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Taylor Swift Amps Up Support For LGBTQ Rights in New Song

YouTube screenshot of music video by Taylor Swift performing “You Need To Calm Down” – off her upcoming new album ‘Lover’ (out August 23).
YouTube screenshot of music video by Taylor Swift performing “You Need To Calm Down” – off her upcoming new album ‘Lover’ (out August 23).

“Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.”

Music superstar Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to her state senator earlier this month in support of the Equality Act for LGBTQ Americans. She’s continuing her crusade in her new song “You Need To Calm Down” — which debuted last week, followed by a music video this Monday.

The song is an anthem against homophobia, with lyrics explicitly directed towards anyone with anti-gay beliefs, such as: “Sunshine on the street at the parade / But you would rather be in the dark ages / Makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night,” and “shade never made anybody less gay”.

The new single will appear on Swift’s forthcoming album, “Lover”, which will be released on August 23.

Swift has previously disclosed her hesitation to take a political stand in the past, presumably because it’s always a slippery slope for a public figure whose career isn’t clearly in the political realm — opening themselves to scrutiny as well as losing fans. However, it appears that the 29-year-old singer is cautiously beginning to assert her views now.

Along with posting her open letter to her senator on social media, she urged fans to follow suit, donated to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and recently gave a surprise performance at the Stonewall Inn in New York City this past weekend — the setting of a catalyst for the gay rights movement in 1969, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. All of these gestures from Swift were made in accordance with LGBTQ Pride Month, which is celebrated every June.

After releasing her new song this past Friday, speculation mounted on what the music video would look like, with rumors of an unprecedented number of celebrity cameos.

The video premiered Monday on “Good Morning America” and delivered a slew of famous faces indeed, including Ellen DeGeneres, Ryan Reynolds, Bobby Berk, Billy Porter, Ciara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Justin Mikita, Adam Lambert, Todrick Hall, Hayley Kiyoko, Adam Rippon, Chester Lockhart, Dexter Mayfield, Hannah Hart, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness and Tan France — all appearing as friendly neighbors in a candy-colored LGBTQ+ themed trailer park. Performers dressed as Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani and Adele appear in a beauty pageant where drag superstar RuPaul makes a cameo as a judge.

At the end of the clip, Swift posted a message: “Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.”

Included is a request to sign her petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on Change.org.

As one of the biggest stars in the world right now, Swift’s influence is undeniable. Incorporating political and social views into her art will no doubt have some consequences, but it’s hardly a new concept. Pop stars like Madonna, among others, have been clear advocates for LGBTQ causes for decades and have hardly suffered professionally because of it.

Perhaps because Swift originated from the country music genre, which has traditionally catered to a more conservative demographic, it may have appeared to be more of a risk.

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