Quick reminder: Taylor Swift's seventh album, Lover, will be out on in just over two weeks. A few days after that, she'll hit the 2019 VMAs for a performance and potentially walk away with some (or all?) of the 10 awards she's nominated for. It's a good month to be her, and it apparently keeps getting better.
On Thursday (August 8), Swift was revealed to be this year's Vogue September issue cover star, a designation she now famously shares with the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and more. The accompanying interview bounds from topics ranging from sexism to her LGBTQ+ allyship to the sale of Big Machine to Scooter Braun, and more. And unlike during the Reputation album cycle in 2017, Swift has opened herself up to talking about all of it.
"It was either investing in my past or my and other artists' future, and I chose the future," she said in the interview after "her whole body slumps with a palpable heaviness" when asked about the Big Machine sale, of which she was critical in a Tumblr note posted in June. (It's true: Swift signed with Republic/Universal in 2018, a statement of looking ahead, not backward.)
This year has also seen Swift's unequivocal support for LGBTQ+ issues, most notably in her colorful, cameo-filled video for "You Need to Calm Down." The vocal directness, she says, came partly from her pal (and collaborator) Todrick Hall asking her what she would do if her son was gay. "The fact that he had to ask me... shocked me and made me realize that I had not made my position clear enough or loud enough," Swift said in the interview. "If my son was gay, he'd be gay. I don't understand the question."
"If he was thinking that, I can't imagine what my fans in the LGBTQ community might be thinking," she continued. "It was kind of devastating to realize that I hadn't been publicly clear about that."
In a particularly revealing moment, Swift also gives a reason for why she chose to amplify her pro-LGBTQ+ message now, given that she's long been supportive: "I didn't realize until recently that I could advocate for a community that I'm not a part of. It's hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud. When I make a mistake, it echoes through the canyons of the world. It's clickbait, and it's a part of my life story, and it's a part of my career arc."
Other gems from the cover story reveal some interesting tidbits from the filming of the "You Need to Calm Down" video, including that the song was never played on set ("for security reasons") and that the crew was made to wear ear buds to further prevent any leakage. Swift also directly addresses the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West feud that defined much of her 2016 and 2017 public image, as well as the damage being "cancelled" did to her psyche.