Taylor Swift has found herself in a tricky sort of place. The 29 year old mega-star has grown up in front of our eyes, and with that has also made all of her mistakes, foibles and missteps in front of an audience too. She’s also held to a standard that would be unthinkable for young men in her position. She’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t, and that ranges from politics to her dating life, to some people. Swift, whose fanbase is deeply rooted in country music (which tends to come with a more conservative view) has been spreading her wings and conquering the pop genre too. Along with this evolution in music, Swift’s world views have also expanded as has her willingness to discuss them openly.
In Swift’s 1989 album which debuted in 2014, she made her first shout out to her LGBTQ fanbase in the song, “Welcome to New York, something that seems to have been forgotten by those who rail against the pop star for being a Taylor-Come-Lately to the cause. In recent years, Swift has become more and more outspoken about her allyship to the LGBTQ community. She donated a large sum of money this month to LGBTQ media watchdog GLAAD, inspired a recent surge in donations to the org and has been working to convince politicians to support the Equality Act.
Swift teased her new single, “You Need to Calm Down” from her upcoming album, Lover, a few days ago with a lyric video, but it was the official video that really got people cheering (along with some jeering). The video features an all-star line-up of out LGBTQ celebs like Ellen DeGeneres, Hayley Kiyoko, The Fab Five, Laverne Cox, and many more. The song features these lyrics, which marks one of the first times a mega-star like Swift has spoken so openly and plainly about the LGBTQ community.
Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?
Sunshine on the street at the parade
But you would rather be in the dark ages
Making that sign
Must’ve taken all night
You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay.
Naturally, there are fans and detractors on both sides as is common with Swift, but there’s no denying that she’s done something big here. The end of the video is a call to action for fans to sign a petition supporting the Equality Act. At the time of writing this article, the petition is over 293K strong with more signatures coming in before your eyes. Swift has managed to do something that many have not: engage her fans in a hugely meaningful way to both support the LGBTQ community in daily life and politically.
Here’s the video in all its gay glory.