Just a few days after Taylor Swift praised fans for helping her support LGBTQ+ rights at the MTV VMAs, the White House responded to Swift's petition supporting the Equality Act. While accepting the award for "You Need to Calm Down," the singer pointed out that her petition — which she first created as part of her Pride Month celebrations — had earned "half a million signatures, which is five times the amount it would need to warrant a response from the White House." The singer then looked at her wrist, as if to imply that she was still waiting on an answer about the petition.
The Trump Administration finally did respond shortly after Swift's acceptance speech, when White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere released at statement on Tuesday, Aug. 27. "The Trump administration absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights," Deere said, according to CNN.
While the singer hasn't reacted to the White House's response, Swift's friend — and the co-producer of the "You Need to Calm Down" music video — Todrick Hall shared his thoughts on the statement during an appearance on CNN on Aug. 27. "To me it doesn't matter ... how beautifully written your response is at the end of the day and the core of the statement there is still in my opinion hate in that statement," Hall told CNN host Brooke Baldwin. "I don't know what poison pills or things that would prevent you from ... being a great parent in that statement."
He continued, "I think at the end of the day, you know what is right and you know what is wrong and you know that everybody deserves to have equal rights and I applaud Taylor for fighting for that and I will continue fighting that battle with her."
During his conversation with Baldwin, Hall also revealed that he and Swift talked about her bringing up the Equality Act petition onstage at the VMAs before she decided to reference it in her acceptance speech. "I just had a conversation with her because she knew how many people signed the petition saying that this is something that they want," the actor, singer and dancer explained. "If 500,000 people — and I'm sure that number is rapidly growing even right now as people are watching this — are saying that this is the way they view the world."
"I just think as someone who has grown up in this world and felt very misunderstood for a very long time, I love the fact that she's using this platform to not just say a speech and thank the directors and people who helped her get her career to a level it is at," Hall continued. "She's saying that we need this because people like me as one of her best friends, I wouldn't normally have that platform to be able to make such a huge statement. And I just felt so proud and I got chills all over my body when she said it."
In addition to using her acceptance speech to advocate for the Equality Act, Swift made sure that her LGBTQ+ costars were celebrated as well at the VMAs. According to RuPaul's Drag Race alumnus Trinity K. Bone't — who played Cardi B in the video clip — Swift made sure that all of her "YNTCD" costars got two Moon Men, one for each of the awards the video won. "I just want you all to know," Bone't said in an Instagram Story after the awards show, "that Taylor Swift made sure that each and every one of us gets two Moon Men."
"[Taylor said] that she would not perform unless we got awards too," Bone't explained. "So I'm going to have two Moonmen in my house with my name on it for Video of the Year at the f*cking VMAs!"
Clearly, Swift's role as an ally for the LGBTQ+ community is something she takes very seriously, and while the White House isn't supporting the Equality Act right now, we're sure that this is far from the last stand that Swift will take in order to support equal rights.