As fans of Taylor Swift know, the singer’s song “You Need to Calm Down” is a total anthem for the LGBTQ community. Now, in her new interview for Vogue‘s September 2019 issue, the Grammy winner talks all about the meaning behind those lyrics and using her influence to advocate for LGBTQ rights.
“The first verse is about trolls and cancel culture,” the 29-year-old musician explained about the “You Need to Calm Down” lyrics. “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.”
While her powerful lyrics are totally empowering, there is no denying that the “Dress” songstress got some backlash from critics who thought her allyship came off as appropriation. But Taylor explained that she didn’t realize until recently that she could advocate for a community that she’s not a member of.
“Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she said. “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.”
The Cats actress went on to explain that her dear friend Todrick Hall — who starred in and executive produced the “You Need to Calm Down” music video — also inspired her to be more public about her passion to fight for LGBTQ rights.
“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.”
“If he was thinking that, I can’t imagine what my fans in the LGBTQ community might be thinking,” she added. “It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”
Taylor’s upcoming album, Lover, drops on August 23!
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