Taylor Swift only "slightly” more of a gay icon than the Babadook, study finds

A new large-scale poll of LGBTQ+ Americans finds that not many people think Taylor Swift is a gay icon.

June 24, 2019
Taylor Swift only "slightly” more of a gay icon than the Babadook, study finds Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia / Smoking Gun productions

Buzzfeed News and Whitman Insight Strategies has undertaken a new large-scale survey of LGBTQ+ Americans, one of the most comprehensive of its kind, in anticipation of Pride Week. The survey, answered by around 800 LGBTQ+ people, includes data on issues such as police presence at Pride rallies, whether kink or families should be represented in parades, and whether the pride flag should be augmented to represent the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people of colour.

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Fascinatingly, the survey also asked respondents about which celebrities they feel are “gay icons,” from LGBTQ+ celebrities like Ellen to pop stars like Taylor Swift and Madonna to meme-ish cultural figures like horror movie villain the Babadook — the latter of which had a moment a few years back when it became the subject of numerous memes anointing it as a gay icon.

According to the survey, 78% of respondents feel that Ellen DeGeneres is a gay icon, 53% feel Lady Gaga is a gay icon, and only 9% believe Taylor Swift is a gay icon. This is not for want of trying — a large portion of Swift’s Lover album campaign has leaned on her supposed allegiance to the LGBTQ+ community, with the musician donning rainbow flag playsuits and releasing videos packed with drag queen cameos, among other things. This 9% figure is barely higher than the Babadook, who 6% of respondents said is a gay icon. Both Swift and the Babadook scored lower than Cher and Madonna, at 40% and 36%, respectively. View the entirety of the survey here.

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Taylor Swift only "slightly” more of a gay icon than the Babadook, study finds