Video has divided opinion
Christine And The Queens singer Heloise Letissier has criticised Taylor Swift over her LGBTQ anthem ‘You Need To Calm Down’.
- Read More: Taylor Swift’s ‘You Need To Calm Down’ – an effective but messy gesture of LGBT+ allyship
Speaking in an interview with Cosmopolitan, Letissier said she wasn’t impressed by Swift’s video featuring a roster of gay stars including Queer Eye’s Fab Five.
“I’m conflicted,” she said of the video. “I guess somewhere, young gay men might watch that Taylor Swift video and feel a sense of relief. Five years on [since she entered the industry] and you can tell that being queer has been glossed out as this super-fancy accessory. You can tell that the queer aesthetic is being used to sell things. The mainstream needs that life because it’s so vibrant. But I think the core of the queer aesthetic cannot be sold.”
She added: “When I changed my name from Christine to Chris on the second album, some people said, ‘That’s a cool marketing thing you did.’ It was so painful. I’ve been singing iT [a track which she’s said is about “wanting to have a dick in order to have an easy life”] for the past five years. It’s never been marketing for me. It’s about jumping into the unknown and saying things loudly.”
NME also criticised the video earlier this summer, describing it as: “Swift’s casting of homophobes as stereotypical rural types with unkempt hair, missing teeth and misspelt signs (“homasekualty is sin!” reads one slogan) – feels to be missing the point. Besides the sign-waving antics of the Westboro Baptist Church, this is not what homophobia usually looks like. As we’ve been reminded in recent months, you can’t spot a homophobe on sight (though that’d certainly make avoiding them a lot easier).”