American singer Taylor Swift showed support for LGBTQ rights in her home state of Tennessee by donating a generous amount of USD 113,000 to an organisation called Tennessee Equality Project (TEP). The organisation has been working to keep state lawmakers from passing a series of bills that Swift and others characterise as a "slate of hate".
The 29-year-old singer also penned a handwritten note on why she felt so "inspired by the work" the organisation does. TEP's executive director, Chris Sanders, posted a photo of Swift's letter on the organisation's Facebook page and praised the singer for her gift. "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 began her letter.
"Please convey my heartfelt thanks to them and accept this donation to support the work you and these leaders are doing. I'm so grateful that they're giving all people a place to worship," she added.
Sanders said in his caption that TEP was "honoured and grateful" for her note and donation. "Taylor Swift has been a long time ally to the LGBTQ community. 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," Sanders wrote alongside the picture. He continued, "Tennessee Equality Project is honoured and grateful to reveal Taylor Swift has made a donation of $113,000 to support our efforts at this critical moment."
Swift broke her usual apolitical stance just before the 2018 midterm elections in November last year when she posted a photo of herself on Instagram and urged her followers to vote. "I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for human rights I believe we all deserve in this country. I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG," she wrote in her Instagram post then.
"I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin colour, gender or who they love. Vote based on who most closely represents your values," she had said.
According to Variety, the legislation being considered includes ones that allow private adoption agencies to raise religious and moral objections over prospective parents. Another one is aimed at transgender individuals, including one that requires the state to defend school districts that necessitate students to use the bathroom of their assigned sex at birth.
(With inputs from agencies.)