Taylor Swift Donates $113,000 To Tennessee LGBTQ Advocacy Group
Taylor Swift is putting her money where her mouth is.
On Monday, the singer-songwriter donated $113,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), a pro-LGBTQ advocacy organization that lobbies state lawmakers on LGBTQ issues, that is fighting Tennessee’s “slate of hate,” a group of bills advocates have found to be harmful to the state’s LGBTQ community.
Along with Swift’s generous donation, she sent a handwritten note to the organization’s executive director, Chris Sanders and explained why she felt “inspired by the work” they do.
INCREDIBLE: Taylor Swift just made a sizable donation to @tnequality and wrote a heartfelt note thanking the organization for its work in trying to defeat the anti-LGBTQ "slate of hate" in Tennessee. #tnleg pic.twitter.com/cChF3Esd4Q
— Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow) April 8, 2019
“Dear Chris, I’m writing you to say that I’m so inspired by the work you do, specifically in organizing the recent petition of Tennessee faith leaders standing up against the ‘Slate of Hate’ in our state legislature,” Swift wrote in the note that was shared on the organization’s Facebook page.
“Please convey my heartfelt thanks to them and accept this donation to support the work you and those leaders are doing. I’m so grateful that they’re giving all people a place to worship,” she continued.
In the organization’s caption, Sanders wrote that TEP was “honored and grateful” for Swift’s donation and her note.
“Taylor Swift has been a long-time ally to the LGBTQ community,” Sanders wrote. “She sees our struggle in Tennessee and continues to add her voice with so many good people, including religious leaders, who are speaking out for love in the face of fear.”
“Tennessee Equality Project is honored and grateful to reveal Taylor Swift has made a donation of $113,000 to support our efforts at this critical moment,” he continued.
The organization has been battling a series of bills in Tennessee Legislature it says target the LGBTQ community.
In the past, Swift has been criticized for appearing apolitical, as unlike other celebrities, she did not publicly endorse a candidate in the 2016 presidential election. But during last year’s midterm elections, she broke her silence and endorsed Tennessee Democrat Phil Bredesen over Republican Marsha Blackburn for an open U.S. Senate seat. One of Swift’s reasons for doing so was her belief that Blackburn would not protect LGBTQ rights.
“As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” Swift wrote in an Instagram post at the time. “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.”
Bredesen lost the election, but her social media post did influence a huge voter registration turnout. Vote.org’s director of communications Kamari Guthrie told BuzzFeed News at the time on Oct. 8, “We are up to 65,000 registrations in a single 24-hour period since T. Swift’s post.”
Many fans, celebrities, and LGBTQ advocates are applauding Swift for her recent donation to TEP.
“As a gay Tennessean who loves Taylor Swift, one could say this news is … taylor-made for me,” Nick Morrow, a spokesperson for LGBTQ rights group Human Rights Campaign, wrote on Twitter.
As a gay Tennessean who loves Taylor Swift, one could say this news is………. taylor-made for me
— Nick Morrow (@NRMorrow) April 9, 2019
“@TaylorSwift13, this lit up my heart,” Ellen DeGeneres wrote on Twitter in response to the news.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 9, 2019