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Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need to Calm Down’: LGBTQ Anthem or Misguided Allyship?

Taylor Swift's music video for
Taylor Swift's music video for "You Need To Calm Down"
Universal Music Group

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Taylor Swift’s new music video for her song ‘You Need to Calm Down’ features several famous faces from the LGBTQ community including Ellen DeGeneres, Laverne Cox, RuPaul and the cast of “Queer Eye.”

Swift addresses her own haters in the song and music video, but also calls out those who attack the LGBTQ community.Swift references the gay rights organization GLAAD when she sings, “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.”

“The fact that (Taylor) continues to use her platform and music to support the LGBTQ community and the Equality Act is a true sign of being an ally,” Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s director of talent engagement, said in a statement.

However, other members within the LGBTQ community don’t see Swift as being a true ally. Some see the song and video as cultural appropriation, with some believing that she’s merely using LGBTQ Pride as a fashion statement or as a marketing ploy for her new album ‘Lover’ which comes out later this year.

Swift’s video finishes with the words: “Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally”, and then asks those who watched the video to sign a petition for Senate support of the Equality Act. Earlier this month, Swift announced her support of the Equality Act and urged her senator from Tennessee to support it as well.

Are you a member of the LGBTQ community? What do you think of Taylor Swift’s new music video? Do you think Swift is a good ally to the LGBTQ community? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

With files from the Associated Press

With guest host Libby Denkmann


Spencer Kornhaber, staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers pop culture and music