Image from Taylor Swift's You Need to Calm Down Lyric Video (VEVO)
On Monday, Taylor Swift released the music video for her new single You Need To Calm Down, which is intended as an LGBT+ anthem and is packed with queer cameos.
Ellen DeGeneres, Adam Lambert, Laverne Cox, Billy Porter, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Justin Mikita, Todrick Hall, Hayley Kiyoko, Adam Rippon, Chester Lockhart, Dexter Mayfield, Hannah Hart, RuPaul and more appear as neighbors ignoring anti-LGBT protesters and living their most vibrantly coloured lives in a LGBT+ caravan park.
There are drag queens, a Cher reference - her quote “Mom, I am a rich man" is displayed in Swift’s caravan, and Ryan Reynolds is seen painting New York’s famed Stonewall Inn, where the Stonewall Uprising took place 50 years ago.
Swift ends the video by once again urging fans to sign her petition calling for the senate to pass the Equality Act, which aims to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations.
The music video was co-produced by Swift’s close friend Todrick Hall, who wrote an Instagram post thanking Swift for “listening to me talk or sometimes rant about social injustices and using your platform to change people’s hearts and minds with your music.”
Last Friday, Swift made a surprise appearance at the Stonewall Inn, performing as part of a fundraiser for The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, which was hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Not all in the LGBT+ community are happy with Swift’s attempts at LGBT allyship. Slate’s Christina Cauterucci wrote a piece describing the single as“insultingly out of place” and “like watching a straight bachelorette party go nuts at a drag show.”
However, LGBT+ rights organisation GLAAD, which Swift references in the song lyrics -“You are somebody that we don’t know/But you’re coming at my friends like a missile/Why are you mad?/When you could be GLAAD?” - are celebrating her support.
“Taylor Swift is one of the world’s biggest pop stars,” said Anthony Ramos, Director of Talent Engagement at GLAAD. “The fact that she continues to use her platform and music to support the LGBTQ community and the Equality Act is a true sign of being an ally.”
“You Need to Calm Down is the perfect Pride anthem, and we’re thrilled to see Taylor standing with the LGBTQ community to promote inclusivity, equality, and acceptance this Pride month.”
Swift has made a sizeable contribution to GLAAD and the organisation says they've had an influx of donations after the release of You Need To Calm Down. They’ve now set up a Facebook fundraiser so Swift fans can support their work during Pride month.