Taylor Swift’s team is upset with a recent op-ed published by The New York Times, which speculated about the singer’s sexuality and suggested that she might be part of the LGBTQ community. The op-ed, written by Anna Marks, a queer writer and activist, argued that Swift has been sending subtle signals to her queer fans through her lyrics, music videos, and fashion choices. The op-ed sparked a backlash from Swift’s team, who denounced it as an invasion of privacy, an unsubstantiated claim, and an inappropriate and harmful way of discussing someone’s identity. Swift herself also responded to the op-ed, denying that she is part of the LGBTQ community and highlighting the negative effects of such speculation on her and others.
The Controversial NY Times Op-ed
The op-ed, titled “Look What We Made Taylor Swift Do”, was published on December 13, 2023, coinciding with Swift’s 34th birthday. The op-ed claimed that Swift has been “queer-coding” for years, meaning that she has been using subtle hints and references to communicate with her queer fans and express her affinity for queer identity. The op-ed cited examples such as Swift’s rainbow-themed outfits, her support for LGBTQ causes, her close friendships with queer celebrities, and her lyrics that could be interpreted as having queer meanings. The op-ed also suggested that Swift might be bisexual or pansexual, based on her dating history and her songs that mention both male and female love interests.
The op-ed acknowledged that Swift has never publicly come out as part of the LGBTQ community, but argued that she does not have to, as she has already shown her solidarity and acceptance through her actions and words. The op-ed also praised Swift for being a role model and an ally for queer people, especially young ones who might be struggling with their identity and facing discrimination and violence.
Reaction from Taylor Swift’s team
The op-ed was met with a strong reaction from Swift’s team, who issued a statement on the same day, calling it “a gross violation of privacy, a baseless accusation, and a disrespectful and harmful way of discussing someone’s personal life”. The statement said that Swift’s sexuality is her own business and no one else’s, and that speculating about it without her consent is an act of intrusion and exploitation. The statement also said that the op-ed is based on assumptions and interpretations that are not supported by any evidence or confirmation from Swift herself, and that it is unfair and irresponsible to label someone’s identity without their permission. The statement also said that the op-ed is inappropriate and harmful, as it contributes to the culture of gossip and rumor that surrounds celebrities, and that it could have negative consequences for Swift and others who might be affected by such speculation.
The statement concluded by saying that Swift’s team respects and supports the LGBTQ community and its members, but that they do not appreciate or condone the op-ed’s approach and tone, and that they demand an apology and a retraction from The New York Times.
Why the Op-ed Is Upsetting
The op-ed is upsetting for several reasons, as explained by Swift’s team and other critics. First, it is an invasion of privacy, as it delves into Swift’s personal life and sexuality without her consent or input. Swift has the right to keep her sexuality private, and to reveal it or not at her own pace and comfort. She should not be pressured or coerced to come out by anyone, especially by the media or the public. She should also not be subjected to scrutiny and speculation about her sexuality, as it is irrelevant to her career and her art.
Second, it is an unsubstantiated claim, as it is based on assumptions and interpretations that are not verified or confirmed by Swift herself. Swift has never publicly identified as part of the LGBTQ community, and she has never explicitly stated that her songs, videos, or outfits have any queer meanings or messages. She has also never confirmed or denied any rumors or allegations about her sexuality. Therefore, it is wrong and misleading to assert that she is part of the LGBTQ community, or to imply that she is hiding or lying about her identity. It is also disrespectful and presumptuous to label someone’s identity without their consent or acknowledgment.
Third, it is inappropriate and harmful, as it contributes to the culture of gossip and rumor that surrounds celebrities, and that could have negative effects on them and others. The op-ed could cause distress and anxiety for Swift, who might feel exposed, violated, or misunderstood by the op-ed. It could also cause confusion and disappointment for her fans, who might have different expectations or opinions about her identity. It could also cause harm and danger for other queer people, who might face discrimination, violence, or rejection because of their identity, or who might feel pressured or invalidated by the op-ed’s assumptions and implications.
Taylor Swift’s Response
Swift herself responded to the op-ed on December 14, 2023, through a video message posted on her social media accounts. In the video, Swift denied that she is part of the LGBTQ community, and said that she is happy and comfortable with her identity as a straight woman. She also said that she respects and supports the LGBTQ community and its members, and that she is proud to be an ally and a friend to them. She also said that she is grateful for the love and support that she receives from her queer fans, and that she hopes that they feel the same from her.
However, Swift also expressed her disappointment and frustration with the op-ed, and said that it was an unfair and hurtful way of discussing her sexuality and her identity. She said that she does not appreciate or condone the op-ed’s speculation and suggestion, and that she does not think that it is anyone’s business or right to know or decide her sexuality for her. She also said that she does not think that it is appropriate or helpful to use her as a tool or a symbol for any agenda or cause, especially without her consent or involvement.
Swift also highlighted the harmful effects of such speculation, and said that it could have serious consequences for her and others. She said that such speculation could damage her reputation and her relationships, and that it could affect her career and her creativity. She also said that such speculation could hurt and endanger other queer people, who might face more challenges and difficulties because of their identity, and who might not have the same privilege or protection as her. She also said that such speculation could undermine and invalidate the experiences and the struggles of the LGBTQ community and its members, and that it could trivialize and erase the diversity and the complexity of their identities.
Swift concluded by saying that she hopes that the op-ed will not cause any more harm or trouble, and that she hopes that people will respect and accept her and others for who they are, and not for who they want them to be. She also said that she hopes that people will focus on her music and her message, and not on her personal life and her sexuality. She also said that she hopes that people will celebrate and support the LGBTQ community and its members, and not use them or exploit them for their own purposes or interests.
The op-ed published by The New York Times, which speculated about Taylor Swift’s sexuality and suggested that she might be part of the LGBTQ community, has caused a controversy and a backlash from Swift’s team and Swift herself. The op-ed is upsetting because it is an invasion of privacy, an unsubstantiated claim, and an inappropriate and harmful way of discussing someone’s identity. Swift has denied that she is part of the LGBTQ community, and has highlighted the negative effects of such speculation on her and others. Swift has also reaffirmed her respect and support for the LGBTQ community and its members, and has asked for the same from others. The op-ed has raised questions and debates about the ethics and the implications of speculating about someone’s sexuality, especially a celebrity’s, and about the role and the responsibility of the media and the public in doing so.