Taylor Swift Is Loud and Very Proud in 2019 MTV VMAs Opener

Taylor Swift, her choreographer Todrick Hall, and the drag stars TSwift’s drag and influencer-studded video homage to the LGBTQ community kicked f Monday night’s MTV VMAs with a 4-D rainbow explosion Too Much with “You Need to Calm Down,” before slipping on a blazer (the international sign taking things down a notch) for a much lower-key, one-woman-with-a-guitar rendition her ballad “Lover.”

Taylor later won the evening’s Video For Good award for “You Need to Calm Down,” and stepped aside to let Todrick give a pride-filled acceptance speech. “If you are a young child watching this show who is different, who feels misunderstood, we have never needed you more than now to share your art, share your stories, share your truth with the world no matter what you identify as, who you love,” he told the cheering crowd. “This is such a beautiful place. Thank you so much, VMAs.”

“In this video, several points were made, so you voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally under the law, regardless who we love, regardless how we identify,” the singer said when accepting this year’s Video the Year award. She pointed to the massive fan response to the video’s petition calling for Senate support the Equality Act, gesturing to her wrist that it’s about time the act were passed. “My cast lives their lives so authentically. Thank you for being the example that you are. I love you guys so much.”