Taylor Swift is a talented musician and songwriter, one of the most famous people in the world, and has built a net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars through her immensely personal songs. Her millions of 'Swifties' are as fierce as they are loyal. But has Taylor built the same kind of following in the LGBT community? Could we consider Taylor Swift to be one of the modern day gay icons?
Yes, Taylor Swift is a gay icon
Taylor Swift voiced her support for the LGBTQ community in 2019 because rights are being “stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male”.
Taylor Swift understands the influence of her massive fanbase and ensures that she sets a positive example in supporting those at risk or in need
Taylor Swift is using her platform to reach hundreds of millions of people. She could be selling products or just having fun, but instead she promotes messages for LGBTQ rights. She is not being paid for these messages, she promotes LGBTQ interests because she cares about the community and wants to help them.
Taylor Swift’s lyrical choice of “GLAAD” instead of “glad” proves her commitment to interweaving her activism with her artistry
Taylor Swift has made significant financial contributions to GLAAD and spoken out in support of the LGBTQIA+ community in her music and on social media. She uses her platform to support grassroots work.
No, "You Need to Calm Down" was clearly designed to be the next 'great anthem' song. It was released to line Taylor Swift's pockets by spotting a chance to profit off the LGBTQ movement.
Release date of “You Need to Calm Down” music video commodifies Pride Month
Taylor Swift has been silent on issues of social injustice up until 2018. Once LGBTQ+ issues are part of mainstream conversation, she likely released “You Need to Calm Down” during Pride 2019 in order to maximize revenue.
Taylor Swift’s “rivalries” in her Reputation album and her support of the LGBTQ+ community might be part of the same career strategy
Only now that Pride is mainstream, Taylor Swift seems to have jumped on the bandwagon of vehement outrage at social injustices. This falls in line with her attempts to paint herself as an “underdog” in her Reputation album, fighting against a “system” now that it is popular to do so.
Taylor Swift has a loyal fan base that will follow her no matter what cause she decides on. LGBTQ is a good start but why not support all worthy causes?
Taylor Swift is a powerful ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, but there are members of the community that are actually icons
Before all else, cultural icons who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community take the lead. The debate over whether or not Taylor Swift is a gay icon takes the spotlight away from queer people who are doing the work to fight for representation and rights.
Many celebrities engage in activism, but often their work is misinformed and causes more harm than good
Taylor Swift’s platform, reach, and support - although influential - do not exalt her to the status of a “gay icon,” especially since there are non-celebrities doing the same work, and far more sustainably.