Out musician Beth Ditto made some pointed jabs at Lover singer-songwriter and LGBTQ ally Taylor Swift in a recent interview.
“There’s so much bullshit going on in queer culture that right now [the debate about misogyny in gay stan culture] doesn’t mean that much to me,” she told the outlet, adding that cashing in on the “pink pound,” a.k.a. making music “deliberately aimed at gay men to take their money,” irks her much more.
She specifically referenced Swift’s recent single “You Need to Calm Down,” which cemented the country-pop singer’s allyship to LGBTQ fans after she faced years of criticism for avoiding politics.
“I was like, ’Great anthem… straight white girl?'” Ditto said. “’Cool, thanks.’ Released just in time for Pride! I wonder where the proceeds are going for that, you know? That’s the thing that bothers me about it.”
Independent writer Roisin O’Connor pointed out that Swift has tried to put her money where her mouth is, donating some $113,000 to an LGBTQ nonprofit in the South and penning a letter to religious allies to the queer community fighting conservative anti-LGBTQ lawmakers in her home state of Tennessee.
The star-studded (and MTV VMA–nominated) music video for “You Need to Calm Down” featured a bevy of LGBTQ celebrities, too, including RuPaul’s Drag Race queens past and present, Orange Is the New Black alum Laverne Cox, and Swift’s bestie Todrick Hall. Ditto, who also hails from the South, added that she took issue with Swift’s portrayal of homophobic “rednecks” in the music video, which was set in a trailer park.
Upon learning about Swift’s sizable donation, however, the Gossip vocalist softened: “She did? She is doing that?! Good, she should! Especially if you’re releasing a song like that. That makes me happy, I’m glad she’s doing that.”
Read the singer’s full interview—in which she also discusses experiencing straight privilege as a queer woman in a relationship with a trans man—over at The Independent.