Taylor Swift Is Getting An Award For Being An LGBTQ+ Ally — But Should She?

Superstar Taylor Swift may not have won at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards. But she didn’t have to wait until the Grammys to find out she’s getting another major prize: A GLAAD Media Award. Despite her popularity, not everyone is in agreement that Swift should take home this particular award. Read on to learn more.

Taylor Swift has been criticized for not being political

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

When you’re in the public eye, you face a lot of criticism for — well, just about everything. Over the years, Swift has generally kept her political opinions to herself. However, if you were really paying attention, you might have noticed that she’s attended the GLAAD Media Awards before: She presented her friend, actor Ruby Rose, with an award in 2016.

Swift has become more outwardly political with Lover, her seventh album. Her song, “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince,” is actually about “the illusions of what [she] thought America was before our political landscape took this turn, and that naivete that we used to have about it.”

The single ‘You Need to Calm Down’ made her views clear

But before “Miss Americana,” Swift was speaking up about an issue that’s become much more bipartisan in recent years. We’re speaking of LGBTQ+ rights. Her second single off of Lover was “You Need to Calm Down,” which she timed for a release with Pride Month in 2019.

The track has a strong message about supporting others, especially when it comes to online trolls and protesters who speak out against the community at large. Swift had a number of LGBTQ+ entertainers, including Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, and Hayley Kiyoko, in the video.

Swift also put her words into action

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HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!!! While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally. In excellent recent news, the House has passed the Equality Act, which would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in their places of work, homes, schools, and other public accommodations. The next step is that the bill will go before the Senate. I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed. I urge you to write to your senators too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator. While there’s no information yet as to when the Equality Act will go before the Senate for a vote, we do know this: Politicians need votes to stay in office. Votes come from the people. Pressure from massive amounts of people is a major way to push politicians towards positive change. That’s why I’ve created a petition at change.org to urge the Senate to support the Equality Act. Our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic. The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally. Click the link in my bio to sign the petition for Senate support of the Equality Act.

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Prior to the release of the song, Swift ramped up her allyship even more, with true action. She wrote a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander, of her home state of Tennessee. In it, she asked that he support the Equality Act, which would work to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender.

In addition to this, Swift created a Change.org position for the same cause. While the bill had previously passed in the House of Representatives, it was then passed to the Senate, where it has sat for several months now. Under Donald Trump‘s Republican-controlled Senate, it’s likely to stay that way.

Now, she’s being honored at the GLAAD Media Awards

Now, Swift is being honored for her actions. She’s receiving the Vanguard Award, which is specifically for allies who have made “a significant difference” for those in the LBGTQ+ community.

“From boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told People. “In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”

The announcement is receiving mixed reactions

Not everyone is on board with Swift receiving this award. Musician Christopher Dallman wrote on Twitter that she was “an odd choice,” noting that her activism in the space is fairly new. Writer Evan Ross Katz took it a step further, saying that the problem is the award itself. “Allies are great, important, and necessary. They should not be given awards,” Katz wrote on Twitter.

Regardless of this, fans of Swift’s are pretty excited to see her being honored for her contributions in the space. With any luck, this won’t be the last time that she uses her fame to help others.