It’s not unusual for Taylor Swift to release a song about all of the people who take issue with her, her music, and the way she tends to exist – reputation was essentially a slick repudiation of everyone who talked shit about her post-2016 – but her new tune, You Need To Calm Down, is different. For what feels like the first time, Swift has used her music to directly hit back at homophobia and anyone who threatens “sunshine on the street at the parade”.
The tune, from her upcoming record Lover, is a targeted strike at the kind of folks who’d go out of their way to make the lives of queer people harder. “Take several seats and then try to restore the peace and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate,” she sings.
“‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay.”
Folks have taken note of the way “glad” is typeset as “GLAAD” in the lyric video, a clear reference to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
SHE SPELT GLAD LIKE GLAAD LIKE THE LGBTQ ORGANIZATION IM CRYING ILL NEVER LOVE SNYONE MORE pic.twitter.com/oU5kVafl1b
— gracie ???? (@taylorbaiting) June 14, 2019
That reference comes just over a month after Swift donated a fair chunk of change to Tennessee Equality Project, an organisation which barracks for the civil rights of LGBTQIA+ folks in the state.
Swift has previously appeared at GLAAD events too, and handed mate Ruby Rose an award from the organisation recognising the latter star’s work to promote equality.
Lover drops August 23.Image: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images