No, Taylor Swift is not a lesbian – or a Nazi

Pop fans are desperate to drag Swift into the culture war.

Lauren Smith

Topics Identity Politics USA

Taylor Swift fans have a well-deserved reputation for being a bit deranged. There is even a subsection of Swifties that is obsessed with proving she is a lesbian. Essentially, this is a conspiracy theory for teenage girls with vivid imaginations and too much time on their hands. So it came as a bit of a surprise to see this theory being taken seriously by the US paper of record, the New York Times.

Last week, the New York Times published a 5,000-word piece by one of its opinion editors, Anna Marks, speculating about Taylor Swift’s sexuality. Marks painstakingly lays out all the supposed evidence that America’s biggest popstar has kept her lesbian leanings secret from the public.

This ‘evidence’, such as it is, is paper thin. For example, the colour scheme for Swift’s 2019 album, Lover, features pastel shades of blue, pink and purple. Apparently, this is significant because these are the colours of the bisexual pride flag. Her song, ‘The Very First Night’, is also said to make a subtle allusion to a female love interest with the line, ‘Didn’t read the note on the Polaroid picture / they don’t know how much I miss you’. This is because some Swifties have pointed out that the words ‘miss her’ would rhyme better with ‘picture’.

Marks also claims that because Swift often ‘depicts herself as trapped in glass closets or… regular closets’ in her music videos, she is signalling to fans that she is stuck in the metaphorical closet. To call this grasping at straws would be an understatement.

All this raises the question of why Swift would even need to hide her sexuality in 2024. According to the New York Times, coming out would be too damaging for her career. And so she can only communicate this ‘truth’ via subtle hints in her songs, videos and outfits. This is despite the fact that Swift has been open about her support for the LGBT community. Presumably, if some of her fans were homophobic, they would have been shaken off by now.

What’s more, the risk of coming out today is practically nil. We live in an age when popstars are busy switching up their pronouns every other week or declaring themselves to be pansexual or nonbinary.

Swift’s friends have denounced the New York Times piece, insisting she is not secretly a lesbian. Still, this isn’t the first time speculation about Swift has got out of hand.

Back in 2017, fans became enraged that she had not explicitly denounced Donald Trump. This led to accusations that she was secretly some kind of alt-right Aryan princess. Further ‘evidence’ of this could apparently be found in her music videos, which some people implausibly claimed were rife with neo-Nazi imagery. At the time, Buzzfeed denounced Swift’s ‘aggressively white’ image, which had supposedly led her to be claimed as a figurehead by white supremacists.

What seems to rile up the internet most is Swift’s determination to keep politics out of her music and persona – aside from the obligatory virtue-signalling on certain issues. She never talks about her ‘identity’, nor does she go out of her way to weigh in on the big issues of the day. Last year, when she was made Time’s Person of the Year, there was uproar because she hadn’t publicly taken a side in the Israel-Hamas conflict. This led some X users to accuse Swift of supporting ‘genocide’.

A few months before that, fans were incensed that she had shacked up with the 1975’s Matty Healy, who had once made a couple of politically incorrect jokes that she had so far failed to denounce. Fans even published an open letter demanding she break up with him.

Swift is regularly accused of not being ‘feminist’ enough, while also being criticised for her ‘white celebrity feminism’. She is attacked for everything, from being friends with too many attractive white women to using her private jet too often. The people who claim to be fans of her constantly demand that she ‘do more’ for their specific minority group or pet political cause. She has become a blank space for fans and foes alike to project their political grievances on to.

So no, Taylor Swift is not gay. Or a Nazi. Or a genocide apologist. We need to let popstars be popstars.

Lauren Smith is an editorial assistant at spiked.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics USA


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