Editors’ note: Since October 7, the ongoing crisis in Israel and Gaza has been at the forefront of our minds and hearts here at Hey Alma. As the situation continues to unfold, we will also continue to be here, providing resources like our guide on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, tips for assessing reliable news sources, community event for grieving and playlists of Jewish songs with messages of healing and hope. With all of that in mind, we also want to provide our community with moments of reprieve from the onslaught of bad news. It is our hope that the following article will serve that purpose.
On October 13, Jewish pop star Troye Sivan dropped his latest music video, “One of Your Girls,” and I can’t stop watching it.
Over the last few months, the Aussie singer has been at the center of the pop culture universe for multiple reasons, including his Yiddish-named home decor brand Tsu Lange Yor (and its $1800 dreidel) and the music video for his single “Rush.” (It is my personal belief that the group dance in “Rush” is a subtle reference to the bottle dance from “Fiddler,” and I will not be hearing other opinions at this time.) But in “One of Your Girls,” which already has over 7 million plays on YouTube, Troye’s queer Jewish pride is bigger than ever before for one simple reason: In the music video, Troye wears a Star of David necklace in and out of drag.
“Give me a call if you ever get lonely, I’ll be like one of your girls or your homies,” Troye sings seductively, playing the persona of a blonde girl in a variety of sexy outfits. However, as much as girl Troye’s outfits change, all of them are accessorized with a large, silver Jewish star. Even as Troye switches back to his boy self or gives a lap dance to Ross Lynch, his Star of David is the consistent element throughout. Essentially, in a deeply vulnerable song which Troye said speaks to his experience sleeping with and trying to win the affections of guys who weren’t comfortable outwardly identifying as gay, Troye grounds the music video in his proud Jewish identity.
The music video is also significant when you consider the personal intersection of Troye’s sexuality, religion and culture. “I grew up traditionally Jewish, went to a Jewish school, had a bar mitzvah and the lot. I think unfortunately (or fortunately) my coming out and my drifting from religion happened at around the same time. Having a ‘sin’ on my chest before even waking up in the morning didn’t sit right with me,” Sivan told Dazed Magazine in 2017. He added, “I understand and appreciate that there are plenty of religious LGBTQ+ people, but for me and my probably fairly basic understanding, that was an issue. Today, I enjoy being culturally very Jewish, but I find little in the religious side.”
Obviously, one music video doesn’t cure religious trauma. But even just the purposeful bringing together of his queer and culturally Jewish identities feels like it could be healing for Troye. At the very least, that seems to be what Troye hopes his audience gets from the song and the album as a whole. In an an Instagram post from October 13 (when his new album “Something to Give Each Other” dropped), Troye wrote, “The world can be a scary, dark, sad place. I really hope this music brings you even the tiniest bit of joy this week, and into the future.”
As a queer Jew, I think it absolutely does.