No, you need to calm down!
Swift performed Friday night for about 100 people at a Pride celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
Joined at the bar by her dad, Swift was introduced by Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who hosted the intimate event.
I’m so happy I don’t have to keep this secret any longer. Look who came to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall at the Stonewall Inn. @taylorswift13, you are a gem. Thank you for everything you do for the LGBTQ community. We ❤️ you! https://t.co/ICE2b3arxU
— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (he/him/his) (@jessetyler) June 15, 2019
Surprisingly, the 29-year-old pop star did not perform “You Need to Calm Down.” Instead, she sang “Shake It Off,” which she noted was Ferguson’s favorite karaoke song. “So if there’s anything you feel like you want to jump in on,” she told him, “a part that you’re really good at, just sing, dance and be yourself—this is a really safe space!”
“Thank you for having me, Stonewall,” she told the crowd after her performance, “and happy Pride!”
“I’m so happy I don’t have to keep this secret any longer,” Ferguson later tweeted. “Look who came to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall at the Stonewall Inn… Thank you for everything you do for the LGBTQ community. We heart you!”
Earlier in the evening, AEG, which promoted the event, presented Stonewall with a $50,000 check to support the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative (SIGBI), which focuses on developing LGBTQ anti-bias training standards.
The Pride celebration also included performances by Sara Bareilles, Vincint, Gavin Creel, Lea DeLaria, Jessica Vosk, and drag queen Jackie Dupree.
Of course, Swift isn’t the first A-lister to throw a song-brick at Stonewall. Madonna memorably made a surprise appearance at the legendary venue this past New Year’s Eve.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 14, 2019
Since the release of “You Need to Calm Down,” GLAAD has seen an influx of donations in the amount of $13, a reference to Swift’s favorite number.
“‘You Need to Calm Down’ is the perfect Pride anthem,” says Anthony Ramos, GLAAD’s director of talent engagement, “and we’re thrilled to see Taylor standing with the LGBTQ community to promote inclusivity, equality, and acceptance this Pride month.”
Swift, who made a generous donation to GLAAD herself, kicked off Pride Month with an open letter on social media to Sen. Lamar Alexander, from her home state of Tennessee, urging him to support the Equality Act and increase protections for the LGBTQ community. The 29-year-old pop star also publicly rejected President Donald Trump’s stance on the bill.
“While we have so much to celebrate, we also have a great distance to go before everyone in this country is truly treated equally,” Swift wrote in a rainbow-colored note to her fans.
The singer also encouraged fans to write letters to their own senators and created a Change.org petition urging the Senate to support the Equality Act.
The Grammy winner reportedly donated about $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) in April, thanking the organization for its ongoing fight to prevent anti-LGBTQ bills from becoming law in her home state.
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) June 15, 2019
Ahead of the midterm elections last November, Swift boosted voter registration in Tennessee by using her platform to support Democratic candidates over anti-LGBTQ Republican Marsha Blackburn, writing “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights.” Trump responded that he liked her music “about 25% less now.”
Last summer Swift recognized Pride Month with an inspiring speech at a Chicago concert. “It’s very brave to be vulnerable about your feelings in any situation,” she told the crowd, “but it’s even more brave to be honest about your feelings and who you love when you know that it might be met with adversity from society.”
Ferguson and his husband, Justin Mikita, are executive-producing a feature documentary about Stonewall Inn and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights.
Watch Swift’s full Stonewall performance below.