Taylor Swift is apparently done staying silent about her political leanings
Taylor Swift is not a celebrity who’s exactly known for taking a stand. In fact, she’s been criticized throughout her career for staying noticeably silent about her political beliefs, rather than using her platform to fight things like racism and bigotry. Those days, however, appear to be behind her.
This week, Taylor Swift made a huge donation — we’re talking $113,000 — to the Tennessee Equality Project, a nonprofit that advocates for equal rights for LGBTQ+ people living in the state. The organization is actively fighting against a number of anti-LGBTQ laws that have been introduced in Tennessee.
Along with her donation, Swift included a heartfelt, hand written note to Chris Sanders, the Tennessee Equality Project’s executive director. The note was shared on Twitter, where it’s gone viral.
INCREDIBLE: Taylor Swift just made a sizable donation to @tnequality and wrote a heartfelt note thanking the organization for its work in trying to defeat the anti-LGBTQ "slate of hate" in Tennessee. #tnleg pic.twitter.com/cChF3Esd4Q
— Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow) April 8, 2019
“I’m writing you to say that I’m inspired by the work you do,” she wrote. “Please convey my heartfelt thanks to them and accept this donation to support the work you and those leaders are doing.”
Speaking to The Tennesseean, Sanders called Swift a “long-time ally,” even though the first time she spoke openly and publicly about any political beliefs was just six months ago.
“Taylor Swift has been a long-time ally to the LGBTQ community,” Sanders said. “She sees our struggle in Tennessee and continues to add her voice with so many good people, including religious leaders, who are speaking out for love in the face of fear.”
Swift has been widely praised for this move.
As a gay Tennessean who loves Taylor Swift, one could say this news is.......... taylor-made for me— Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow) April 9, 2019
this is EXACTLY the kind of individual effort, thoughtfulness and kindness she does for her fans. This is why she is so huge because she’s an incredible human being.— KirsTie BenedicT (@kirstiebenedict) April 9, 2019
i heart taylor
This gave me life. As a strong supporter of the lgbtq+ community it really warms my heart when I see prominent influencers spread love to those who struggle so hard to find it. #TaylorSwift #LGBT #love— 𝔖𝔩𝔲𝔤 ℭ𝔥𝔦𝔩𝔡 (@Trstnmxlvn) April 9, 2019
— Dennis B (@Dennis41270691) April 9, 2019
But there are also plenty of people criticizing Swift, and their homophobic comments are just showing exactly why her donation was so necessary.
Yep, people are actually saying those things, in a public forum. And excuse me while I write my own check to the Tennessee Equality Project.
The first time Swift spoke out, six months ago, was in an Instagram post where she urged her followers to vote against Republican Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and endorsed a pair of Democrats who were running in the state.
“I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love,” Swift wrote at the time. “Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me.”
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I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee. In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now. I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent. I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn. Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives. Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway. So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting! 🗳😃🌈
Here’s hoping Swift continues to speak out this way, and to support important causes that propel us all closer to equality. Taylor Swift has an incredible platform and following, and enough influence to make real change in the world. Now that she’s using it for something this good, we really hope she keeps it up.