All the Hidden Political Messages in Taylor Swift's New Song

After years of radio silence on all things political, Taylor Swift finally began speaking up last year. And now that she's broken the seal, she's really leaning in to her new brand. 

On Thursday, she announced the title of her upcoming album (Lover) and dropped a new single, "You Need To Calm Down." 

The song is the second single she's released from the new album, and is a decidedly cheerful anti-hate track directed at homophobia.

"Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?" she sings on the new song, which was accompanied by a lyric video that makes it clear she's shouting out GLAAD, the acronym for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation organization.

Just after the song was released at midnight, GLAAD tweeted screenshots from the lyric video, thanking Swift for the name-drop.

In case you were doubting her commitment to the cause, she also sings, “shade never made anybody less gay” on the pre-chorus of the song. And don't forget the album's soft rainbow aesthetic and the fact that the song is being released during Pride month. (The 18-track album as a whole will be released on August 23.)

On Twitter, fans theorized that Swift was also referencing the Equality Act, which was the subject of her recent open letter to Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander.

Swift also released a video discussing the inspiration and background behind the song. 

"I’ve observed a lot of different people in our society who put so much energy and effort into negativity and it made me feel like, ‘you need to just calm down,'" she said. "'You're stressing yourself out. This seems like it's more about you than what you're going off about.'"

In an interview with German outlet DPA last month, she hinted that her new music would have "political undertones," telling the outlet, “I’m not planning to stop encouraging young people to vote and to try to get them to talk about what’s going on in our country. I think that’s one of the most important things I could do.”

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