The Intriguing Gaylor Theory: Is Taylor Swift Queer?

Gaylor, also known as the Taylor Swift Gay Theory, is a conspiracy theory that American pop star Taylor Swift is secretly gay. Rumors about Swift possibly being lesbian or bisexual have been discussed on Tumblr since the mid-2010s, gathering viral traction in the early 2020s. Notable “Gaylor” relationships discussed by Gaylor believers are between Swift and Glee star Dianna Agron and Swift and model Karlie Kloss. In October 2023, Swift released her remastered 1989 Taylor’s Version album alongside a prologue that appeared to criticize Gaylor believers for “sexualizing” her female friendships. This led to renewed discussions and renewed criticism of the Gaylor community online.

Background

Some early discussions about Taylor Swift supposedly being gay can be traced to 2013 when Swift performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with Karlie Kloss. As seen in a friendship timeline documented by Teen Vogue, the two had publicly interacted online before the event. In 2014, a video of Swift and model Karlie Kloss at a concert was shared on Tumblr by people who believed that the clip showed Swift and Kloss exchanging a kiss (seen below).

sixesandsevensandnines: | // Taylor Swift going HARD during Girls at the 1975 at Terminal 5, 2014-12-04. Feat. Karlie Kloss. // grabbing karlie's face towards the ends there ^_^ (via d----diana) #video #kaylor #oh my god #drunk 8 YEARS AGO ON DECEMBER 07, 2014 AT 10:16PM 7,753 NOTES

Another example of Swift-Kloss (or “Kaylor” as it’s called) shipping was posted by Tumblr  user gayl0rswiftie on March 11th, 2017, analyzing Swift’s lyrics to draw connected between her and Kloss (shown below). The use of the phrase “Gaylor” can be traced back to these early “Kaylor” shipping communities.

gaylorswiftie Follow "But would you run away with me?" Run away, runway. As in a fashion show runway. More specifically, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. November. Where they met, where Tay basically sang Style to Karlie. Very clever, very slick Tay. 2325 ... Mayer RCF/ Splash News

A detailed timeline of pivotal internet records of “Kaylor” theories was posted by Tumblr user @thoughts-reasons on December 31st, 2017 (seen below).

The journey Kaylor-meter Gaylor-meter MySpace 2005 Beard-fest 2006 The seeds 2008 Emily Video Ⓒ Taymily master post 2007 2008 2009 Where it all began 2010 2011 Swiftgron master post 2011 2012 The pairing up Dat Da2 On why it is. not true Kissgate - Little nuggets of information Harry 2013 2014 2013 Master post l Things that did not add up Major Gaylor evidence 2014 6a1 Tayvin |}SOu Master post II Kimby's likes Craked the code 00 2015 2015 Josh (for KK) 2016 Guganean Calvin Hiddlestunt {Kuy D 2016 2017 2018 Hiddleshit 2017 2015-2017 Timeline F Media: Gaylor Swift Reputation era master post Tam Moy's KK b'day post 11 2018 Hiddleshit press Joe 10m Why Joe is 10a1 needed 10a2 Illogical 10a3 timeline Necklace 1024 Loved-up London debunked

On April 6th, 2020, X user @slayvesful posted an X thread on “Gaylor moments,” gathering over 5,000 likes on the initial post in the thread (seen below).

The subreddit /r/Gaylor_Swift was created on October 7th, 2022.

Developments

Criticism of Gaylor shippers began to mount in the early 2020s due to the community’s perceived tendency to overanalyze Taylor Swift’s moves. An example of this can be seen in a December 19th, 2021, post to the /r/popheadscirclejerk subreddit that gathered over,1000 upvotes in roughly two years (seen below).

1162 TAYLOR SWIFT STALE TOPIC the gaylor subreddit is unhinged (i.redd.it) submitted 1 year ago by [deleted] 95 comments share save hide report crosspost hide all child comments Not Every Artist Has: A Homophobic Album An Album About LGBTing In New York T.S. 1989 A Masterpiece Of Pure Unbridled Dykery A Same-Sex An Album Attraction Album That Gives Cher FEARLESS A Karlie Kloss Album reputation Taytaylor s Taidat Suit Speak Jaw An Album About Gay Pride And Lady Licking Lover A Feisty H--- Train Wreck Album An Album Told From An LGBT Perspective PERERTAL ADVISORY But Taylor Swift's gay ass sure f------ does.

On October 26th, 2023, the X account @PopBase reported that Swift had supposedly called out “Gaylor” believers for unnecessarily sexualizing her female relationships. The post gathered over 1,000 likes in four days (seen below).

Pop Base @PopBase "If I only hung out with my female friends, people couldn't sensationalize or sexualize that right? I would learn later on that people could and people would." - Taylor Swift in her '1989 (Taylor's Version)' prologue. 9:15 PM Oct 26, 2023 12.6M Views 1000 1700 TAYL RSION

On October 27th, X user @Horse_Jeans made a post documenting some reactions on /r/Gaylor_Swift, gathering over 5,000 likes in three days (seen below, left). Other Gaylor believers doubled down on their theories, with X user @AndySachs13 implying that Swift may have been queerbaiting her followers (seen below, right).

Jacqueline @Horse_Jeans Oct 27 Popped onto the gaylor subreddit for the first time and it's somehow funnier than i possibly thought Godiva Galore 2h If you're feeling lost/upset, here are some openly gay people to Stan Non-Gaylor 18 Jacqueline @Horse_Jeans 1999 • 1 299 r/Gaylor Swift u/name_berry • 2h 5.4K Never doubt these people and their ability to go down with the ship with the straightest woman alive rather than learn the name of one actual gay person who makes music il₁225K 8:53 PM Oct 27, 2023 16.5K Views 口企 oh so these vault tracks are *gay* gay Discussion Join She disappoints me time and time again, but usually each time it's right before she does something mega gay. AndySachs @AndySachs13 Just want to say as the resident skeptical Gaylor: you are not delusional for thinking a woman who paraded around in a Gay Pride video wearing bisexual colors after year of gay rumors MIGHT be queer. That is a weird, misleading, & inappropriate thing for a straight person to do. 9:27 PM Oct 26, 2023 116.3K Views Follow .

New York Times Gaylor Piece

On January 4th, 2024, The New York Times published an opinion editorial by Anna Marks titled “Look What We Made Taylor Swift Do.” Clocking in at 5,000 words, the editorial laid out the supposed evidence for the Gaylor theory and reflected on the possible significance of Taylor Swift being a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Marks argued for the importance of “heroes” and positive gay role models for young people. In the article Marks said:

What if someone had already tried, at least once, to change the culture by becoming such a hero? What if, because our culture had yet to come to terms with homophobia, it wasn’t ready for her? What if that hero’s name was Taylor Alison Swift?

The editorial went on to describe Swift’s Lover era in which she used a lot of rainbow imagery and made what some interpreted to be references to gay and lesbian history. The editorial also interprets specific lyrics, actions and “dropped hairpins” that it believes are hints given by Swift about her purported homosexual identity.

Taylor Swift’s team pushed back against the article in the following days, with a close associate of the singer telling CNN that the piece was “invasive, untrue, and inappropriate.”Chely Wright, a queer country singer mentioned in the article as a comparison to Swift, also spoke out against the editorial, receiving over 2,800 likes on January 7th for the post on X (seen below).

Chely Wright @chelywright Agree w/you, @Chris Willman. I was mentioned in the piece, so I'll weigh in. I think it was awful of @nytimes to publish. Triggering for me to read- not because the writer mentioned my nearly ending my life-but seeing a public person's sexuality being discussed is upsetting. Chris Willman @ChrisWillman 23h I've defended the NYT before when they published questionable op-eds... but this was the least defensible op-ed I can remember ever seeing the NYT run, made all the worst by the fact that it was written by a staffer, who specializes in these speculations.cnn.com/2024/01/06/bus... 5:16 PM Jan 7, 2024 534.5K Views 64 722 2.8K : 297 (→

On TikTok, both supporters and opponents of Gaylor Theory commented on the issue. For example, TikToker @theswiftologist posted an anti-Gaylor take on January 6th, 2024, calling it a “conspiracy theory,” condemning “the failing New York Times” and receiving over 4,000 likes and nearly 49,000 views in two days (seen below, left).

On the other side, TikToker @simpofthesapphics summarized the article and promoted it as a “comprehensive, legitimizing” essay about Gaylor Theory and praised the Times as the “paper of record” in a TikTok post on January 5th, receiving over 66,000 views and 2,500 likes in three days (seen below, right). @simpofthesapphics also opined that @theeswiftologist “was shaking in his motherf–king boots on his Twitter account this morning” over the essay’s comprehensiveness.

Play: Time to start calling gaylorism what it is: a conspiracy theory. #taylorswift #swiftologist #swifttoker #swifttok #taylorsversion #taylorswifttheory #unpopularopinion

Play: Replying to @Tori’s Intel • PR+Pop Culture  @underthepink (Kristen) the hateros freaking out over this are funny like yall dont worry, youll get a new tayvis picture soon 😭 #swifttok #taylorswift #friendsofdorothea #lgbetty #swiftiesoftiktok #swifties #nyt #opinion #popculture

Others expressed opinions about the coverage of the Gaylor phenomenon and the passion of Gaylor theorists. For example, on January 6th, 2024, X user @theluckywill posted about the hostility many Gaylors directed at CNN following the publication of the story about a Swift associate objecting to the theory, receiving over 5,400 likes in two days (seen below, left).

Similarly, X user @glorstruggles responded to a passionate fan’s insistence about Taylor Swift’s sexuality, also on January 6th, receiving over 9,100 likes in two days (seen below, right).

will @theluckywill. Jan 6 when you go so far gaylor you start agreeing with Donald Trump mia 32 @diickvandyke ngl he kinda ate with this The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com > politics Trump Calls CNN 'Fake News' Jan 11, 2017 - President-elect Donald J. Trump had sharp words for a CNN reporter: "Your organization's terrible.... You are fake news.” 341 Follow 5.4K ₁152K 口 : gaylor struggles "fokelore" stan @glorstruggles Jan 6 yk the "you're still gay and that's final" line is actually funny 116 Emma @klosslorgay 16m What the HELL is this @taylorswift13 ?????? Your coward ass is always hiding behind press releases. You are a SPINELESS LOSER. You're still gay and that's FINAL. There is just WAY too many instances of you BLATANLY telling us. You are a DISGUSTING person for this btw. Pop Base @PopBase 2h Taylor Swift's associates are 'dismayed' at the publication of a 5,000-word New York Times opinion piece that openly speculated on her sexuality and whether she is a closeted queer person, CNN reports: "There seems to be no boundary some journalists won't cross when writing... Show more 573 The New York Times OPINION GUEST ESSAY Look What We Made Taylor Swift Do 9.1K ₁302K 口 :

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