Take a step back for a second and distance yourself from the name, “Taylor Swift.”
Ask yourself, what’s more believable?
One of the greatest poets of the 1800s (who mainly wrote about love and heartbreak) had:
A) ~10 public, high status, heterosexual, 2–6 month long relationships
B) 1–4 unrequited loves (ie. all closeted, gay lovers). She fell in love young but was forced apart when her parents found out and shipped her lover off to a new country. Then, despite falling in love with other women and having short affairs with others, over a decade later she found her way back to her first love. All the while, she used men (oftentimes gay men) as beards to publicly pass as straight for the sake of her family’s reputation/status.
(B. The answer is B).
Now I’ve spent far more time than I would ever like to admit reading all Taylor’s lyrics, watching every music video, interview and live performance. I’ve gone through the r/GaylorSwift Reddit feeds. I’ve done everything humanly possible to prove, definitively, to the straight swifters, that Taylor is gay…But the truth is, because of the very definition of the word, “closeted,” I can’t, nor will I ever personally be able to prove it. Only Taylor can come out of the woods… *closet. I mean closet.
But this post isn’t about Taylor Swift — This post is about questioning why we feel like it’s wrong to say someone is gay.
I know in the back of a lot of your minds, you’re thinking, “You can’t just say someone’s gay, just because you think they are.”
To that I say — why not? When and why did we decide that being gay is a bad thing? I mean that’s inherently what you’re insinuating when you say, “you can’t just say she’s gay.” Right?
Why do people think it would be so wrong to say Taylor Swift is gay, even if she’s not? We assumed she’s straight. We had no problem labeling her as boy crazed/obsessed from 5 pictures of her in public with a boy. (I’d like to mention that when I was 16, I also told people I had a boyfriend, when I in fact, did not).
Let’s be real about it — x-hundred years ago, in the name of religion, straight men decided that only men & women can publicly be together because it would benefit them financially, socially and keep them at the top of the power dynamic. Dramatic? Yes. Wrong? No.
Sexuality and nearly all aspects of human (and animal) life are on spectrums when in their purest, most natural state. We created labels. We created boxes. We created binaries.
So back to my girl, Taylor (who this post is not about).
Let me play out the two scenarios that could come from this post and hopefully it can explain why I care so much about her (because again, I really don’t).
Say I’m wrong — Taylor Swift is straight as an arrow just like her management team and tabloids told us.
The repercussions of this post? Another rumor is made up about a celebrity and perhaps a couple more people dive into the love life of Taylor Swift — a life which has already been dissected and tweeted about a million times. That’s it. That’s the repercussion.
Straight people don’t care if you ask them if they’re gay…if they do, that’s on toxic masculinity, not you.
- If they are in the closet, not ready to come out, I promise you — from experience — they have a perfectly rehearsed script of how they’re straight and they’ve been asked before.
Once mainstream media talks about queer sexuality like it’s the norm, that’s when the rest of the society will also think that way. Eventually we’d get to a point where we don’t have to assume or ask people if they’re gay, because it simply won’t matter who someone loves. It’s long past time queer people are treated the same as their heterosexual counterparts — just like they were in Schitt’s Creek.
But now let’s look at the other side of this. Say I’m right — Taylor Swift is gay.
That would literally have to mean that her record label/management team (a group of grown men) closeted a teenage girl for the sake of their own financial gain. They assumed Taylor would be less marketable if she wasn’t straight, so they chose to conform. They prioritized money over humanity. In turn, Taylor — a 15 year old girl at the time she signed her deal — was likely convinced that she should also want to be straight in order to “make it” in the country music industry. (I would have done the exact same thing if I was in her shoes because I also, “didn’t know who I was supposed to be. At 15” (Fifteen)).
And if that whole idea doesn’t make you incredibly frustrated, sad and mad, then I can’t help you. And just like you would for the gays — I’ll pray for you.
I’m also writing this post because “celebrity gossip” seems to perpetuate this idea that we have to tip-toe around people’s sexuality. I’m frustrated that no one (in a position of power) is shining a light on the countless blatantly gay lyrics Taylor has sung her entire career, or is inquiring about her ridiculous rainbow outfits she has been flaunting ever since she was released from her record label…
Like this one -
Just for fun, ask yourself — why would a straight person feel so inclined to sing the following lyrics in a rainbow themed music video?
“One of these things is not like the others
Like a rainbow with all of the colors
Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
I promise that you’ll never find another like
Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh” (ME!)
I mean this song/music video is literally a duet about a gay man and a lesbian keeping each other company… and it was released around the time Joe and Taylor began dating. And yet, I cannot find a single article discussing the possible idea that Joe and Taylor are beards for each other. Why not?
While I’m at it, here are some more of my favorite gay lyrics of hers:
“We’re a crooked love in a straight line down” (I Wish You Would)
“The rest of the world was black and white
But we were in screaming color” (Out of the Woods)
“Are we out of the woods yet?” (Out of the Woods)
“I sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quiet, ’cause we’re dead if they knew” (Love Story)
“And my daddy said, ‘Stay away from Juliet’
But you were everything to me
I was beggin’ you, ‘Please don’t go,’”(Love Story)
“Then you won’t have to cry
Or hide in the closet
And just like a folk song.
Our love will be passed on” (seven)
… I could go on, but I’ll just remind you that Taylor based her entire career on themes of unrequited love in the form of, “dropping hands while dancing” and, “picking you up with no headlights on.”
So even though I can imagine that many straight high school couples “snuck in the garden gates” to see each other after dark once or twice, I cannot imagine anyone writing 9 albums worth of material on one or two moments. I can, however, imagine 9 albums written about hidden relationships and secret meetings occurring over the course of 20 years.
Now some of you may be thinking, “it’s 2021 — it’s cool to be gay! So if Taylor still hasn’t come out yet, then she’s definitely straight.” And to that I continue to speak from personal experience when I say that 2 of my exes are still in the closet. Exes of my exes are still in the closet. Friends of mine in the liberal northeast are still in the closet. In my current company of 70 people, I am the only non-straight employee — statistically speaking, that is impossible. Of the roughly 1,500 current NFL players, “0” are gay — statistically speaking, that is impossible.
While I don’t know why Taylor Swift is still in the closet, I do hope we find out one day soon. My theories include:
- A legal contract that binds her to her straightness somehow (ie. you must represent the music and lyrics you are selling).
- A delayed sense of self confidence and awareness because she said herself she was frozen in time at 15. (It took me until I was about 21 to fully embrace my full gay self, even when I had all the support in the world with no ‘real’ reasons to not be myself).
- A greedy Taylor Swift waiting for the most opportunistic time to come out for her own financial gain.
- Or, put in a far more optimistic lens — she has carefully crafted a plan to come out with the ability to open the eyes of many southerners/country music fans. She hopes to shift perspectives of people who otherwise would immediately turn their back on her if she were to come out now. Perhaps, she believes that waiting a little longer provides more opportunity to bring along a bigger crowd of people into a less binary/boxey society.
I don’t put any blame on Taylor for her past; she was forced to make huge career decisions at the age of 15. I do feel inclined, however, to hold her accountable for coming out in the near future. She has a platform to show the world that being gay is fun and cool and awesome and mainstream. (To be clear, if all the gay rumors are true, Taylor Swift would be the fucking man).
Taylor has the ability to shine a light on the pitfalls of a late-stage patriarchal, capitalistic society that has deemed money more important than humanity for far too long. She has the ability to continue to break down its rigid boxes and binaries that arose for the sake of profit, and in turn, hurt so many lgbtq youth. And when I say, “hurt young lgbtq youth”— I mean that. Because if one of the greatest, most popular country music turn popstar artists of our generation was publicly queer, then millions of kids might have also been comfortable to be fully themselves — 16 year old me sure would have been.
I hope Taylor doesn’t wait much longer, because she told us herself that, “these things will change… we’ll start a revolution.”
Taylor, you better follow through — 16 year old Ellie is counting on you.(…And current Ellie quite literally might implode if I just wrote the most dramatic post about you being gay and you end up not backing me up here).
But, to remind myself for the 100th time, this post was never about Taylor Swift. This was just an excuse for me to say that I want everyone, including Taylor Swift, to proudly love who they love — for all gay people to be out and gay, just as easily as straight people are out and straight, and everyone in between and out. Because if anything, Taylor Swift proves that love songs are universal and love is for everyone.