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On the latest episode of Becky G’s podcast En La Sala, Lauren Jauregui addressed rumors that circulated among Fifth Harmony fans that she and Camila Cabello, her former bandmate, were in a relationship. In brief: Not only are those rumors absolutely untrue, but they perpetuate damaging stereotypes that all queer women are attracted to all women—and that made Jauregui “feel like a predator.”
"People thought Camila and I were into each other, and that made me so uncomfortable," Jauregui said on the podcast.
"Like, disgustingly uncomfortable, because I was queer but she was not, and it made me feel like a predator.”
She continued, “It made me feel like a predator because the types of clips people would put together and the types of stories that people would write and the type of stuff, I was always the aggressor and I was always the one turning her. I was always the one who was the 'masculine' energy in the scenario and it made me very uncomfortable because that is not how I identify."
Jauregui clarified that she and Cabello had “genuine love for each other” purely as friends—because female friends can, in fact, be in love with each other without a sexual connection. The singer, who’s Cuban-American, also explained that romantic female friendships are common in Latinx culture.
“In the Latinx culture, I was very affectionate with my friends,” she said. “We would tell each other shit like, yeah, maybe you would think we were gay if you were listening. But we weren’t, and that wasn’t the interaction.”
Jauregui initially came out as bisexual in an open letter addressed to Trump supporters in 2016, which added fuel to existing “shipping” theories among Fifth Harmony fans. Jauregui first addressed those “Camren” rumors back in 2017 on Twitter.
“I hate [the shipping theory] because it's invasive, scary, delusional, disrespectful to us both and was never real…ever," she tweeted. In a follow-up tweet, she wrote, “You never quite become ok with people sexualizing you and your friendships for their sick pleasure.”
Although she’s publicly squashed those rumors, Jauregui told Becky G that the experience was “traumatizing.”
“I’ve learned to just ignore [the rumors], because it was so traumatizing for me,” she said. “I just chose to ignore it at a certain point, because getting so angry, to them, would mean that it was real, and validate it more for them…It really fucked with my head. Because I wasn’t even comfortable telling my parents about [my sexuality]. I wasn’t even comfortable telling myself that I was queer. And I also didn’t see Camila that way. So it made me feel uncomfortable that I could potentially be putting off that vibe.”
Hopefully, Jauregui’s honesty finally sends the message that speculating on someone’s romantic status can not only be invasive, but actively damaging.