Taylor Swift has notoriously kept quiet when it came to politics. But this Saturday, her newfound political streak was on full display when she posted to Instagram a lengthy letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), imploring him to protect LGBTQ rights by voting to support the Equality Act.
“I’ve decided to kick off Pride Month by writing a letter to one of my senators to explain how strongly I feel that the Equality Act should be passed,” Swift wrote in a caption accompanying the post.
The act, which was passed by the House last month, would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, education, jury service and federal financing.
Swift’s caption continued, “I urge you to write to your senators, too. I’ll be looking for your letters by searching the hashtag #lettertomysenator.”
In the letter, she wrote: “For American citizens to be denied jobs or housing based on who they love or how they identify, in my opinion, is un-American and cruel.”
She added that, though some argue the act “disrupts religious freedom . . . there are hundreds of Tennessee faith leaders who have recently (and very vocally) disagreed and spoken out to defend the LGBTQ community.”
She wrote that protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination could bring more jobs to Tennessee, citing the fact that several corporations, including Amazon, have spoken out against “the anti-LGBTQ Slate of Hate,” referring to bills moving through the state’s legislature that would, according to the Human Rights Campaign, allow “businesses, organizations and contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment policies.”
Swift also mentioned President Trump, who opposes the act.
“I personally reject the President’s stance that his administration, ‘supports equal treatment of all,’ but that the Equality Act, ‘in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.’" Swift wrote. “No. One cannot take the position that one supports a community, while condemning it in the next breath as going against ‘conscience’ or ‘parental rights.' That statement implies that there is something morally wrong with being anything other than heterosexual and cisgender, which is an incredibly harmful message to send to a nation full of healthy and loving families with same-sex, non-binary or transgender parents, sons or daughters.”
Swift also posted photos Sunday from her performance at the Wango Tango music festival, in which she’s wearing a rainbow jumpsuit with tassels. “Like a rainbow with all of the colors,” she wrote as a caption.
Swift was feverishly apolitical for most of her career, drawing criticism from those who say her large platform comes with a responsibility to speak out on political issues. She finally broke her long silence in October, when she used Instagram to endorse Tennessee Democrats Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for the House. (The former lost and the latter won.)
“In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now,” Swift wrote at the time. “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country.”
She expounded on her decision to begin voicing her politics in a piece she wrote for Elle that published earlier this year.
“I’m finding my voice in terms of politics. I took a lot of time educating myself on the political system and the branches of government that are signing off on bills that affect our day-to-day life,” she wrote. “I saw so many issues that put our most vulnerable citizens at risk, and felt like I had to speak up to try and help make a change. Only as someone approaching 30 did I feel informed enough to speak about it to my 114 million followers. Invoking racism and provoking fear through thinly veiled messaging is not what I want from our leaders, and I realized that it actually is my responsibility to use my influence against that disgusting rhetoric. I’m going to do more to help. We have a big race coming up next year.”