Many fans have criticized Taylor Swift for only suddenly taking interest in and showing support of LGBTQ rights with her song “You Need to Calm Down.” However, Swift has opened up in an interview with Vogue clarifying why she’s all of a sudden been so vocal about LGBTQ rights.

The 29-year-old pop icon said that it was a conversation with her friend and out performer Todrick Hall that made her realize she needed to become a more vocal ally.

“Maybe a year or two ago, Todrick and I are in the car, and he asked me, ‘What would you do if your son was gay?’” she revealed. “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.”

Swift answered, “If my son was gay, he’d be gay. I don’t understand the question.”

“If he was thinking that, I can’t image what my fans in the LGBTQ community might be thinking,” she explained. “It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn’t been publicly clear about that.”

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I’m always proud of my friend no matter what, but today I am the most proud I have ever been. When you are a super star of epic proportions it can be terrifying to do things that you and I can do on a day to day basis. Voicing your political or religious beliefs is always going to separate people and potentially create bad blood. I have always defended Taylor because I know her heart, I know how her family raised her and how they’ve treated me and welcomed me into their home, life and family with open arms. When I met her I was a bit afraid to be my true self around her because I didn’t know where she stood on LGBTQ+ rights and I didn’t honestly know if I could explain to someone with blue eyes and blonde hair what it feels like to not only walk around our country, but her neighborhood specifically. We have talked for so many hours about these subjects and she has taken the time to actively listen to me, her queer friend who also happens to be a person of color. Today, for the first time, Taylor unapologetically voiced her opinions and stance on the upcoming Tennesee midterm elections. She openly recognized the issues regarding racial discrimination and she has made me the proud beyond my Wildest Dreams! I know that this was a scary step for you T, but my cheeks are hurting from grinning, I got chills reading your status, I feel heard and valued as a person who lives what some consider an “alternative lifestyle” but what YOU see as a beautiful life. I can’t help but to feel like I played even the smallest of parts in helping you get to this point, and I’m just so dang happy that the world gave you time to learn (in your own way and at your own pace) how important it is for you to speak out and speak now. Just because you like the album Red, doesn’t mean you have to vote that way. This is a HUGE step for you and the world will be a better place if everyone votes for the human rights that we all deserve. You, your family and your team continue to amaze me & teach me how to be a better human every day and I will always be in your corner. So proud to call you my Gorgeous friend. xoxo your #1 cheerleader! Toddy

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“Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” Swift added. “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.”

Swift collaborated with Hall for the music video of “You Need to Calm Down,” in which she included numerous queer celebrities, LGBTQ references, and a call to action asking viewers to support the Equality Act.

She also donated $113,000 to LGBTQ group the Tennessee Equality Project to fight a number of anti-LGBTQ bills that had been introduced in her home state.

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