21-year-old Norwegian singer-songwriter, Marie Ulven, known as Girl in red, has escalated in popularity the past few years, having accumulated a solid fan base and millions of followers on social media. Now she’s changing how queer people communicate with each other by creating a global code language – also in countries that are not supportive of LGBTQ-friendly politics.
The question “Do you listen to girl in red?” has become an established synonym for asking a girl if they like girls, even making it on to Urban Dictionary. Now Girl in red-billboards with the question are hanging around in big cities around the globe; London, Moscow, São Paulo, New York are some of the cities where the billboard can be found, although most people are unaware of the meaning behind the question.
Begun on TikTok
The code language first appeared on Tik Tok, when some of Girl in red’s songs and song titles were used as a new way of asking whether somebody is attracted to girls. Writing «Do you listen to Girl in red?» in someones comments on TikTok or Instagram has now become a way of asking if the person is queer or not. For many, this could be an easier way to let someone know about their sexual orientation.
The global billboards are a way of showing solidarity to the LGBTQ community, which is especially important in countries that have shown little or no support for LHBTQ-friendly politics. Many have already shared a photo of the billboards in their social media channels along with captions stating the rights, or the current lack thereof, of the LGBTQ community.