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Karol G Isn’t Queerbaiting With Her Sapphic Music Video For New Single, “Contigo”

Karol G & Young Miko in "Contigo" music video

Karol G & Young Miko in "Contigo" music video

Last week, pop star Karol G made history as the first woman to win a GRAMMY for “Best Música Urbana Album” for her work on Mañana Será Bonito. This week, the Columbian superstar continued pushing boundaries by releasing the music video for her new track with Tiësto, “Contigo.”

Translated to “With You,” the song tells a story of intense longing. Fittingly, the song features an interpolation of Leona Lewis’ 2007 love song, Bleeding Love. As the famous melody plays through the chorus, Karol G tells her lover,“No quiero vida si no es contigo” (I don’t want a life if it’s not with you). Though the “you” in question is never explicitly stated, the music video portrays a tender sapphic romance between Karol G and Puerto Rican rapper Young Miko. The video explores the beauty of days spent basking in one another’s company before shifting to reveal the weight the outside world puts on their blossoming relationship. Ultimately, the video offers a happy ending, as the two lovers find a way to embrace the connection they feel to one another.

Queer love stories in music videos are nothing new. However, Karol G is a megastar—one with enough cultural sway to influence others. It says something that Karol G chose to work with Young Miko, who is openly queer, to tell an unapologetically queer love story.

My wife and I often discuss how our racial and ethnic communities (my wife is Latinx, I am Black) still struggle to accept LGBTQ+ folks fully. Both of us have pushed past parents brazenly stating their preference for us to embrace “traditional” values (aka heterosexual relationships). We know many in our communities share similar experiences. So it’s not hard to see how the music video for “Contigo,”—a song fully in Spanish—could have a real impact on Karol G’s fanbase.

In an Instagram post celebrating the video’s release, Karol G said, “Este video es un abracito … para todas esas personas que alguna vez sintieron miedo a amar,” (This video is a hug … for all those people who were ever afraid to love).

Karol G has long supported the LGBTQ+ community. In 2022, she delivered a surprise performance at Madrid’s pride parade. In a 2020 interview with VIBE, she spoke about her love for her queer fans. She said, “I love having part of my following from that community. I love people who can go out into the world and be fearless. I’m very proud of that because the world really lacks people like that: people with personality, attitude, and a strong will. That’s something I admire very much from that community. They have a beautiful energy.”

Karol G has never spoken about her own sexuality, and I implore readers not to speculate one way or another.

Time and time again, we’ve seen that when celebrities do anything that might be read as queer without explicitly labeling their sexuality, they are quickly accused of “queerbaiting.” Stars accused of this include Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and Cardi B. It’s likely that fans will attempt to pin that same accusation on Karol G as “Contigo” racks up views. However, policing sexuality and personal expression is a dangerous game.

Originally, the term “queerbaiting” was used to expose the tokenistic use of LGBTQ+ characters in media to attract a queer audience. Queerbaiting soon evolved to define the Hollywood practice of baiting LGBTQ+ fans into watching content by teasing a queer character or relationship in a film or TV show without any intention of confirming it. This way, networks and studios could engage LGBTQ+ fans without alienating homophobic ones.

In its newest iteration, queerbaiting refers to anyone who engages in queer behavior solely to gain fans and/or clout. Yet, we seldom get concrete affirmations of sexual orientation from the celebrities we enjoy. If we do not know a celebrities sexuality (meaning, if they haven’t openly spoken on the topic), we cannot know if they’re queerbaiting. Assuming we know (or are entitled to know) someone’s sexuality takes away their agency and risks alienating them from their own community where they should feel safe—not hunted or attacked.

As a community, we’ve worked hard to create a world where LGBTQ+ folks are given the freedom to choose when and how we’d like to come out of the closet. Coming out is an intensely personal decision, and everyone deserves the right to do so (or not!) in their own time.

I don’t know if Karol G is queer, or if she’s simply an ally willing to challenge cultural norms in order to create a more equal world. But I don’t need to know (we don’t need to know) to be  grateful for the story she tells with “Contigo.” It’s a beautifully and thoughtfully told story that would have meant a lot to me as I was coming to terms with my sexuality and it will mean a lot to her fans who may be in a similar situation. That fact alone is worth celebrating.



Sondra Rose Marie
Sondra Rose Marie
Sondra Rose Marie Morris (she/her) is a memoirist, journalist, and entrepreneur. Her words covering mental health, racism, death, and sexuality can be found in ZORA, Human Parts, Dope Cause We Said, The Q26, and on Medium. As of 2024, Sondra is the owner and Editor in Chief for Tagg Magazine. Follow her adventures on Instagram @SondraWritesStuff or Twitter @sondrarosemarie.