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Taylor Swift's eighth studio album Folklore includes many songs telling fictional stories starring imaginary characters. One of those stories was told over not just one, but three songs, because girl's a lyrical genius. "Betty," "August," and "Cardigan" together tell three perspectives on one teenage love triangle. It would take you several listens and printouts of the lyrics, highlighter in hand, for you to decode the whole story, but fans were quick to believe that one song in particular, "Betty," is a queer anthem. However, Swift herself just confirmed that it's not.
In an interview with Country Radio, Tay detailed her inspiration behind the teenage love triangle, and it wasn't quite what fans expected. The three characters, Betty, James, and Inez were all named after Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold's daughters, which led Swifties to believe that the characters in the story were all girls, too.
However, in the interview, Swift repeatedly refers to James as a "he" and a "17-year-old teenage boy." Womp womp.
“Everybody makes mistakes, everybody really messes up sometimes, and this is a song that I wrote from the perspective of a 17-year-old boy," Swift told Country Radio. "I’ve always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people’s perspectives. So that’s what I did on this one.”
Swift continued by explaining how James is feeling during the song, and it's a relatable situation for anyone. “James has lost the love of his life basically and doesn’t understand how to get it back," she said. "I think we all have these situations in our lives where we learn to really, really give a heartfelt apology for the first time."
Fans, however, are still ready to love and interpret "Betty" however they please.
“Betty” is still a lesbian anthem in our lil queer hearts and that’s what matters most pic.twitter.com/sYSsZeTSLD— Amanda Louise (@onelousyllama) August 6, 2020
betty by taylor swift is a queer song everyone knows this but taylor swift— megan (@maygenhopez) August 6, 2020
Although this news is a bit of a bummer, we'll still be singing along to "Betty" while wearing our cardigans and pretending it's about whoever we want it to be.