Gen Z Thoughts: Code Red

  “Do you listen to girl in red?”

      For most people this is a simple question with a surface level answer, but for Generation Z, there is a more personal, hidden meaning. 

    Gen Z is known for many things, from the Tide-Pod Challenge, to pranking the President of the United States to inventing new slang and code that people outside of Gen Z would not understand. This specific slang has been adopted by members of the Gen Z LGBT community as a non-confrontational way to identify each other in public.

    Asking someone if they listen to girl in red, or the song “Sweater Weather” is a new way to ask someone if they identify as a lesbian or bisexual, respectively. 

    These new phrases were inspired by different musical artists. 

    The Norwegian indie-pop artist girl in red (whose name and songs are intentionally lowercase) writes songs for women who are attracted to the same gender. In her most popular song, “we fell in love in october,” she writes about falling in love with a woman and the euphoria of young romance. My favorite song by the artist is “i wanna be your girlfriend,” which also focuses on the struggles of being a young woman who is attracted to the same gender. 

    The song “Sweater Weather” by American alternative-pop band The Neighbourhood first became popular after its release in 2013, and for many Gen Zers, it comes with feelings of intense nostalgia. The song had a resurgence in recent years when it became known as a bisexual anthem. “Sweater Weather” describes feelings of intimacy and desire without using overly gendered language. A person of any sexuality or gender can feel a connection to the song due to its ambiguity. 

    This code was developed as both a light-hearted way to ask a taboo question, and because not everyone is accepting of the LGBT community. 

    In the past, we lived in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” society, and openly identifying as gay was not a popular practice until recently. For some, it is still uncomfortable to bluntly ask what someone’s sexuality is, so this new language has created a fun and nonchalant alternative. 

    Even though Gen Z is said to be one of the most open-minded generations, there are still others who are judgemental and prejudiced. It is these closed- minded individuals that create the need for a secret language amongst the LGBT community.

    As a person who “listens to ‘Sweater Weather’” (identifies as bisexual), I utilize the new slang for both reasons. For me, it is a way to share that side of myself only with those who will understand and accept me for who I am. 

    So, do you listen to girl in red?