Taylor Swift confirms ‘Betty’ is a heterosexual love story and that sound you hear is a million queer hearts breaking
Queer Taylor Swift fans around the world hailed the artist’s new song “Betty” as a “sapphic tale of enemies to lovers”, but sadly she has clarified that this is not the case.
Staunch LGBT+ ally Taylor Swift released her surprise eighth studio album folklore on 23 July, and fans were convinced that one song in particular was a queer anthem.
On “Betty”, Swift sings from the perspective of a teenager who is in love and wants to kiss her lover on the porch.
The song opens: “Betty, I won’t make assumptions/About why you switched your homeroom but/I think it’s ’cause of me.”
Later in the song, she sings: “Yeah, I showed up at your party/Will you have me?/Will you love me?/ Will you kiss me on the porch/In front of all your stupid friends?”
But now, in an interview with Country Radio, Swift has crushed the dreams of queers around the world by revealing that she was actually singing from the perspective of a boy.
The album tells the story of a love triangle between three teenagers, Inez, James and Betty, named after the daughters of Swift’s good friends Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Although real-life James is a girl, according to Vulture, Swift said that the James in the song is a teenage boy.
She said: “James has lost the love of his life basically and doesn’t understand how to get it back.
“I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time.
“Everybody makes mistakes, everybody really messes up sometimes and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy.
“I’ve always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people’s perspectives. So that’s what I did on this one.”
Taylor Swift gives queer fans ‘gay whiplash’ over ‘Betty’ after confirming that James is a teenage boy.
Despite being given “gay whiplash” by Taylor Swift, many fans are still choosing to see “Betty” through a queer lens.
taylor swift confirms that "james" in betty was named after a girl but says the song is from a boy's perspective WHEW I'm having gay whiplash
— 𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕖 𝕞. (@rachellephant) August 7, 2020
I wish Taylor had left James' gender ambiguous. Kaylor shipping is fun, but what I liked about the love triangle is that its not explicitly hetero. James could be girl considering it's Ryan and Blake's daughters name. In my head Betty is still queer. https://t.co/5227ZVPnLp
— TheTzarina (@return_to_hades) August 10, 2020
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One person wrote on Twitter: “I wish Taylor had left James’ gender ambiguous… what I liked about the love triangle is that it’s not explicitly hetero.
“James could be girl considering it’s Ryan and Blake’s daughters name. In my head Betty is still queer.”
Just because she confirmed that James is a boy doesn’t mean people can’t still see it as a queer relationship or ship Betty with the other girl or whatever they want to 🙃🙃
— My⁷ | 𝒻𝑜𝓁𝓀𝓁𝑜𝓇𝑒 (@folkloretaetay) August 6, 2020
Another said: “Just because she confirmed that James is a boy doesn’t mean people can’t still see it as a queer relationship or ship Betty with the other girl or whatever they want to.”