Taylor Swift blasts people who ‘sensationalize or sexualize’ her female friendships

I still remember when Gawker posted photos of Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss maybe kissing in 2014. To be fair, there were “Kaylor” rumors long before then, as Karlie and Taylor had already been inseparable for a while at that point. Things got really interesting in 2016, when there seemed to be a significant cooling off between Karlie and Taylor, then things turned downright icy when Karlie started hanging out with Katy Perry and other snake enemies (at the time). It really was the end of Karlie and Taylor’s friendship or whatever it was, but “Kaylor” still lived in people’s hearts and minds. Well, on Thursday, ahead of the release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), someone leaked her new album prologue in which she specifically called out the “Gaylor/Kaylor” rumors.

Taylor Swift’s version of her Grammy-winning 2014 album 1989 drops tonight at midnight, but there’s already an apparent leak of the written prologue that accompanies the rerecorded LP. And with it, revelations about Swift’s sexuality are taking the internet by storm. Specifically, if the prologue is indeed authentic, the pop star seems to refute years of speculation about her sexuality with just a few sentences. (A subset of her fans, who dub themselves Gaylors, believe she has long been closeted.)

Tweets purporting to show the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) prologue include paragraphs where Swift writes at length about the slut-shaming she endured earlier in her career.

“Being a consummate optimist, I assumed I could fix this if I simply changed my behavior,” the leaked prologue reads. “I swore off dating and decided to focus only on myself, my music, my growth, and my female friendships. If I only hung out with my female friends, people couldn’t sensationalize or sexualize that—right? I would learn later on that people could and people would.”

Swift diehards are taking this to mean that the pop star is reinforcing the notion that, as has always been her public-facing identity, she is straight. In another purported passage, Swift thanks listeners for following her on her musical journey: “You, who saw the seeds of allyship and advocating for equality in ‘Welcome to New York.’” This, too, is being interpreted as Swift planting a flag in her heterosexuality: The 1989 opening track includes the lyrics, “And you can want who you want / Boys and boys and girls and girls.” By casting this as “allyship,” Swift seems to be saying that she’s a supporter of, but not a participant in, queer culture.

[From The Daily Beast]

Taylor has every right to set the record straight (heh) just as she has the right to keep people guessing. She doesn’t owe anyone her letters, and everyone should let people come out in their own time. Or not come out, as the case may be. Now, do I also think Taylor has spent years having fun with the “Gaylor” rumors, knowing that her obsessive fans would pore over every Easter egg, every clue, every bisexual code? Yeah, she did that too. I remember that thing with her hair dyed a certain way and people were CONVINCED that she was sending visual clues to her bisexuality.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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42 Responses to “Taylor Swift blasts people who ‘sensationalize or sexualize’ her female friendships”

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  1. A says:

    All of this -not this article, the subject matter- still seems pretty homo- and bi-phobic to me. Speculating on someone’s sexuality even under the guise of support just does not sit right. And speculating seems to be the least of what some of Swift’s fans did or still do.

    • DaniLou32 says:

      Yep, I think speculation is fair game to a certain point. What’s not, is the elaborate tales some Gaylor’s spin to try make everything about Taylor and Karlie – some think that they are still together and that Karlie’s kids are a front to keep it quiet.

      It reminds me of the whole obsession with “Larry” (that Harry Styles and bandmate Louis were in a relationship). Louis admitted later that the rumours and speculation ruined his friendship with Harry because they were so afraid of even interacting with one another for fear of it setting them off. There’s speculation, guessing and easter eggs, but then there’s a whole lot of crazy too.

      Taylor and Karlie may very well have been together, but it’s been “over” for years. The crazies need to move on.

      • AnneL says:

        Some of them are still insisting she’s gay even though she pretty much outright said she’s not. At one point does it become really disrespectful?

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        I’m not exactly familiar with the Gaylor stories or what snake fam means. Don’t know. I had rarely ever commented on Taylor Swift things-except for the Jake G. and Travis Kelce relationship, if I were younger I’d climb that tree in a second.

        I’m from a huggy/kissy family. It was hard during the pandemic. What came natural to us was an impediment to our well being. We talk about it often. How not hugging and distancing ourselves hurt our hearts. Anyhoo, way before that, when me and my younger sis made the time to hang out/go out before we were married people, we would get hit on a lot. Drinks sent to us, some we refused. Thanks, but no thanks, move along.

        There was at least one time, that our drink refusal butt hurted some neanderthal and his friend. We were always civil & polite. (we were/are so tight that we understood certain clues). The neanderthal was very aggressive. Sister said it’s not you it’s us and she full kissed me.lol (no tongue-just a smack on the lips). He was like alrighty then and we laughed when we knew he wasn’t looking. Maybe she is maybe she isn’t, all I can say is that she looks like she’s climbed the Kelce tree and enjoys it.

    • Hillary says:

      Is it the Swift fans who keep pushing this odd, dusty & dated narrative that she must be gay, things such as beards still exist & outting people is clever…or is it the weird opposite side of the same coin that obsessively hates her? I’ve watched these rumors for years & they didn’t come from her fans…

    • Nicky says:

      Yes! This. The gender or sexuality of people that you are having sex with is none of your business unless you’re the person they’re having sex with. I’m asexual myself, and I hate how obsessed people get with trying to label me as heterosexual or homosexual. Asexual never even crosses their minds, and they get so shocked when they find out. Many people have legitimately try to convince me that I’m not ace. I’m so tired of trying to educate people that it’s none of their business who anyone is (or is not) having sex with.

  2. StellainNH says:

    It doesn’t matter what a person’s sexuality is, as long as they are decent and have a good work ethic.

    Taylor should be able to love who she wants. Period.

  3. Pointillist says:

    Good going, Taylor. We do not claim you.

  4. SarahCS says:

    A person’s sexuality is their own business to talk about or not as they choose.

    In my late 20’s I was single for a few years and my BFF and I did a ton of stuff together, she even came to France with me one year for family Christmas (her family situation is messy). I’m pretty sure my family started to wonder if there was something going on. Women can form amazingly close friendships but it doesn’t mean there’s anything sexual in the mix.

    • SAS says:

      Yeah, obviously we all interpret things through our own experiences but I think it’s not so uncommon for women to have a few extremely close, almost obsessive, non-sexual female friendships in your teens through 20s.

      I always viewed Taylor’s friendship with Karlie though that lens, and was reminded of my own heady friendships at that age. I would never have imagined we could ever fall out of touch or fall out, but that’s life.

    • North of Boston says:

      Part of it, I think, comes from people’s/society’s bias/presumption that romantic/sexual love are THE ONLY real true deep emotions and any relationship that is not a sexual/romantic partnership is “less than” and just a runner up and placeholder for a “real” relationship.
      Friends and friendships are devalued and considered less interesting, even though for many people, friendships wind up being the most complex and satisfying and dynamic and often most enduring relationships in their lives.

      So you get factions of fandoms that insist characters in movies/shows, actors who play them, bandmates and various other people in the public eye HAVE to be a couple or have that as Endgame.

      Layered on top of it is the history of bigotry, discrimination and violence which leads people who are not straight vanilla heterosexual to often have to remain in the closet in order to preserve their social and economic standing and maybe even their safety.

      I personally wish people should just stop with the speculation about other human beings sexuality. If they want you to know, you’ll know. And if they are a stranger you’ve only seen on the internet, tv, stage, at a meet and greet or con, it’s none of your beeswax, find something better to obsess about with your Inquiring Mind.

      • Jessla says:

        I just want to say I loved your point about the way we culturally devalue friendship! I would say the most significant relationships of my life have been friendships.

  5. girl_ninja says:

    Factions of her fandom are a miserable mean lot.

  6. AnneL says:

    I figured this would be covered on CB today because there was a HUGE reaction to it yesterday. It just popped up on one of my social media feeds so I kind of went down a rabbit hole. It’s a bit of battlefront right now, yikes. Taylor definitely does things to keep her fans guessing so I couldn’t blame them for saying “I wonder?” But it seems like some of them really took it too far. They are even saying she was being homophobic herself with this statement, implying that hetero relationships are somehow better or more acceptable.

    I think that’s unfair. Taylor had pretty much presented herself as straight in every way up to the time point she is referencing (I think went 1989 first came out). Look at the songs she wrote, the people she had dated. It was all straight romance. It was literally “Romeo and Juliet.” I think she is saying that when she decided to start focusing on her female friendships and forget about boys for a while, she thought people would take it at face value instead of turning those friendships romantic. Whatever her orientation is (and she is apparently saying it is straight), she doesn’t have to reveal anything more about it than she wants to. She should be able to say “we’re just friends OK?” without being called homophobic.

  7. Nubia says:

    The only ‘issue’ i take with her little Squad is that it was/is FAKE. Perfomative friendships,at the height of her Katy Perry beef she tried to befriend every female she could collect(see Bad Blood video)It was so juvenile and Regina George level pettiness. Some of those ‘friendships’ are still limping along but most have disappeared. It was to make Katy jealous and ostracized.Lol

    • Arizona says:

      I don’t think it was to make Katy Perry jealous. Taylor herself has talked about the reasons why the “squad” happened. a lot of them were performative! but her and Selena, Ed, Gigi, the Haim sisters, Lena, Jack, Cara, etc are all still good friends – no limping.

  8. sevenblue says:

    It is normal to spend some time with your female friends. What was bizarre about Taylor in this era is that her friendships looked like promotional tools. That’s why it looked fake. So, some weirdos online thought that the fakeness was because of her sexuality. Even when Taylor stopped PR’ing her friendships, they continued to look for any signs on her songs and when you look for a sign, you are gonna find it.

    Also, I should mention, Karlie Kloss is still playing this game whenever she wants attention even though Taylor mentioned vaguely that Karlie was the one leaking info about her to Scooter and media. Karlie’s social media posts gave a lot of those derangers hope, which currently reached to Qanon level of delusion. They are saying that either Karlie’s children are not real or they are actually Taylor & Karlie’s children. I don’t think they are very healthy people and I wish Taylor spoke up sooner about this.

    • Arizona says:

      she posted on Twitter about it after the initial kissing suggestion came out. at a certain point it’s probably better to just ignore it. if they think her and Karlie are still in a relationship, nothing she says will change that. just like people still think Rob and Kristen are in a relationship lol.

  9. Jenna says:

    We be sexual beings. We think about sex. We think about other people having sex. We fantasize. Comes with the territory. I would imagine even more so if you sell yourself as a celebrity. It’s a a lot for any growing human being to digest. Especially when others have expectations or desires that are unwanted.

    For myself – I’ve never put a single thought into Taylor Swift as a sexual being and couldn’t give a care about her one way or the other. She truly looks like a boring vanilla heterosexual white chick who dates boring vanilla Heterosexual white guys – but meh. She doesn’t look like she’s come into her sexuality yet – almost comes across as a teenager. If that makes sense. Whatever floats your boat.

  10. Lucy says:

    I’m not a Swiftie, at least prior to her and football man 😂. I follow one photography account that the woman became a Swiftie over the past year or so, and she is queer although has been with her male partner for like ten years. She was posting all the gaylor textual coding and finding it in the visuals too.

    I thought it was interesting how straight forward the gaylors thought the interpretations were, and it seemed like a fun Easter egg analysis. Whoever said she could solve the climate crisis if the swifties were directed to it wasn’t too far off.

    She (gaylor) has been real quiet since football man has been around 😂.

  11. Lau says:

    I’m just annoyed by the “people” in her statement because the one speculating on her being bisexual were and still are swifties. Like, it’s coming from her own fans so maybe she should shade them for a start.

  12. JustStop says:

    I think if you read the entirety of what she wrote, she was blasting the fact that all her friends, female and male, became fodder for intense sensationalism and sexualization even when she was just living her life with her friends. It didn’t and doesn’t matter what she does or doesn’t do. Everything is interpreted through a lens of depersonalized sexualization.

  13. R says:

    I think it’s part of the complicated queerbaiting debacle. I didn’t like her Lovers promo and i remember quite a few queer folks on online queer places being upset with her promo as well. It felt like overt pandering, instead of something organic. I also feel like she should have set the record straight (pun intended) wayyy earlier if she really was that bothered by the questions around her sexuality. I know a section of her fandom is absoluely, lunatic NUTS, but still. Most of the people would have gotten the message.

    • Mcali02 says:

      She did. And people still speculated. In this situation she’s damned either way. She disputes being bi/gay then people criticize her saying she’s homophopic and she should be quiet because it shouldn’t matter. She keeps quiet, then she’s queerbaiting. People are never happy.

  14. Kate says:

    I think there’s two separate conversations here. One is whether Taylor has been queerbaiting, which is a valid question and one that I don’t feel qualified to weigh in on.

    The other is people’s entitlement to other people’s sexuality, which not acceptable and can be dangerous. This obsessive digging to know if she (or celebs) is straight/bi/gay is not cool. People should not be outed against their will, that can be quite literally unsafe! Not to mention how these obsessive digs into people’s personal life can make closeted people feel targeted and like they have to be more careful about hiding who they are.

  15. A says:

    She’s never queer baited as far as I’ve seen and has previously talked about wanting to be an ally to the queer community, one she’s not a part of.

    The Gaylors are unhinged and dragged her whole family into the conspiracy eg her dad refused to let her come out and she hates him

    • Ameerah M says:

      Doesn’t she literally have a song called Lavender Haze?? With the color lavender historically being associated with the the LGBTQ community?

      • Lisa says:

        No- lavender haze is an expression it means that point when both people are falling in love and your world is in a haze. She heard it on a tv show set in the 60s and liked it.

        I get you hate her but she explained where she got it from.

      • AnneL says:

        I don’t think any community has a specific claim on a color? I get that lavender is associated with the LGBTQ community but it can be meaningful to people outside of it for other reasons.

  16. Jessica says:

    As a swiftie, I’ve disliked the Gaylor theory for years. It always felt like they were forcing a connection I just couldn’t see, though some of it is convincing. I don’t think Taylor has been queerbaiting or leaving them Easter eggs at all, and whoever said they’ve reached QAnon levels is right. I hope her note gets the Gaylors to chill tf out. It’s been gross to watch but you can’t ever call it out because then you’re homophobic.

  17. taris says:

    there’s definitely a small subset of netizens who spend an ungodly amount of time and energy speculating about the sexuality of famous people. for whatever morbid reason, they think just about everyone is secretly gay.
    they do it with living celebs, and also with dead ones. i’ve seen them claim everyone from taylor swift to queen elizabeth i are/were gay.

    it’s been happening for many years, and it’s very weird.

  18. Mash says:

    Personally, I cant believe anyone would ever see her as not straight but I will agree that the bi-colored hair in YNTCD was something that could be confusing.

    That said, I will post this quote again to add to her “seeds of allyship” from today:

    [about her LGBTQ activism] “I didn’t realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I’m not a part of. ” – Taylor Swift, Vogue, August/September 2019

  19. Kath says:

    The ‘Gaylor’ segment of Swift’s fan base is seriously unhinged. I would hate to have that level of fame: where people feel perfectly entitled to project whatever they want onto you, and then get angry that you don’t agree with their narrative.

    We also forget that during the height of the 1989 nonsense and overexposure that Taylor was still only 24 years old. I was an anxiety-ridden mess at that age and made all kinds of stupid self-sabotaging decisions.

    We give other people grace who grew up in the public eye, so I don’t know why we are *still* criticising Taylor for the heinous crimes she committed a decade ago (pap walks, silly girl squads and messy dating). I mean, yeah, it was dumb, but pretty mild in the scheme of things.

  20. vvvnnn says:

    Royal favorite. That says all about their taste.

  21. Lexilla says:

    These photos are interesting, like they’re dressed for different events. Karlie is dressed down and casual while Taylor almost seems like she’s in costume, playing a certain role.

  22. Tila says:

    Gosh those outfits look so dated now 😅