male fans was an easier job than you’d think. A little more than 1% of fans at the film opening were male.
Many of them were unhappy about a recent documentary shown on British television, ‘Crazy About One Direction’, which exposed the more fanatical aspect of the band’s admirers.
Showing interviews with just teenage girls, they spoke about sneaking into the boys’ hotels, camping out for hours just to see a glimpse of them, and their obsession with ‘shipping’.
‘Shipping’ in One Direction is hoping two of the members are gay and in a romantic relationship. The most popular is what the fans call ‘Larry Stylinson’, imagining Louis and Harry are a couple. There are other fans who like other pairings, with some even taking a liking to OT5.
This means instead of One True Pairing, OT5 stands for One True Fivesome.
Jack, 15, told GSN: ‘There is a real community of gay guys that love One Direction and we all talk through Twitter and Tumblr.’
The boys themselves have an average Twitter following of around 12 million fans each.
But some gay fans feel alienated and underrepresented in the band’s community.
Mark, 14, explained: ‘I don’t think there are many gay One Direction fans but for me it’s crap as the boys are all straight.’
Speaking about ‘Larry Stylinson’, he said: ‘[That couple] is great but most of the girls I know don’t like it as they say they’re obviously all straight.
‘I prefer to ship the entire band together but I’d be the sixth member.’
Anthony, a 15-year-old, said he found fan sites to help the band’s gay community get together such as GayOneDirection.net helpful.
‘It’s alright but there are obviously more girls then there are guys,’ he said. ‘Everyone does really ship the Larry Stylinson combination but I think Niall is the hottest one.’
(Due to the age of the teens we interviewed, GSN has decided to change their names to protect their identities).
Check out the trailer for 1D: This Is Us below: