Taylor Swift's Story About What Made Her Speak Out About Her Political Views Says A Lot
Taylor Swift is clarifying her stance. After years of her fanbase (and her non-supporters) aching for her to say something, anything, in regards to her politics, her Lover era has made a point of making her views abundantly clear. While some will probably still see it as too little, too late, Taylor Swift's story about what made her speak out on politics is eye-opening, at the very least. And she owns how much of a mistake it was not to make her values crystal clear sooner.
In an interview for the Vogue September cover issue (Vogue's biggest cover of the year), Swift opened up about her politics, sexism, and how it has affected her career, and yes, the Kim and Kanye drama. She starts off by talking about "You Need To Calm Down" and its blatantly political meaning. Each verse points a spotlight on different social issues.
“The first verse is about trolls and cancel culture. The second verse is about homophobes and the people picketing outside our concerts. The third verse is about successful women being pitted against each other," she explained.
Todrick Hall, one of Swift's best friends who starred in and co-executive produced the "YNTCD" video, comes up in conversation quickly as the tipping point for Swift realizing she hadn't done enough to make her LGBTQ supporters feel she supported them.
“Maybe a year or two ago, Todrick and I are in the car, and he asked me, 'What would you do if your son was gay?'" she said.
“The fact that he had to ask me . . . shocked me and made me realize that I had not made my position clear enough or loud enough," she said, adding that her response to Hall was, "'If my son was gay, he’d be gay. I don’t understand the question.'"
Hall, who is openly gay, echoed that sentiment in a 2018 interview with Elite Daily, where he said in the early days of his and Swift's friendship, he wasn't sure if he could openly talk to her about his love life.
“If he was thinking that, I can’t imagine what my fans in the LGBTQ community might be thinking,” Swift told Vogue. “It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”
Swift said the reason she chose now to advocate for queer rights is because of the current political climate. While she doesn't call out President Trump by name, she seems to refer to Trump and his administration's policies as what contributed her new stance on speaking out.
“Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she said. “I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. It’s hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It’s clickbait, and it’s a part of my life story, and it’s a part of my career arc.”
Now that she's learned how to be an effective ally, she's fully leaning in. Swift finally made her political opinions clear in 2018 in her Instagram about the Tennessee midterm elections. She then made the gay-as-hell "YNTCD" music video that included an urge to the viewers to sign her petition in support of the Equality Act, which has garnered signatures from presidential candidates.
If the Reputation era was all about protecting her privacy (which she says in the Vogue interview was essentially a "bunker" surrounding her music catalog), the Lover era is about Swift finally being openly political. Oh, and in love. Duh.