Taylor Swift is on the cover of Vogue’s new September issue, and though it is but the latest in a handful of magazine covers she has appeared on this year, it is also the first for which she agreed to be interviewed by a journalist. The writer, Abby Aguirre, meets Swift at her compound in New York, but also joins her in Los Angeles on the set of the music video for “You Need to Calm Down.” That video, as you may remember, is, in Aguirre’s words, set in “a sort of Big Gay Candy Mountain trailer park, a Technicolor happy place,” and the interview takes that cue, focusing heavily on Swift’s newly awakened political consciousness, particularly on LGBTQ issues.
Swift traces her recent outspokenness to a few years back, when she says she was in the car with her friend Todrick Hall, who asked her what she would do if her son was gay. As Swift tells Aguirre, this took her aback. “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.” Aguirre then recites the recent history of Swift’s public activism, from the the Democratic opponent of Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn to appearing on the cover of Time’s “Silence Breakers” issue.
One thing that is not addressed directly is the question of Swift’s sexuality, which has, in a unique way for these times, become a topic of public discussion. In April, after the release of her single “ME!”, Buzzfeed ran an essay titled “Why So Many of Us Believed Taylor Swift Was Coming Out,” which cataloged data points going back years that lead people to believe that Swift might be queer—and that was before she dyed her hair the colors of the bisexual flag. Still, slipped into a quote about why she recently decided to make her voice heard on the issue of gay rights is an admission from Swift about her sexuality. It is this: she is straight. From Vogue:
I ask her, why get louder about LGBTQ rights now? “Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn’t a straight white cisgender male,” she says. “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.”
So, there we have it. Taylor Swift, in her own words, is “not a part of” the LGBTQ “community,” bisexual bracelets be damned.