As she gears up to drop her new album Lover this month, Taylor Swift graces Vogue‘s big September 2019 issue, where she dishes on everything from speaking up on LGBTQ rights, sexism in the music industry, and more.
Here are some highlights of what Taylor had to say:
Taylor on her song ‘You Need To Calm Down‘
“The first verse is about trolls and cancel culture. The second verse is about homophobes and the people picketing outside our concerts. The third verse is about successful women being pitted against each other.”
On what made her want to speak up about LGBTQ rights
“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? 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. It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”
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WELL SO THIS IS A THING THAT’S HAPPENING. September issue of @voguemagazine and I’m so so so grateful to Anna, @tonnegood, @sergiokletnoy and basically anyone who was like ‘yeah she can be on the Sept issue cover’. What an amazing experience shooting with @inezandvinoodh.
On LGBTQ rights:
“Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender mal. I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. It’s hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It’s clickbait, and it’s a part of my life story, and it’s a part of my career arc.”
On sexism in the music industry:
“I think about this a lot. When I was a teenager, I would hear people talk about sexism in the music industry, and I’d be like, I don’t see it. I don’t understand. Then I realized that was because I was a kid. Men in the industry saw me as a kid. I was a lanky, scrawny, overexcited young girl who reminded them more of their little niece or their daughter than a successful woman in business or a colleague. The second I became a woman, in people’s perception, was when I started seeing it.
“It’s fine to infantilize a girl’s success and say, How cute that she’s having some hit songs. How cute that she’s writing songs. But the second it becomes formidable? As soon as I started playing stadiums—when I started to look like a woman—that wasn’t as cool anymore. It was when I started to have songs from Red come out and cross over, like ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ and ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.’ ”
On her songwriting:
“I wanted to say to people, You realize writing songs is an art and a craft and not, like, an easy thing to do? Or to do well? People would act like it was a weapon I was using. Like a cheap dirty trick. Be careful, bro, she’ll write a song about you. Don’t stand near her. First of all, that’s not how it works. Second of all, find me a time when they say that about a male artist: Be careful, girl, he’ll use his experience with you to get—God forbid—inspiration to make art.”
On cancel culture:
“[It’s] a mass public shaming, with millions of people saying you are quote-unquote canceled, is a very isolating experience. 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. 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.”
On her album Lover:
“There are so many ways in which this album feels like a new beginning. This album is really a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.”
You can read Taylor’s full feature here!
Taylor’s new album Lover will drop on August 23.
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