Tag Archives: sapphic

Swiftionary: Stars

12 May

Stars in eyes speaks to a desire for fame or a drive to be something more. What do all the other stars in Taylor’s catalog mean?

Taylor compares the 9 year old to stars.

Something special, untouchable, and unattainable. Beautiful and magical, but out of reach.

She confirms how stars are something unattainable in Untouchable.  Taylor doesn’t know why she’s so caught up in this girl.  But she uses words like diamond sky, sun, and a million stars spelling this person’s name to show how they are shiny, bright, sparkling, but inconceivable.  This girl makes Taylor feel like she’s coming undone because she has this strong attraction, but knows she shouldn’t act on it, that it wouldn’t be reciprocated, or it would be forbidden.  Taylor appraises the girl as precious and impossible to get near like the pretty stars in the sky.  And the adults notice the love between the two.  

Stars aligning signify perfection and idealistic happiness. Which did not occur in this particular situation.

This other person saw Taylor’s past hurts, traumas… scars. And they surrounded that pain with something beautiful and otherworldly. Taylor is incredulous this person cares for her (stars are distant and out of reach) because this type of relationship was previously unthinkable. She is invigorated by the improbable magic (it’s impossible to touch stars) that happens when this person is close. This love is healing and is all Taylor needs. Except after the person left, Taylor is without the salve on her scars and suffers a new fresh wound.

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: Midnights ~ Karma

11 May


…’Cause karma is my boyfriend…/…Sweet like honey, karma is a cat/Purring in my lap ’cause it loves me/Flexing like a goddamn acrobat/Me and karma vibe like that…/…Sweet like justice, karma is a queen

Karma is my boyfriend:

sweet like honey:

Karma is a cat:

Purring in my lap:


Flexing like a goddamn acrobat:

Me and karma vibe like that:

sweet like justice:

karma is a queen [Pat?]:

Swiftionary: Haunted House

28 Apr

House seems to be a physical place where someone lives. 

But Taylor also uses “house” as the embodiment of a person and their sensibilities. 

The house in Seven (is Taylor, I think, but could be the childhood friend) is haunted (gay? conflicted? imperfect?) 

 being haunted/gay makes the homophobic father mad. 

Enter hiding in the closet-a lifelong defense mechanism. 

passing by your house can mean both riding on a skateboard past someone’s home, and James passing by Betty, the person. 

Taylor is in a conservative city.  Country music is “traditional” and constrictive.  Taylor has religious imagery in some songs so her family might abide by the Bible, and that makes her feel conflicted about her sexuality.  She does not see her queerness as positive, she deems it a curse or jinx–she’s haunted.

 There’s nothing to figure out with a boy.  That’s “normal”, accepted, expected. It’s not difficult to figure out if a boy likes you that way. 

But if the love interest is a girl–is she friendly or flirty?  When Taylor can’t breathe in this gal’s absence, she knows it’s love. 

Taylor discovers she loves a girl–she’s haunted.  She knows she’s gay.

When Taylor dares to act on this haunted part of her, there are real fears the husband will harm his wife (Taylor’s lover) and her. She has to be very, very sneaky about hiding the gay-affair, or He will burn their house of love down.

House = place of residence, including body or sensibility

Haunted = LGBTQ (in an internally homophobic person, or a person in a homophobic environment)

TS Snippets: Water = PR Damage Control

27 Apr

Don’t worry, I’m still working on the gay moments for each track on evermore. I’m at Ivy and it’s very research heavy, so enjoy another snippet while I compile everything.

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: evermore ~ It’s time to go

25 Apr

it’s time to go

Or that moment again, he’s insisting that friends/Look at each other like that…/…That old familiar body ache/The snaps from the same little breaks in your soul/You know when it’s time to go

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: evermore (album) ~ evermore (track)

22 Apr


I replay my footsteps on each stepping stone/Trying to find the one where I went wrong/Writing letters/Addressed to the fire/And I was catching my breath/Staring out an open window/Catching my death/And I couldn’t be sure/I had a feeling so peculiar/That this pain would be for/Evermore/Hey December/Guess I’m feeling unmoored/Can’t remember/What I used to fight for/I rewind the tape but all it does is pause/On the very moment all was lost/Sending signals/To be double crossed/And I was catching my breath/Barefoot in the wildest winter/Catching my death/And I couldn’t be sure/I had a feeling so peculiar/That this pain would be for/Evermore/(Evermore)/Can’t not think of all the cost/And the things that will be lost/Oh, can we just get a pause?/To be certain we’ll be tall again/Whether weather be the frost/Or the violence of the dog days/I’m on waves, out being tossed/Is there a line that I could just go cross?/And when I was shipwrecked (can’t think of all the cost)/I thought of you (all the things that will be lost now)/In the cracks of light (can we just get a pause?)/I dreamed of you (to be certain we’ll be tall again)/(If you think of all the costs)/It was real enough (whether weather be the frost)/To get me through (or the violence of the dog days)/(Out on waves being tossed)/But I swear (is there a line that we could just go cross?)/You were there/And I was catching my breath/Floors of a cabin creaking under my step/And I couldn’t be sure/I had a feeling so peculiar/This pain wouldn’t be for/Evermore

I admit when I delve into poetry, especially European, prior to 1900s, formal poems, my eyes and brain go:

But what Taylor wants (listeners to understand her references and subtext) Taylor gets. So I persisted.

The connection to poety:

So Katherine Bradley + Edith Cooper = Michael Field, poetry author.

“Lovers evermore” ties this duo’s poem to Taylor’s song/album/life.

To make things even more hazy (see what I did there?) in their personal letters Bradley and Cooper called each other “Michael” and “Field” later “Henry” as nicknames, and maybe to obscure their love.

OK, buckle up, here’s another complex explanation for how the poem Taylor Swift is referencing came to be:

Got all that? [It took me a bit of time to get it]:

Sappho wrote poems/songs.

They were not discovered in their entirety, maybe not preserved, maybe lost, maybe unfinished, maybe burned by relatives wanting to hide certain unpalatable truths. I don’t know and this was not the central focus of my research.

This Wharton guy took it upon himself to write translations of each fragment of Sappho’s work. This made them more accessible to modern, English-speaking readers.

Michael Field’s (remember the collaborators and lovers, Bradley and Cooper) used the transcribed fragments as inspiration for their own poems. There was a piece of Sappho’s writing as the jumping off point for their original poetry, which sometimes kept to the intention of the original poet, and sometimes intentionally deviated from it.

The final product is a book of poetry, Long Ago, published under the name Michael Fields, containing the “It was deep April” poem.

It is this poem that Taylor, in the tradition of the aforementioned poets, used as inspiration for her evermore song.


So basically, Taylor was inspired by Sappho.

Bare with me, I promise this directly relates to Taylor’s songs. Let’s talk about how Sappho literally invented the word/concept of “bittersweet” to describe WLW love:

Sappho uses “bittersweet” to summarize homosexual love, and Long Ago has that very phrase twice.

Michael Field knew what they were doing. They had learned the origin of the word/concept of bittersweet and intentionally referenced it to signal queer subject matter.

within the album/catalog:

Me! | I Think He Knows | London Boy | You Need to Calm Down | Paper Rings


Soon You’ll Get Better | The Archer | Death by a Thousand Cuts | Cornelia Street

within the line:

Rose Garden filled with thorns

Snuck through the garden gate every night that summer just to seal my fate

I love you ain’t that the worst thing you’ve ever heard

within the song:

gold rush


Eyes like sinking ships
On waters so inviting
I almost jump in

But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush
I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush
I don’t like that anyone would die to feel your touch
Everybody wants you
Everybody wonders what it would be like to love you
Walk past, quick brush
I don’t like slow motion double vision in rose blush
I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush


Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: evermore ~ champagne problems

14 Apr

champagne problems

Because I dropped your hand while dancing/Left you out there standing/Crestfallen on the landing/Champagne problems/Your mom’s ring in your pocket/My picture in your wallet/Your heart was glass, I dropped it/Champagne problems/You told your family for a reason/You couldn’t keep it in/Your sister splashed out on the bottle/Now no one’s celebrating/Dom Pérignon, you brought it/No crowd of friends applauded/Your hometown skeptics called it/Champagne problems/You had a speech, you’re speechless/Love slipped beyond your reaches/And I couldn’t give a reason/Champagne problems…/…”This dorm was once a madhouse”/I made a joke, “Well, it’s made for me”…/…I never was ready, so I watch you go/Sometimes you just don’t know the answer/’Til someone’s on their knees and asks you/“She would’ve made such a lovely bride/What a shame she’s fucked in the head, “ they said

I interpret this song as Taylor rejecting a marriage proposal from a woman (Dianna and/or Karlie?) in favor of living a single, straight life (even though she’s sapphic):

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: evermore ~ Willow

13 Apr


And there was one prize I’d cheat to win/The more that you say/The less I know/Wherever you stray/I follow/I’m begging for you to take my hand/Wreck my plans/That’s my man/You know that my train could take you home/Anywhere else is hollow…/…Wait for the signal and I’ll meet you after dark/Show me the places where the others gave you scars/Now this is an open-shut case/Guess I should’ve known from the look on your face/Every bait and switch was a work of art

Show Them Pride is More Than A Party

12 Apr

I’m writing this under the assumption you’ve researched the origins of Pride, and have also seen a current day Pride. If you haven’t, you have homework before reading this.

2023 brings many far-right political attacks targeting Pride Parades (and a litany of other anti-LGBTQ issues).

Combine that with the Rainbow Capitalism and corporatization of Pride that the community is wary of.

This presents us a perfect opportunity: This year Pride should forgo the rainbows, flags, and money-spending. Do something really radical- This year Pride is all black and white. It would be a stark contrast to the rainbow events of late. We treat Pride as more of a remembrance and protest. No random corporate parade entries or merch. Everyone in the Pride Parade is there representing their LGBTQQA organization, or showing up as evidence of their existence, since the community is still largely invisible to straights. The LGBTQQAA community still appears in droves and gets a day to be with like-minded people, is visible to larger society. But we show them Pride is for a purpose not just a party or spending.

Instead of the gold hotpants, the gay boys just toe the line and go black/white bicycle shorts. The drag queens still make an appearance, but in only black and/or white. PFLAG, the bears, leather daddies, dykes on bikes–all there. Everyone in black and white. Somber in our demands for equal treatment. Nobody gets arrested, but make their point anyway. We don’t need an ostentatious party (every year) to demand rights and provide representation. We show the straights, it’s not all fun and games we are the same people we have always been even when the rainbows are turned to mournful attire. It’s not giving up and adhering to social norms–it’s proving that we’re celebrating Pride for a reason.

It would be impactful to do an all black & white Pride for one year. Like talking softly in a screaming match, it would garner attention and show that we exist, we want equal rights, and we mean business–whatever color we’re wearing.

Taylor Swift’s Gay Moments: folklore ~ The Lakes

11 Apr

the lakes

Take me to the lakes where all the poets went to die…/…I don’t belong, and my beloved, neither do you…/…Those Windermere peaks look like a perfect place to cry…/…I’m setting off, but not without my muse…/…I want auroras and sad prose…/…I want to watch wisteria grow right over my bare feet/‘Cause I haven’t moved in years

Samuel Coleridge

William Wordsworth

Dorothy Wordsworth

Robert Southey: