Next Steps for Taylor Swift’s Ally Army

Taylor Swift is once again dominating headlines and Twitter timelines with her new song, “You Need to Calm Down.” The second verse speaks out against homophobia and includes a nod to GLAAD. As a result, donations to GLAAD have risen sharply, and we’re seeing headlines of the Taylor Swift effect in play advancing LGBTQ causes.

While I applaud Swift using her platform for the cause, I hope the conversation can now go beyond praising Swift for being an ally to focus on the people actually in need of the advocacy. 

I find this op-ed from The Guardian especially enlightening. A photo of Chris and her date with blood on their faces following a homophobic attack on a London bus went viral. Chris is now shining a light on the LGBTQ people who are not attractive white women whose advocacy work and/or victimization is not going to land them international coverage. Also, pay attention to her passage towards the end about “Rainbow Capitalism.” 

Read it here — You saw me covered in blood on a bus. But do you get outraged about all homophobia?

Then read about a transgender black woman from my home state who was the first transgender person murdered in 2019. The story posted on January 11. 

Read It Here — Alabama Woman Becomes First Known Transgender Person Killed This Year in U.S. 

I’ve also been moved by the work of Rainbow Railroad, an organization helping LGBTQ people escape persecution and violence in their home countries. I was also very sad to see the United States is not currently a safe haven for Rainbow Railroad to send those LGBTQ people fleeing persecution.

Read and watch here — Rainbow Railroad helps LGBT individuals escape persecution and violence

Here’s some further reading to help understand the threats, discrimination and even death LGBTQ people are facing right here in America.

Murders of black transgender women in Dallas raise fears in LGBTQ community

Tennessee preacher-cop calls for execution of LGBTQ people

U.S. court lets Trump transgender military ban stand, orders new review

Trump Administration Proposes Rollback of Transgender Protections

Twins Were Born to a Gay Couple. Only One Child Was Recognized as a U.S. Citizen, Until Now

In all of these stories, I hope you’ll discover the stories of the people who are living out Pride in brave and pioneering ways There is much left to do and a lot of people doing the hard work that need our attention and support.