In the last two years, pop superstar Taylor Swift has become much more vocal in her support for the LGBTQ community, and on Tuesday (Dec. 1), the star received a major award in recognition of her efforts.
On Tuesday, Swift appeared (virtually) at the 2020 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards to accept her honor for the evening — the icon award. Introduced by her best friend Todrick Hall, Swift appeared via video to thank the organization, Hall and her fans for all of their support.
“I am really, really grateful for this, this is amazing. I want to say thank you to anyone who had a hand in deciding that I should deserve this,” Swift said. “And mostly I want to say thank you to the fans for giving me a platform to make music and to be vocal about the things that I think are right and wrong.”
The singer went on to say that the only real way to make change was to get anti-discrimination policies passed in governments around the world. “Everyone should be able to live out their love story without the fear of discrimination, and the way for that to happen is for us to continue to keep pushing governments to put protections in place for members of the LGBTQ community,” she said. “I promise to always advocate for that. I’m just grateful for this amazing award.”
In 2018, Swift began to voice her political opinions with an Instagram post about the midterm elections in Tennessee, where she said she would not support Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn for the Senate due in part to her record of voting against LGBTQ equality (Blackburn won the election and became a U.S. senator for the state of Tennessee).
Then, in 2019, Swift used her music video for “You Need To Calm Down” as an opportunity to celebrate queer stars, and to make a push for fans to support the Equality Act, a piece of legislation waiting for a Senate vote that would provide broad and consistent anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across housing, employment, education, public services and much more.
The 2020 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards also gave top honors of the evening to other music stars. Dua Lipa took home the music award, Paloma Faith was given the honorary gay award, Rina Sawayama earned the breakthrough award, and Yungblood won the gamechanger award.
You can check out Swift’s acceptance speech, along with the entire livestream of the awards, below: