There’s nothing hidden about the meaning behind Taylor Swift’s new song “You Need to Calm Down.” The new song, crafted as a message to angry bigoted people around the world, does contain a few subtle lyrics. But just before launching into her second chorus, Swift makes it clear who this song is for, as she sings “‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay.”
Those lyrics only contribute further to Swift’s newly open support of the LGBTQ community. Even in the Apple Music description of her upcoming album Lover, Swift acknowledges that while she hasn’t been open about her political leanings in the past, she’s officially over that and is “standing up and speaking out.”
In the last few months, Swift has ramped up her efforts of being an ally; she donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Tennessee LGBTQ organization, vocalized her support of the Equality Act and urged her state representatives to do the same. “For American citizens to be denied jobs or housing based on who they love or how they identify, in my opinion, is un-American and cruel,” she wrote in an open letter.
While there’s no doubt that Swift has felt this way for a long time, it is still all the more meaningful that she has finally opened up about that support with both lyrics and action. Even in her lyric video, the star gives a shoutout to GLAAD, and highlights the letters “EA” to further promote the Equality Act.
Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s director of talent and engagement, thanked Swift in a post released on the organization’s website, saying “Taylor Swift is one of the world’s biggest pop stars. 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.”
Ramos is right — Swift is perhaps the biggest pop star in the world, which only gives her promotion of inclusivity more meaning. Where other artists would shy away due to fear of being dropped by a more conservative audience, Swift has planted herself firmly as an ally to the LGBTQ community, regardless of what some prejudiced listeners may think.
Fans of the star are over the moon with the singer’s support, continuing to call her a “gay icon” and referring to the song as a “2019’s gayest anthem.” Check out some of our favorite reactions from fans below:
i don’t understand people that don’t stand for the national anthem. how can you not feel ANYTHING at all while listening to the national anthem? i tear up, i get goosebumps, and get chills the moment i hear “shade never made anybody less gay” #YouNeedToCalmDown
— zack (@linsazack13) June 14, 2019
— baylor (@bayloranderson) June 14, 2019
— Jemima Skelley (@jemimaskelley) June 14, 2019
— Shows support for @glaad
— Lyric: Shade never made anybody less gay
— Lyric: Control your urges to scream about the people you hate
— EA = Equality Act
— Pride flag in cover art pic.twitter.com/eGpcv6jMbD
— Taylor Swift News (@TSwiftNZ) June 14, 2019
Taylor: “The album has some political undertones.”
Also Taylor: ARE YOU STUCK IN THE DARK AGE? PROTESTING HAPPINESS? BEING A LOSER? SHADE NEVER MADE ANYBODY LESS GAY! #YouNeedToCalmDown
— Lily ?? Avoiding Homelessness (@LilyMeade) June 14, 2019
— rep (@tsgetaway2) June 14, 2019
— ?tyler self? (@harbogoshki) June 14, 2019
— paola LOVER (@withutaylor) June 14, 2019