Former Disney star gives LGBT kids a voice

More stories from Nina Taranenko


Photo via Google under Creative Commons license

Hayley Kiyoko is a voice in the music industry for LGBT+ youth.

Since leaving The Disney Channel, stars such as Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and many more have made headlines, but a not so familiar face has been making a name for herself recently, Hayley Kiyoko.

Kiyoko, most famous for her role as Stella in the Disney movie “Lemonade Mouth,” has continued on a musical path, releasing three consecutive EPs.  Her more known EPs include “This Side of Paradise,” released in 2015 and “Citrine,” release in 2016. Inspiration for her music comes from the multiple crushes she had on girls while growing up.

Recently, Kiyoko has caused a major uproar by being a voice for the LGBT+ community. Through her music, Kiyoko has shown the problems they face at young ages, such as coming to terms with sexaulity and dealing with homophobia and transphobia.

Several of Kiyoko’s music videos focus on young girls and their interactions with each other, especially “Cliffs Edge” and “Girls Like Girls.” Kiyoko directed and starred in “Cliffs Edge” with a female love interest, and she co-directed “Girls Like Girls.”

Kiyoko discussed why she wanted to direct her own videos  with Teen Vogue in a recent interview. “It’s tough as an artist to have such a specific vision for your video in mind when you write a song. It’s amazing to see an idea be put up on its feet and turn out exactly how you wanted it to.”

Off her second EP was a music video for “One Bad Night,” which features Erin Armstrong, a transwoman and youtube personality. Armstrong’s involvement in the video is seen by many in the LGBT community as a advancement since trans roles are often given to cisgender actors instead.

Kiyoko continues to represent the LGBT+ community and those struggling by showing them that it’s okay to be who you are.