Taylor Swift‘s video for “You Need to Calm Down” dropped on June 17, and it opens with the singer lodging familiar complaints against social media haters, but then she opens up into a rainbow-colored trailer park populated by LGBT stars like Laverne Cox, Hannah Hart, Billy Porter, Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul Charles, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the “Queer Eye” Fab Five and more, plus allies like Ryan Reynolds and even Katy Perry, the latter of whom Swift has famously feuded with. Watch their musical Pride party above.
“Sunshine in the street at the parade, but you would rather be in the Dark Age,” she sings in the second verse. “You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace and control your urges to scream about all the people you hate. Because shade never made anybody less gay.” Towards the end of the video a joyous food fight breaks out, and Swift, dressed as french fries, locks eyes and reconciles with Perry, dressed as a hamburger. Perhaps they’ve traded in their “Bad Blood” for ketchup.
The video ends with a direct call to action: “Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. Please sign my petition for Senate support of the Equality Act on Change.org.” The Equality Act would protect LGBT people from discrimination at work, home, schools and in public accommodations. It’s a significant message from an artist who usually shies away from the political in favor of the personal. Perhaps her massive reach as an artist and the fact that she isn’t commonly known to use her platform for advocacy will give this message more weight. As of this writing the petition has more than 275,000 signatures. By the time you read this that number may be substantially higher.
Getting anything LGBT-affirming through the Republican-led Senate is a tall order, but even if that fails, I’d happily join her candy-colored gay-affirming fantasia anyway.
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