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Its breathtaking argument: that famous people are persecuted in a way meaningfully comparable to queer people.
“This seems like it’s more about you than what you’re going off about.
Like, just calm down.” This explains the headline-quotable line that “shade never made anybody less gay.”In the video, an unwashed-looking mob holds signs saying “Adam Eve, not Adam Steve.” In real life, Pride counterprotests feature yet-uglier slogans, such as “God hates fags.” In either case, referring to such speech as “shade” is wild.
Just check out the discourse about the video on Twitter.
It’s packed with people marveling, maybe more than anything else, at the climax: Swift and Perry, dressed, respectively, as french fries and a hamburger, hugging.
Right here is the aforementioned meaning-drift, the dilution.
“You Need to Calm Down” has, between its muddled metaphors, only one clear through line: Swift’s struggles with criticism in the public eye are like those of gay people facing actual hate for being who they are.
There are many ways to describe a parent who disowns a trans kid, or a lawmaker who tries to nullify same-sex marriages, or a church member who crashes a gay soldier’s funeral.
the word Swift used to describe what her song is attacking—probably isn’t helpful either. Telling homophobes they’re boring downers probably won’t sway them, and it’s hard to imagine that such a message will comfort many of the people they target.
The song’s second verse takes on homophobic demonstrators: “Sunshine on the street at the parade / But you would rather be in the dark ages.” The video, released today, has a legion of queer celebs doing famously queer things such as sipping tea, performing in drag, and getting married in matching baby-blue tuxes.
It closes with a plug to sign a petition for the passage of the Equality Act, which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity.