Question… Surprise! Taylor’s Realization Closeting Comes with Career [Part 10]

8 Dec

Taylor wins the pronoun game.  I’m not even going to try to untangle the speaker/recipient/changing characters in this song.  It was written so convoluted that I haven’t even seen a satisfactory answer to this yet.  Instead, I took lyric snippets from other songs featuring the same word, to get a feeling about Taylor’s sentiment and even subject. Don’t get overwhelmed with the length of this post.  The word I’m trying to point-out from Question… lyrics is highlighted. 

Half-moon eyes, bad surprise, did you realize?

Out of time, she was on your mind

Surprise:

Mine

getaway car

coney island

The word “surprise” comes back to what’s shaping up to be the central thesis of Question…  Taylor was taken by surprise in Mine that she “fell in love…daughter.”  Taylor is in love with a girl.  In Getaway Car, Taylor “switched to the other side”–the queer side.  And in Coney Island, Taylor mentions her chronic behavior of hiding away her true feelings, and her love/lover with them.  Taylor’s closeting relegated her lover to the background, and it’s not surprising, but still disappointing to all involved (except the money-makers and the homophobes).

Realize:  

Fifteen

jump than fall

I knew you were trouble

picture to burn

back to December

Never grow up, 

I don’t think young Taylor knew it but in Fifteen she wasn’t only talking about how boys have one  thing on their minds, so girls need to be a bit more cynical.  Taylor tells how the attention from the boys felt good.  Wanting to be wanted made Taylor dream of marrying the boy, not any type of attraction to HIM.  It sounds like she didn’t actually like the boy–she liked being liked.  Later, Taylor is on the phone and an epiphany hits her–she loves her friend’s laugh.  Jump than Fall is the realization that Taylor likes this girl more than a friend.  This realization continues in I Knew You Were Trouble.  Taylor is taken to places she had never been.  It scares her, and she’s kicking herself because she knew this person would cause trouble for her.  It’s telling that Taylor mentions “shame” in this song.  That’s why she berates herself for getting involved with them in the first place–somewhere inside her is internal homophobia that feels shame about being/acting on gay.

I went back to get the OG lyrics of Picture to Burn, in order to try to tell the mindset Taylor was in at the time.  I think it’s less of a slur–like my ex-boyfriend is dumb and gaaaay eye roll.  And more of a–we had a secret same sex thing and now you’re talking $hit about me, so I’ll ‘out’ you as retaliation.  Neither is that great, but there’s no rules in love and war, so I hear. 

The tone of Back to December is regretful.  The key line to me is “when fear crept into my mind” that led to Taylor breaking up with this person.  I have to think the fear might be of having WLW feelings, or homophobia.  Finally, the last song that uses the word “realize” seems less related to Question…  But it does tie in.  Taylor feels lonely at her new apartment.  When Taylor is saying never grow up, it’s interesting she brings up being burned and scarred by love as her primary concern.  Does Taylor wish she never grew up, because when she was little she didn’t know she was gay?  She was just her, no stigma, and she wishes she could go back to that?  In the song, Taylor spirals into the anxious thought that everything she has will be gone at some point.  Taylor might fear that her sexuality will accelerate her losing everyone and everything.

Half-moon eyes, bad surprise, did you realize?

Out of time, she was on your mind

The surprise and shock of Taylor’s realization that she is queer, has always infused anxiety into her.  Even way back in her catalog she had an inkling she felt differently, and she immediately tries to hide it.  That is part of her M.O.  Question…  might be about the Kissgate incident specifically, but I think it’s a bigger story.  Taylor is saying how throughout her life her fear of her sexuality caused her to hide, panic, scheme.  And the result was loss and loneliness. 

Taylor keeps running out of time with each lover. Here’s just 3 examples from loves with a lot of evidence:

#1: Taylor made a loving video for her fiddle player, Emily that’s baby-gay vibes.

And a short time later, Emily was suddenly out of Taylor’s band.

Liner notes say, “sorry, sorry, sorry” and Breathe speaks about it.

#2: April 2013 articles were written, Tweets were posted about Swiftgron:

They are thought to have broken up that same month,

with this final post on Dianna’s Tumblr before she deleted it:

The last time Swifgron went anyplace together (FUN concert) was Sept. 2013:

#3: Kaylor

This timeline is complex and there is no consensus of it. I suggest just listening to Reputation through Midnights for answers. As the music tells us, Taylor and Karlie were on and off, and we know Taylor is so upset about being without her muse that she can’t stop writing pages…

The last time Taylor and Karlie were pictured together

was at Taylor’s Nashville concert.

Karlie was having her bachelorette party??!

Time and time again Taylor chose her career and the closet over her lovers, and all she’s left with is memories and regrets.

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