It's kind of insane how much power a song release + music video has on our society. If you haven't heard or seen Taylor Swift's new single "You Need to Calm Down," a supposed "queer anthem" featuring big-name LGBTQ+ celebrities, now's the time to check it out. Even if you're not a self-proclaimed Swiftie or that you enjoy pop music, it's important to recognize the cultural relevance.
The colorful video features "a legion of queer celebs doing famously queer things such as sipping tea, performing in drag, and getting married in matching baby-blue tuxes." LGBTQ+ icons like "Queer Eye's" Fab 5, Hannah Hart, Ru Paul, & Ellen DeGeneres all make appearances throughout the chic trailer park setting. Obviously, this isn't a coincidence, it's a statement — but what kind?
Critics are confused, considering T-Swift has no ties to these individuals.
Is she just trying to stay relevant? Trying to get clout? Some are saying she is "highjacking queerness" and "queer-baiting" fans. Taylor's sexuality has been speculated over the years, and with many assuming she's straight, there's question over her right to speak for the LGBTQ+ community. The video depicts queerness as all sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops, when in reality, it's not. Twitter, of course, had a few things to say about it:
@taylorswift13 new music video is misguided, failed attempt to support our community the result of which is elevati… https://t.co/dcAin2YngY— Roman Gierok (@Roman Gierok)1560780412.0
Taylor Swift attaching herself to the LGBT community and pretty much comparing the criticism she's received to homo… https://t.co/Oj40F58OvB— Jack Ruess (@Jack Ruess)1560785844.0
On the other hand, Taylor's plug of her Change.org petition linked at the end has over 300,000 signatures, with $13 dollar (her favorite number) donations coming in like crazy. Others are also giving Swift props for teaching friends of LGBTQ+ people how to be good allies and how to be supportive family members. Maybe we're missing the point. Maybe we really do need to just "calm down". I mean, if she didn't do it, who else would? She *is* one of the most popular female artists in America, and with her platform, she has the ability to change a lot of minds. Despite the haters, she's received a great deal of support online from fans and music lovers alike:
The gayest video of all time. Thank you Taylor Swift for supporting us and being such an amazing ally. Take a secon… https://t.co/WbOccs2dQU— jeremy baldwin (@jeremy baldwin)1560786960.0
The more I listen to this song the more I LOVE IT!!! The messages of ANTI-HATE, EMPOWERMENT, SELF-LOVE and ACCEPTAN… https://t.co/ruu1LAfxyr— Jill Noel (@Jill Noel)1560731641.0
As we prepare for her entire album to release on August 23, many are curious to see how the rest of her songs fit into this pro-LGBTQ+ agenda. Until then, we'll just have to wait and see what T-Swift has in store for her loyal fans!