"Using my voice to try to advocate was the only choice to make."
Ahead of Taylor Swift's upcoming Netflix documentary Miss Americana, the superstar told Variety that she's done being polite at all costs. It seems Swift is no longer afraid to voice exactly how she feels. The documentary is taking a deeply personal look at growth and how she found her feminist and political voice.
Swift began voicing her concerns with her political coming out in 2018 where she asked her Tennessee fans to vote Democrat, a game-changing move for the notoriously apolitical pop star.
In the new interview, she explains she was so hesitant to speak plainly about her political beliefs before then because of how ingrained in her the 2003 ostracization of the Dixie Chicks after they spoke out against George W. Bush was, as well as being consistently celebrated for staying silent.
“Every time I didn’t speak up about politics as a young person, I was applauded for it,” she says.
She goes on to emphasize how her LGBTQ+ friends changed the way she thought about her silence. According to Variety, "Part of her politicization, she says, is feeling it would be hypocritical to hang out with her gay friends while leaving them to their own devices politically. In the film, she says, 'I think it is so frilly and spineless of me to stand onstage and go ‘Happy Pride Month, you guys,’ and then not say this, when someone’s literally coming for their neck.'"
For Swift, “to celebrate but not advocate felt wrong for me. Using my voice to try to advocate was the only choice to make. Because I’ve talked about equality and sung about it in songs like ‘Welcome to New York,’ but we are at a point where human rights are being violated. When you’re saying that certain people can be kicked out of a restaurant because of who they love or how they identify, and these are actual policies that certain politicians vocally stand behind, and they disguise them as family values, that is sinister. So, so dark.”
Swift's sexual assault trial, where she sued a DJ for $1 who had groped her backstage, also had a hand in her speaking up publically.
"Her experience with the trial was crucial, she says, in finding herself 'needing to speak up about beliefs I’d always had, because it felt like an opportunity to shed light on what those trials are like. I experienced it as a person with extreme privilege, so I can only imagine what it’s like when you don’t have that. And I think one theme that ended up emerging in the film is what happens when you are not just a people pleaser but someone who’s always been respectful of authority figures, doing what you were supposed to do, being polite at all costs. I still think it’s important to be polite, but not at all costs,' she says. 'Not when you’re being pushed beyond your limits, and not when people are walking all over you. I needed to get to a point where I was ready, able and willing to call out bulls— rather than just smiling my way through it.'"
With Miss Americana, expect a brand new song for accompanying the doc as well, reportedly an "anthem for millennials who might have come away disillusioned with the political process."
"You did all that you could do," she sings in "Only the Young." "The game was rigged, the ref got tricked/ The wrong ones think they’re right / We were outnumbered — this time."
Miss Americana premieres January 31 in select theaters and on Netflix.0
Taylor Swift Says Gay Friends Inspired Her Political Awakening0