Taylor Swift’s music video for her new song, “You Need to Calm Down,” is awash in LGBT iconography and in clear support of the community. Swift’s lyrics are highly political — they speak loudly against hate against the LGBT community — and are a huge shift from her usual work.
With the line “Why are you mad? When you could be GLAAD?” Swift alludes to the LGBT organization GLAAD, a group that advocates against defamation of the LGBT community in media.
Since the release of the video, GLAAD has received a spike of donations, many in the amount of $13, a clear tribute to Taylor Swift’s lucky number. Swift was born on December 13, and has snuck the number into several of her music videos, per MTV.
In addition to driving donations to GLAAD, Swift made a large donation herself earlier this month before the music video even came out.
Her support for the LGBT community has been very vocal and relatively sudden.
Before October of last year, she never spoke of her political opinions. That changed when she publicly endorsed her local Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms. Earlier this month, she wrote a letter to a Republican senator in her home state of Tennessee, imploring him to support the Equality Act that passed the House earlier this month.
Swift’s support of the LGBT community has been lauded by many, including GLAAD organizers.
“The fact that she [Swift] continues to use her platform and music to support the LGBTQ community… is a true sign of being an ally. ‘You Need to Calm Down’ is the perfect Pride anthem, and we’re thrilled to see Taylor standing with the LGBTQ community to promote inclusivity, equality, and acceptance this Pride month,” said Anthony Ramos, GLAAD director of talent engagement, in a statement via CNBC.
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????HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!!???? While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator. While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act. Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????? Click the link in my bio to sign the petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.
However, some have been skeptical of Swift’s support, saying that the prolific singer-songwriter has been using her platform to promote herself as an ally while not truly supporting the community. Several posts on Twitter have pointed out that Swift compares the hate she receives online to the systematic oppression of the LGBT community.
Taylor swift equating society’s homophobic tendencies with her own internet trolls seems kinda strange to me. like thanks for the support I guess, but writing a clumsy gay anthem shouldn’t be another trendy pride month activity & doesn’t automatically make you an ally??— POESY (@poesyofficial) June 16, 2019
Still, others have pointed out that her allyship is undoubtedly a good thing and that detractors are being overly critical.
This might come as a shock to some of you, but Taylor Swift doesn’t need to pander. She’d be just fine with her 320 million without our gay dollars.— DJ Mitch Ferrino (@mitchferrino) June 17, 2019
Maybe, and I know this is hard to handle, maybe she’s just actually an ally.
GLAAD itself has been nothing but grateful for Swift’s support. Since the music video’s debut, their official Twitter account has made several posts referencing her good deeds, even running a promotion based on the song.
Taylor Swift is continuing her good work. The artist was last seen performing at Wango Tango. She also made an appearance at The Stonewall Inn, where she did a duet with Jesse Tyler Ferguson while singing “Shake It Off.”
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Honestly have you ever seen anyone happier? It’s the greatest thing. ❤️Thank you @Aeg, @justinmikita and @jessetyler for a gorgeous night at the historic #stonewall inn. 50 years ago this year, the movement began. A daring resistance in order to claim dignity, freedom, and basic human rights. It has unfolded into what is now a global declaration of PRIDE!! ????????????????I’m proud to stand with a glorious, colorful community that is still fighting to create safe spaces for those who still seek them. We are lucky in NYC, but there are places where not everyone can shake it with Tay Tay. (Surprise Queen @taylorswift!) @stonewallgives is working to make every place a safe space. Yas. ????⭐️❤️????⛅️
Ticketmaster states that the artist does not have any more concerts on the boards at this time.