Taylor Swift announced last night that she’d be dropping the music video for “Lavender Haze” at midnight. This is the first track off Midnights and the third video she’s released from the album. Back in October she put together a teaser for all the videos she’d made; we’ve already seen “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled” …

… and now the visuals for “Lavender Haze” have been revealed. 


You’ll note, though, that that teaser was set to “Mastermind”, the last track on the standard edition of Midnights. And “Mastermind” comes up in the “Lavender Haze” video in the form of an album jacket, with two constellations depicted: Sagittarius and Pisces. The Archer and the Fish. Also Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn, as those are their respective zodiac signs. LOL, now I finally understand, four years later, the multi-layer significance of her song “The Archer” off her album Lover

Swifties, of course, would have understood this long ago. They’re onto the more complicated Easter eggs in the video. 


Since I don’t have a PhD in Taylor Swift coding, my interest here is in the aesthetic. The video is so pretty. And she is very, very pretty in it. The makeup is gorgeous. And I’m partial to the styling – the sweater tank and the corduroy pants because a version of it is hanging in my closet, which I will shamelessly show you. I call it “Judy Blume Teenager”, straight out of 1973, which is the vibe Taylor’s leaning into right now. 


Taylor’s co-star in the video is model and activist Laith Ashley. It goes without saying, he’s hot, like most music video love interests. But there’s more to Laith, and specifically the fact that he’s been cast to play the object of Taylor’s lust and affection: 

The timing of this is interesting, at least to me. It may not have been entirely intentional, but it’s interesting. Because one of the big news stories this week has been Pope Francis saying during an interview with the Associated Press that “being homosexual is not a crime”. Of course it’s not. Being who you are is a human right. So I’m not saying that the pope’s statement is some revelatory sh-t. But, at the same time, it’s a major declaration from the head of the Catholic Church given the institution’s previous position on 2SLGBTQ+ rights. 


There are some who don’t think this is enough. It is not enough. This doesn’t absolve the Catholic Church of its crimes, its sordid legacy, its corruption, its exploitation. But two things can be true. Their past is pathetic and also, there can be some positive takeaways from what Pope Francis said. Here’s a tweet that has really stayed with me the last few days – and you can apply it not just to this issue but to so many issues that we’re struggling with in our communities. 

“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” 

Is what he said the ultimate answer to everything? Is it all solved now? F-ck no. He also said that he still considers homosexuality a sin so, again, we don’t need to be giving him any flowers. But what Charlotte Clymer is saying is that progress doesn’t happen with one move but a series of them. And that if we keep looking for one perfect shot to fix our problems, we’ll never get anywhere. 


What’s urgent right now for the 2SLGBTQ+ community is harm reduction. Violence against trans people, in particular, continues to rise. They experience discrimination constantly. If Pope Francis’s words can potentially reduce the violence and discrimination for 2SLGBTQ+ people, then there is some value here. Yes, there can be more value added, he can do better, and we should ask for better, but we can also, as Charlotte urges, see the value in this statement. 

Once again, if you have time, read this thread. You don’t have to agree with it. All I’m saying is that what Charlotte is sharing here is worth considering, for perspective.