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It’s time to “take several seats,” folks! The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have officially begun, and Taylor Swift—whose new album, Lover, dropped last Friday (August 23)—wasted no time calling out the homophobes with a sassy performance of her celebratory LGBTQ+ anthem, “You Need To Calm Down.”
As in the official video, Swift’s VMA performance took a direct and clear stance against those who take time out of their day to hate on marginalized groups of people —specifically the LGBTQ+ community—rather than doing something productive with their lives. It began with Swift sitting in a lounge chair before being joined by some familiar faces from the video, including her good friend Todrick Hall and plus-size model, actor, and choreographer Dexter Mayfield, among others.
To further drive home the song’s message of love and acceptance, the 29-year-old pop star had the words “Equality Act” flash across the screen—a reminder to us all that we should be supporting legislation that would offer specific protections for LGBTQ+ people in housing, employment, credit, and more areas.
Taylor Swift is standing up for and supporting the Equality Act with her #VMAs performance! pic.twitter.com/ASb5eW1eO9— MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS) August 27, 2019
Taylor Swift is standing up for and supporting the Equality Act with her #VMAs performance! pic.twitter.com/ASb5eW1eO9
But that’s not all Swift had up her sleeve for the show’s highly anticipated opening performance. After the pop icon was done reminding the haters to “just stop” spewing homophobic remarks at a community that preaches love and acceptance, she quickly pivoted to a romantic debut performance of her album’s title track, “Lover.”
As all Swifties would agree, seeing Swift perform “Lover” live for the first time was nothing short of magical. And although she took a more minimalistic approach to the performance by slipping on a sparkly blue blazer, grabbing her Lover guitar and taking centre stage, the song was just as impactful. The proof was in the audience’s reaction, as everyone in the arena swayed their arms in unison. Once again, we found ourselves entranced in Swift’s love story, despite her making the choice not to include elements from the music video in her performance.
The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards have touched down at The Prudential Center in New Jersey, airing live on MTV. See the full list of winners and keep up with all of the night’s biggest VMA moments!