Taylor Swift says she’ll ‘always advocate’ for LGBTQ+ rights at Attitude Awards

Todrick Hall presented the Icon Award to the 'You Need To Calm Down' singer.
December 2, 2020 11:00 a.m. EST
December 4, 2020 6:20 p.m. EST
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Taylor Swift is no stranger to award shows, but the latest trophy for her mantle is undoubtedly one of the most special. On December 1, Swift appeared during the virtual Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards to accept the Attitude Icon Award. During her heartfelt speech, Swift promised to continue to be an ally and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

Swift’s award was presented by her longtime friend Todrick Hall. “As a bona fide LGBTQ+ ally she has been unafraid to speak out in support of our community to give a voice to the silenced. She has addressed political issues that bring those who don’t agree with her right to her door,” said Hall, who presented the award early in the virtual ceremony, which aired on YouTube.

Hall talked about Swift’s love of drag queens and his work on her queer anthem “You Need To Calm Down,” which included Hall as an executive producer and a cowriter for the star-studded music video. “Up close and from afar, she is nothing short of an inspiration,” continued Hall. “Remember, this is the woman who taught us all exactly what to do with our haters.”

Swift opened her speech by thanking Hall, as well as the voting committee for the Attitude Awards. "Mostly I want to say thank you to the fans for giving me a platform to make music and to be vocal about the things that I think are right and wrong,” said Swift.

"I just believe very firmly that everyone should be able to live out their love story without the fear of discrimination, and the way for that to happen is for us to continue to keep pushing governments to put protections in place for members of the LGBTQ community," she continued. "And I promise to always advocate for that, and I'm just grateful for this amazing award."

Even with moving to a virtual format, Tuesday’s Attitude Awards were still a star-studded event. In addition to Swift, the show included appearances from Dua Lipa, Attitude Magazine's Man of the Year Luke Evans, NikkieTutorials, Stephen Fry, the cast of the Boys In the Band and Michelle Visage. The Vamps, Paloma Faith, Rina Sawayama, Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne and Yungblud all performed during the show, which was hosted by comedian Tom Allen. Airing on World Aids Day, the ninth annual awards show was filmed over six days from the Camden House in London.


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Swift has begun using her platform in recent years to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. In her 2020 documentary Miss Americana, Swift said that a conversation with Hall prompted her to be more vocal about her position as an ally after realizing that her stance on Gay rights was unclear.

In 2018, Swift publicly came out in support of Tennessee Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen. At the time, Bredesen was running against Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, whose campaign included several anti-LGBTQ+ policies (Blackburn won the senate race). The following year, Swift donated $113,000 to the LGBTQ advocacy group the Tennessee Equality Project to help fight against several discriminatory bills, including the "bathroom bill," which was designed to criminalize transgender people. During her acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the 2019 MTV VMAs, Swift referenced the petition to push forth the Equality Act. "(The petition) now has half a million signatures, which is five times the amount needed to warrant a response from the White House," said Swift before gesturing to her watch.

Earlier this year, Swift once again showed her support for the iconic Stonewall Inn during Pride Month. Swift performed at the venue in 2019 and during the 2020 virtual Stonewall Day livestream event, Swift condemned the antiquated binary gender selection on the latest US Census and encouraged her fans to vote. "I got my Census the other day and there were two choices for gender. There was male and female and that erasure was so upsetting to me, the erasure of transgender and nonbinary people," said Swift. "When you don't collect information on a group of people, that means that you have every excuse in the world not to support them. When you don't collect data on a community, that's a really, really brutal way of dismissing them."


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