Carly Rae Jepsen’s spectacular video for her new song “Party For One” is an unashamed celebration of queerness.
The Canadian “Call Me Maybe” singer, who was already a favourite with the LGBT+ community, has portrayed two gay actors and a queer woman going through a break-up in her latest release.
The video shows Jepsen and a diverse range of character as they navigate heartbreak in different rooms of the same hotel—dancing, eating, drinking and watching TV—before the power goes out and they all gather in the lobby to party with each other.
One of the characters is played by Mark Kanemura, the dancer who lit up Pride this year with a viral Instagram video to Jepsen’s song “Cut to the Feeling”.
The video, which saw him toss off differently coloured wigs on each beat before revealing a rainbow one and shaking confetti over himself, was viewed more than 1.4 million times. Jepsen subsequently invited Kanemura to perform the track with her at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco.
Kanemura, who has also achieved fame with Lady Gaga and on So You Think You Can Dance, is shown in the “Party For One” video dancing in his underwear—and, later, a new wig, naturally.
Another gay viral sensation, Parker Kit Hill, also stars in Jepsen’s video, fulfilling a dream of many by drinking wine and eating spaghetti with meatballs in the bath.
Hill, who rose to fame on the now-defunct video site Vine, then joins the rest of the guests downstairs in two elegantly wrapped towels, sipping on one of the cocktails provided by a doorman, who has a healthy supply of Absolut’s rainbow vodka.
The video’s queer woman is seen lying on her bed near the start of the song, holding a photo of her and her ex-girlfriend in one hand, and in the other, a lit cigarette—which she then proceeds to put out on her former partner’s face.
All the hotel guests come together after the electricity fails, including an older woman who takes a break from playing with a buttplug, a dildo, candy underwear and a riding crop in her room.
In 2013, Jepsen was praised by LGBT+ media monitoring group GLAAD after she pulled out of performing at the Boy Scouts of America’s annual jamboree because of the organisation’s anti-gay policies.
Unfortunately, not everyone involved in Jepsen’s journey to LGBT+ favourite has felt good about the experience.
The actor who played Jepsen’s crush in the video for her incredibly popular 2011 song “Call Me Maybe” spoke out earlier this year about his discomfort with playing a gay man.
Holden Nowell, a Canadian model-turned-rapper, said: “The fact that they had to make me gay at the end of the video… it was all very… I didn’t like being known as the gay guy in the ‘Call Me Maybe’ video.
“It was just something I wasn’t used to. I was always the ‘Call Me Maybe’ guy, everywhere I went, and after a while I got really sick of hearing that.”
The video has more than one billion views on YouTube.