Reid Arthur, a senior theater major at George Fox University, came out as gay this week at his school’s annual lip-sync battle. He had performed once before to a Taylor Swift song, but never like this.
Teen Vogue reports: “In a five-minute performance at the college that has denounced same-sex marriage, Arthur first lip-synchs to Swift’s ‘…Ready for It?,’ then transitions to ‘You Need to Calm Down.’ When the lyrics, ”Cause shade never made anybody less gay’ play, Arthur’s backup dancers rip off his coat to reveal a white T-shirt with rainbow strings hanging from its sleeves, meant to tell his classmates that he’s gay. The crowd gave Arthur a standing ovation and he won first place, which was $500 he says he plans to donate to an LGBTQ organization.”
Arthur’s performance caught the attention of Swift herself, who tweeted, “This just made me SO emotional. @reidoburrito95 I can’t tell you how honored I am that my song has been even a small part in your journey. You did the brave thing and stood up for your truth 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏”