Taylor Swift has built a career on writing deeply personal song lyrics about her relationships, friendships, reputation, and more—but there’s one aspect of her personal life she’s always kept private: her political opinions. The singer is famously apolitical, and many have criticized her for not endorsing a candidate in the 2016 election.
That changed today, though. The singer just posted a lengthy message on Instagram that explained why she’s been silent until now, as well as making it unequivocally clear which way she’ll be voting in the upcoming midterm elections.
“I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee,” Swift wrote. “In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”
One of those events Swift may be referring to is Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court yesterday. The timing is notable given that last year Swift won a symbolic $1 after a former radio DJ was found guilty of groping her during a 2014 meet-and-greet.
But it seems sexual assault isn’t the only reason Swift’s been moved to speak out. “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” she wrote in her post. “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”
Swift then made it very clear who she will and will not be voting for in the upcoming midterm elections. “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” she wrote. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.”
She ended the message by encouraging her fans to vote. “Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway,” Swift wrote. “So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to vote.org and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!”
See her full post, below: