02.20.2020 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I’m not a SWIFTIE. That’s to say I’m not a fan of Taylor Swift’s music. In fact, I had to ask Google what her fans are called because I know so little about her. No offense to her or to her fans, it’s just not my bag and simply subjective. Also, consider the source: my favorite music is Air Supply.

Having said all of that, I can’t keep Taylor Swift out of my mind lately. “You need to calm down” has become the voice inside my head. This usually happens while I’m driving, and I drive a lot. I’ll be heading down I-4 at a nice 79 mph pace when a car driving at least 100 mph swerves around me. Suddenly I find myself snapping my fingers and singing, “You need to calm down! You’re driving too loud!” Sometimes Swift’s lyrics come to mind when my dog is yelling at me or when I’m overwhelmed with work vs. volunteering, but mostly I think “You need to calm down!” when I’m on Facebook reading political opinions.

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Taylor Swift explains why she got political in new Netflix doc

By : Jeremy Williams
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(Screenshot from YouTube)

“I need to be on the right side of history,” pop icon Taylor Swift says about her jump into the political arena in the trailer to a new documentary film coming to Netflix Jan. 31. “Miss Americana,” directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lana Wilson, follows Swift throughout the making of her album “Lover” and as she finds her political voice over the last few years.

Prior to the 2018 mid-term elections, Swift had been quiet publicly on matters of politics until she came out in an Instagram post endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee in October 2018. Less than a year later, Swift encouraged her fans to support The Equality Act — legislation designed to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination on the basis of  sexual orientation and gender identity — in the music video for her single “You Need To Calm Down,” which featured dozens of LGBTQ entertainers.

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GLAAD to present Ryan Murphy with Vito Russo Award

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Ryan Murphy, photo via GLAAD’s Facebook page.

LGBTQ entertainment mastermind Ryan Murphy has been announced by GLAAD as the winner of one of its most prestigious honors, the LGBTQ media advocacy group revealed on Thursday.

Murphy, the award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director behind “Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “Feud,” and “Pose,” among a host of other LGBTQ fan-favorite projects across various media, will be honored as part of the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards in the Spring. The GLAAD Media Awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues, this year with over 175 previously-announced nominees competing in 30 categories.

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Taylor Swift, Janet Mock to be honored by GLAAD

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) – Taylor Swift and writer-director-producer Janet Mock will be honored at the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards for their advocacy for LGBTQ issues.

The pop star will receive the Vanguard Award, which is presented to allies who have made a significant difference in promoting acceptance of LGBTQ people. Mock, who is best known for her work on the FX series “Pose,” will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, presented to a LGBTQ media professional.

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Taylor Swift tweets support for gay fan who came out to her music

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Taylor Swift, photo via Swift’s Facebook page.

When Reid Arthur used Taylor Swift’s music to publicly come out at his university last week, he had no idea the pop star herself would personally voice her support.

Arthur and a group of his friends took part in a Lip Sync battle on stage at the Quaker-founded, George Fox University in Oregon, performing a a mash-up of the Taylor Swift songs “You Need To Calm Down” and “…Ready For It.” At one point in the routine, Arthur took center stage as his friends grabbed the sleeves of his sequined jacket, pulling it off to reveal a white top with rainbow ribbons hanging from the sleeves. The audience gave a huge cheer in response

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Taylor Swift accepts ‘Video of the Year’ at VMAs with drag performers

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Taylor Swift opened MTV’s 2019 Video Music Awards on Monday with a performance of her pro-LGBTQ anthem “You Need to Calm Down” which ultimately won Video of the Year, the biggest award of the night.

Swift performed the song along with bestie Todrick Hall and a slew of drag performers who also performed with Miley Cyrus during her 2015 VMAs performance of “Dooo It.” Swift later slowed things down with her first live performance of the single “Lover.”

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Taylor Swift explains why she got vocal for LGBTQ rights

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Taylor Swift in her music video for “You Need to Calm Down.” (Screenshot from YouTube)

Taylor Swift revealed that she was inspired to get vocal about LGBTQ activism after having a conversation with her friend, choreographer and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge Todrick Hall.

In an interview with Vogue, Swift says Hall made a comment to her that changed her perspective on staying quiet.

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Lil Nas X scores top MTV VMA nominations

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Lil Nas X. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Lil Nas X is among the most-nominated artists for the 2019 MTV Music Video Awards with eight nominations.

The 20-year-old “country trap” artist, who recently came out as gay, received nominations for his breakout hit single “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. The video received nominations for Song of the Year, Video of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Hip Hop, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Art Direction. Lil Nas X also is nominated for the Best New Artist category.

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Taylor Swift releases cameo-filled video for new single, calls for passing of Equality Act

By : Jeremy Williams
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Taylor Swift released the music video for her latest single, a full-fledged Pride anthem called “You Need To Calm Down,” on her YouTube channel June 17 and it is packed full of cameos.

The three and a half minute video is directed by Drew Kirsch along with Swift who also doubles as executive producer with Todrick Hall.

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Taylor Swift’s new single tells LGBTQ haters to ‘calm down’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Taylor Swift during her 1989 tour in Glasgow in June 2015. (Image by marcen27, from Flickr)

Taylor Swift released her latest single and it is a full-fledged Pride anthem!

The song, titled “You Need To Calm Down,” is the second single off Swift’s upcoming seventh studio album, “Lover.”

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Tennessee Titans oppose state’s anti-LGBTQ bills

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Tennessee Titans have issued a statement opposing a series of anti-LGBTQ bills in the state, nicknamed the “Slate of Hate.”

These bills would target LGBTQ individuals in multiple ways. One bill would allow adoption agencies to reject same-sex parents on the basis of religious beliefs. Another bill would prevent government agencies from considering a business’s nondiscrimination policies before selecting a contract and another bill would ban gay marriage in Tennessee.

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Taylor Swift donates $113,000 to Tennessee LGBTQ advocacy group

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project on April 8 along with a handwritten note on how a petition signed by more than 100 Tennessee faith leaders inspired her to show her support.

Chris Sanders, Tennessee Equality Project’s leader, posted the note to the organization’s Facebook group.

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