Taylor Swift’s new video misses the mark trying to depict LGBTQ struggles

Glenn Francis |  Wikimedia Commons

Glenn Francis | Wikimedia Commons

Taylor Swift is the subject of another online debate following her 2019 Billboard Award performance.

With the release of the music video for Swift’s latest song, “You Need to Calm Down,” people are debating whether Swift is a true ally toward the LGBTQ community or if she is just pandering to the community and “queerbaiting” in order to further her own musical career.

“You Need to Calm Down” is Swift’s second single off her upcoming seventh album Lover which is expected to be released on August 23.

The video, directed by Swift and Dexter Mayfield, prominently features numerous celebrities within the LGBTQ community.

Features include Dexter Mayfield, YouTuber Hannah Hart, Laverne Cox, model Chester Lockhart, Todrick Hall, Hayley Kiyoko, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, lawyer Justin Mikita, Ciara, the Fab Five part of the TV series “Queer Eye” Adam Rippon, Adam Lambert, Ellen DeGeneres, Billy Porter, RuPaul Charles, Katy Perry and Ryan Reynolds.

Since the video was released, it has received mixed reviews. Some critics and fans admired Swift for using her platform to address LGBTQ issues and supporting legislation such as the Equality Act, but others thought the video’s LGBTQ focus was a marketing ploy to attempt to cash in on the relevance of the community during Pride Month.

Swift and Perry dressed as fries and a burger to come together and hug, which became a much talked about moment considering their past beef.

The two traded songs addressing each other, “Bad Blood” and “Swish Swish,” back in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

Some fans were happy to see the two move past their disagreements in such a lighthearted way, but their reconciliation was not free from criticism.

Many thought it was a distraction from the video’s point of LGBTQ said USA Today, questioning the point of having two straight woman dressed as fast food hug when the video is about the LGBTQ community.

On her Tumblr account, Swift addressed false information about a kiss scene between her and Perry, said USA Today.

She denies it, stating, “Guys this is absolutely false. To be an ally is to understand the difference between advocating and baiting. Anyone trying to twist this positivity into something it isn’t needs to calm down. It costs zero dollars to not step on our gowns.”

Another critical point of the video was the crowd of anti-LGBTQ protesters depicted as stereotypical “hillbillies” that harks to the rural residents of the southern United States carrying signs that read “Adam + Eve, not Adam + Steve.”

Depicting homophobes as an ugly mob to convince them to support homosexuals was not the best idea, stated USA Today, who believe that Swift should have gone a different route.

The choice to depict the video’s homophobes as everyday citizens was also questioned, since some felt Swift should have depicted the people in power who have passed or voted for legislation that stifled LGBTQ rights.

A few critics find it odd that Swift is addressing political issues now when she didn’t do so in the past, especially during the 2016 presidential election, according to USA Today.

They wondered why she was silent in the past and choosing to speak up now when citizens are more supportive of the issues, organizations and legislation.

Back in October 2018, Swift posted on Instagram about the midterm elections, encouraging citizens in her home state of Tennessee and others to vote.

Swift broke her silence and finally revealed some of her political views.

“In the past I have been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years. I feel very differently about that now,” she stated.

In early June, she created a petition to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act at change.org, promoting it on her social media accounts.

The Equality Act would expand federal governmental protections for Amercians part of the LGBTQ community, especially in areas of life such as housing, employment and education.

Swift also cited that the reason for her avoiding discussions of politics came from her fearing that she wasn’t aware enough about issues to engage in activsm on a larger level.

Swift releasing music during Pride Month is a way for fans to listen and encourage them support the LGBTQ community.

ArtsTara MichelComment