Seriously… Which Taylor album is gayer?
By Emily Norton
Yesterday, Taylor Swift announced the release of her surprise, ninth studio album evermore; it’s a sister album to folklore. Some think folklore is Swift’s gayest album yet. And I don’t blame them! In fact, it might have something to do with the cottagecore vibes and endless yearning, which are notably queer things. So, I was excited to see how evermore compared and ask myself: which 2020 Taylor Swift album is gayer?
“I think you should come live with me/ and we can be pirates/ then you won’t have to cry/ or hide in the closet” (from “seven”)
My top contenders for queer songs on folklore are “betty”, “seven”, “mirrorball”, and “august”. This album blew me away went it came out for a lot of reasons, but like anyone else I was enthralled by hearing Taylor Swift sing about a girl as the love interest in “betty”. This album hits the spot when it comes to reminiscing about the second adolescence you experience when you come out. There are secret meetings, poetry, lies, wine, floods of memory, and all the weird whimsy in between. Probably most important/ what makes this album so gay is the longing. Queer people are used to being on the outside looking in and thinking about what they could have, should have, ordid have. And folklore is jam packed with moments just like that.
“and the skeletons in both our closets/ plotted hard to f*ck this up/ and the old men that I’ve swindled/ really did believe I was the one” (from “cowboy like me”)
evermore has some great queer song contenders. Most notably for me, “tolerate it”, “gold rush”, “coney island”, and “cowboy like me”. This album feels like folklore grew up and moved away from its hometown; and “cowboy like me” depicts that night at the bar in your new city when you meet someone and it’s the beginning of your first gay relationship. The one that, when it’s over, will make you believe you’ll never love again (I might be projecting). evermore definitely has its heavy moments, but it’s got some whimsy and hope weaved in through its storytelling too. The gayest thing about this record is its overarching narrative of growth and healing. It really does feel like the relief that comes along with knowing you’ve learned a bunch of lessons and are ready to make new mistakes.
My final verdict: folklore is gayer!
While evermore has its gay qualities, folklore’s ability to completely transport me to a solitary cottage in a field twirling in a white dress like a housewife while writing love poems about my partner takes the cake. It has a few more gay moments and lines and overall features some very queer imagery (think Emily Dickinson). That being said, I do really enjoy both records, and if I can’t find gay subtext, I will create it, as I continue to listen to these albums.