Taylor Swift’s long-awaited re-record of her 2014 album 1989 is finally here — and with it comes a statement from Swift herself that’s sent her queer fans into a frenzy.
As has become tradition, Swift shared a written introduction to her album along with the music, reflecting on the era in which the original album was released. For Swift, 2014 was a time of crop tops, high heels, and her notorious girl squad, which included model Karlie Kloss. Swift and Kloss’ relationship was a hot topic for speculation, with fans known as “Gaylors” gathering evidence that the two were romantically involved, despite neither of the women ever coming out as queer.
This is…really something
Swift’s message for Queen Bey proves there’s no bad blood between the two stars.
After years of ignoring these rumors, Swift seems to have addressed them in this introduction. Having grown frustrated with the “boy crazy” image the media was forcing on her, Swift instead focused on cultivating her relationships with the women in her life.
“I swore off dating and decided to focus only on myself, my music, my growth, and my female friendships,” Swift wrote. “If I only hung out with my female friends, people couldn’t sensationalize or sexualize that — right? I would learn later on that people could and people would.”
Swift is being pretty explicit: the sexualization of her friendships with women like Kloss made (and makes) her deeply uncomfortable.
Later in the introduction, Swift also positions herself outside of the LGBTQ+ community, writing about “the seeds of allyship” in the album opener “Welcome To New York,” which famously includes the line, “You can want who you want / Boys and boys and girls and girls.”
Swifites quickly latched onto these sections of the introduction, sympathizing with the “Gaylors” who are surely going through it right now.
we gotta realize she’s been saying this!!! stop expecting answers about someone else’s sexuality! we can relate to the music in our way but we are not her friends, we are not owed these answers !!— flower🌿 (@gabatronswift) October 26, 2023
Meanwhile, some angry “Gaylors” have accused Swift of queerbaiting. One now viral post reads, “F*ck her for queerbaiting for a decade and then suddenly acting like it never happened. Was it truly all narcissism to pull the biggest audience she could get?”
People quickly shut that queerbaiting accusation down, reminding that user that queerbaiting is a tactic for marketing works of fiction, not something real people can do. And even if it were, Swift was certainly not doing it.
Regardless of the controversy it stirred up, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is now streaming on all platforms, featuring 16 re-recorded fan favorites and five new tracks from the vault — and plenty of openly queer artists have music out there, too.
Why not find a lesbian role model instead of pretending the straightest white woman is secretly gay.— Orlando (@Orlando74180344) October 26, 2023