Taylor Swift kicked off Pride Month by condemning anti-LGBTQ+ legislation during the Eras Tour concert in Chicago.
“We can’t talk about Pride without talking about pain,” she said on Friday during her concert. “Right now and recently there have been so many harmful pieces of legislation that have put people in the LGBTQ+ and queer community at risk. It’s painful for everyone. Every ally. Every loved one. Every person in these communities.”
She continued: “And that’s why I’m always posting, ‘This is when the midterms are. This is when these important key primaries are.’”
Swift’s speech was met with mixed reactions from fans. Several fans applauded her on Twitter for speaking out on LGBTQ+ rights and against politicians who are pushing anti-transgender legislation.
Swift alluded to wanting to be more vocal on political issues after the release of her 2020 documentary “Miss Americana”. But until this week, the singer had not spoken publicly about the recent legislation targeting LGBTQ+ people in the country, including during her concert in her home state of Tennessee, which passed a drag ban earlier this year.
“We can support as much as we want during Pride Month, but if we’re not doing our research on these elected officials — Are they advocates? Are they allies? Are they protectors of equality? Do I want to vote for them?” Swift said during her speech on Friday.
Some fans were critical of her words and labeled them as performative.
They also referenced the recent and ongoing controversy surrounding her rumored relationship with 1975 frontman Matty Healy, who has previously made harmful remarks about marginalized groups.
Other fans pointed to the irony of Swift benefiting from queer communities through the music video for her song “You Need To Calm Down,” yet failing to condemn the recent attacks on the community until Friday.
“Being with you during Pride Month, getting to sing the words to ‘You Need To Calm Down’ where there are lyrics like, ‘Can you just not step on his gown?’ or, ‘Shade never made anybody less gay,’ and you guys are screaming those lyrics,” Swift said this week during the Eras Tour.
She continued: “Such solidarity. Such support of one another and such encouraging, beautiful acceptance and peace and safety. And I wish that every place was safe and beautiful for people of the LGBTQ+ community.”
Some fans have speculated that safety concerns might have been the reason Swift didn’t bring up anti-transgender legislation during earlier Eras tour concerts. But others believe she has the privilege to speak out as a white woman, pointing out that celebrities with marginalized identities, such as Lizzo, had already taken the risk of speaking out on these issues during their concerts.