Taylor Swift has finally explained why she remained silent on politics and LGBTQ+ issues until only very recently.
The 29-year-old, who caught flak for refusing to take sides with either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election, has spilled on why it took so long to make her opinions public in Vogue’s September cover story.
“Unfortunately in the 2016 election you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement,” Swift said. “He was going around saying, ‘I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you.’ I just knew. I knew I wasn’t going to help.”
“Also, you know, the summer before that election, all people were saying was: ‘She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar’ These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary,” she said. “Would I be an endorsement or would I be a liability? ‘Look, snakes of a feather flock together. Look, the two lying women. The two nasty women.’ Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared. In many senses.”
In July of that same year, after Kim Kardashian called Swift a “snake” and released video clips of the singer and Kanye West discussing the lyrics to his song, “Famous,” a months-long campaign to “cancel” Swift began. #TaylorSwiftIsASnake and #TaylorSwiftIsCanceled took over social media.
“A mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience,” Swift explained of that period in her life. “I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly.” She added: “When you say someone is canceled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being. You’re sending mass amounts of messaging to this person to either shut up, disappear, or it could also be perceived as, ‘Kill yourself.'”
“I realized I needed to restructure my life because it felt completely out of control,” she continued. “I knew immediately I needed to make music about it because I knew it was the only way I could survive it. It was the only way I could preserve my mental health and also tell the story of what it’s like to go through something so humiliating.”
When asked why she’s choosing now to turn her subtle statements about LGBTQ rights into very loud proclamations, Swift explained she had no idea her position was ever unclear.
“Maybe a year or two ago, Todrick [Hall] and I are in the car, and he asked me, ‘What would you do if your son was gay?'” she said. “The fact that he had to ask me … shocked me and made me realize that I had not made my position clear enough or loud enough. If my son was gay, he’d be gay. I don’t understand the question.”
“If he was thinking that, I can’t imagine what my fans in the LGBTQ community might be thinking,” she went on. “It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”
The hitmaker was also asked if she’d made any attempts to purchase her masters from Big Machine. “It was either investing in my past or my and other artists’ future,” she explained of the deal she’s signed with Universal.
The profile, which you can read in its entirety here, also hints at likely collaborations with The Dixie Chicks and Drake in Swift’s forthcoming album, “Lover.”