Taylor Swift is a 26-year-old man from Lubbock, Texas. He is a student at Texas Tech University and is all too familiar with the pains of sharing a name with the many other Taylors out there — one of whom happens to be a pop icon.
“My father insisted on [naming me] Taylor, and I guess he wasn’t aware of how many Taylors were going to be born in the next couple of years,” Taylor Swift, who was born in 1992, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Before male Taylor Swift found out about singer Taylor Swift, he says he was indifferent about his name. With “Taylor” being so common, he often went by “Swift,” which he liked quite a bit.
Male Swift first learned about female Swift when he was fooling around on Myspace during his freshman year of high school, in 2005 or 2006. As he remembers it, he and a cousin were searching their own names on Myspace trying to see if anyone else out there shared their monikers.
Lo and behold, a singer named Taylor Swift’s profile popped up. She was a 16-year-old country music singer who used Myspace to share her music and connect with the few fans she had.
Male Swift didn’t think much of it. Until he went off to summer camp at the end of the school year. By then, female Swift had released the first single off her eponymously titled debut album, and it was a hit. Male Swift’s name was suddenly on people’s radar.
“Rumors spread around that there was a Taylor Swift there,” male Swift recalls of that summer at camp. “All the counselors were aware of it.”
From that summer on, celebrity Taylor Swift’s life would be a roller coaster of incredible achievements, award show mishaps, and sold-out concerts. For male Swift, it would be a ton of awkward social situations.
For example, in March 2009, when male Swift decided to get a Facebook account: Female Swift had won a Grammy for Album of the Year for her sophomore album, “Fearless,” just a month before. Apparently, a lot of Facebook users wanted to use the pseudonym Taylor Swift because when male Swift tried to sign up for the social media platform, Facebook wouldn’t allow him to use his real name.
“I tried contacting Facebook,” male Swift says. “I tried emailing them and calling them, but I never got a response. I eventually had to use my middle name, Reese.”
Male Swift says he still constantly receives emails, phone calls and Facebook messages from little girls asking him to sing a song or tell them where he lives. But sometimes the requests are “really sad,” male Swift adds.
One time, a woman messaged him on Facebook saying she was taking her special-needs granddaughter to a Taylor Swift concert in New York City. She begged for a meet-and-greet or some kind of special attention.
“It was so hard to build up the courage to tell her I was not Taylor Swift,” male Swift says. “I would love that to happen for her, but I just had no control over it.”
Male Swift says he does his best to never use his full name when reserving a table at a restaurant or a room at a hotel. When he has to use his full name, however, to pay a phone bill or book a doctor’s appointment, there’s always a chuckle on the other end of the line, he says.
His name was also a hot-button topic when he went through fraternity recruitment. “It was good because I had allies,” male Swift says. “My friends would be like, ‘I know he has this name that carries this stigma, but he’s a good guy.’ With some frats I didn’t know, I got a roaring response. It was interesting. It wasn’t worse than any other social setting that I’ve been in.”
On his first day of college, in a biology lecture, his professor — a man in his mid-60s, Swift guesses — insisted on a verbal roll call. When the roll reached Taylor Swift, male Swift says his professor got quite the chuckle out of it.
“The discrimination to a degree doesn’t really stop with anybody specifically,” Swift says. “It ranges with just about anyone you can imagine.”
Male Swift isn’t the only one who shares the name with the Grammy winner. Taylor Adam Swift, a photographer from Seattle, told Newsweek a few years ago about the creepy FaceTime calls he gets. And there’s also Taylor Swift, an event planner from New York, who told Newsweek that Facebook shut down her profile.
“Overall, worse things have happened to me,” male Swift says of his name. “I think it has been beneficial. At the very least, it’s a good icebreaker.”
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