Is Taylor Swift Exploiting LGBTQI+ Culture?

Since Taylor Swift dropped her new singles, ‘Me‘ and ‘You Need to Calm Down‘, fans have been raving about a shift in her music to a very positive vibe. Her newest album, Lover, to be released in August, is a stark contrast to her darker, 2016 album Reputation. But amid all the praise, the star has faced some criticism too. Is it possible that Taylor is using the LGBTQI+ community as a tool for success?

Taylor Swift has never been open in supporting the LGBTQI+ community before

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

One of Taylor’s major downfalls as a celebrity has always been her lack of political prowess. As the now 30-year-old has come into her own, she feels more educated on the political avenues she could take and has begun to be more vocal about the causes she supports.

In fact, her newest music video ends with a pretty pointed call to action. The message appears at the end of her video for ‘You Need to Calm Down‘ and it directs viewers to Taylor’s petition to the US Senate to support the Equality Act, which would make LGBTQI+ discrimination illegal nationwide. Although Taylor has never outwardly supported the LGBTQI+ community in the past, her positive support now has been embraced by most fans.

There are still some who would suggest that Swift is exploiting the LGBTQI+ community in using images, actions, and ideas that are stereotypically queer. People are left wondering why Swift is so late to the game and have accused her of just jumping on the Pride bandwagon now that more celebrities are doing so.

Taylor Swift may be using Pride as a marketing strategy

While dropping her newest single in the middle of Pride month may have been a no-brainer for the gay rights anthem ‘You Need to Calm Down’, the singer follows in the footsteps of commercial America when she utilizes the appeal and the support of the gay community to promote her work.

The lyrics, the colors, and the ensemble cast of her newest music video all point to the LGBTQI+ community, and although it may seem a little over the top, and critics have pointed out it is a bit kitschy, it is still putting a positive message out into the world.

If she is making money off of utilizing the power behind her LGBTQI+ fans, then so be it.

Taylor Swift may not understand the seriousness of homophobia

While it seems she has good intentions, Taylor compares hate crimes, bigotry, and true social conflict to the unpleasant tweets she receives on Twitter. Although it is a nice gesture to shed light on the problem, it seems like she is also making light of the problem. In utilizing the comparison between online bullies and homophobes, her critics claim that she has boiled a huge, societal problem down into simply “negativity.”

“I’ve observed a lot of different people in our society who just put so much energy and effort into negativity,” she explained to Apple Music. “This seems like it’s more about you than what you’re going off about. Like, just calm down.” 

In the song’s most memorable catchphrase Taylor sings “shade never made anybody less gay”, and while it is indeed catchy, those who think Taylor is using the gay community argue that hate crimes are far more than just “shady”.

Taylor Swift is an ally to the LGBTQI+ community

As far as we can tell, Taylor is using her fame for good and appears to really be an ally to the LGBTQI+ community. Not only does she embrace more than a dozen LGBTQI+ celebrities in her music video, but she continues to publicly support a cause that impacts the lives of millions of her fans. So what if she is making money off her new song, isn’t that the point of releasing a single?