"Who are These People?" - The Cast of Taylor Swift's “You Need to Calm Down” Music Video

EntertainmentCulture and Lifestyle
Jun 21, 2019

A lot of things happened in Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down video.” There are so many people, and probably just as many colors. All our favorite LGBTQ+ celebrities seem to have so much fun dancing around, having tea in their little rainbow-themed town. Things may have gone by too fast for some to notice each and every celebrity who appeared in the “You Need to Calm Down” video, so here is a list of all of them as they appear in the video. 

Dexter Mayfield

Dexter Mayfield is a dancer, choreographer, plus-sized model, and actor. He has been an advocate of body positivity. He has broken down barriers, especially in the fashion industry by walking on the runway of high fashion designers like Marco Marco. In the video, Dexter Mayfield is in a rainbow ensemble, dancing his heart out.

Hannah Hart

Hannah Hart came to the public eye through her successful Youtube channel My Drunk Kitchen. Since then, she has become multi-hyphenated. She is an author, “influencer,” podcaster, a TV personality, and an LGBT rights advocate. She appears in the “You Need to Calm Down” video with Dexter Mayfield. She is dancing along with Mayfield while holding a boombox.

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox is a trans woman actress from Orange is the New Black. She is a vocal activist for trans rights. She has been an inspiration for many trans persons who have struggled with body issues and with being a minority. She appears in a pink dress, watering her lawn, and looking fabulous as usual.

Chester Lockhart

Chester Lockhart is an openly gay musician and theater actor. Prior to his fame as a musician, Lockhart has appeared in multiple stage productions like Mulan and Hairspray. Some of his songs include "In Loving Memory" and "Spell on You." In “You Need to Calm Down,” Lockhart is decked in pink and holding a trans flag. 

Todrick Hall

Todrick Hall is a singer, songwriter, actor, director, choreographer, and YouTuber. He gained fame through American Idol, and has since been a regular staple as guest judge and/or choreographer at RuPaul’s Drag Race. His album Forbidden was released just last year. He has also starred in Broadway shows Kinky Boots and Chicago. In the video, he walks and dances with Taylor Swift. He also has tea with Swift and the Fab 5 in the latter part of the video.

Hayley Kiyoko

A former Disney star, Hayley Kiyoko made a big splash in the music industry when she released “Girls Like Girls” in 2015. She has since been dubbed as the “Lesbian Jesus”  for being an icon and activist. Her latest album Expectations was released in 2018. She hits the bulls-eye with a bow and arrow in the music video.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita

Husbands Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita are depicted as a couple getting married in “You Need to Calm Down.” Ferguson is an openly gay actor who famously plays the role of Mitchell in the sitcom Modern Family, for which he has won an Emmy. His husband Mikita is a lawyer.


Ciara officiates Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita’s wedding in the music video. Ciara is a famous R&B singer, songwriter, dancer, and model. Aside from her outstanding career, Ciara is known for her philanthropic contributions in cancer research and to Dosomething.org. 

Tan France

Tan France is a prominent English fashion designer. He gained fame when he starred in Netflix’s Queer Eye , becoming part of the Fab 5. He has also published a memoir where he talks about being a gay Muslim. He appears multiple times in the music video of “You Need to Calm Down.” He appears separately from his Fab 5 buddies. He walks while carrying a teapot, from which he eventually drinks.

Adam Rippon

Adam Rippon is an Olympic figure skater. He won the bronze medal with his team in a team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. He is the first openly gay figure skater to win a medal at the Olympics. In “You Need to Calm Down,” Rippon hands out snow cones in a crop top.

Fab 5

The Fab 5 from Netflix’s Queer Eye also appear in the music video. Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness have tea with Todrick Hall and Taylor Swift in a cute round table. The Fab 5 has been an inspiration not only for gays but for everyone else in America. Each of the Fab 5 has helped change lives and attitudes all over the country.

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert was a runner-up in American Idol. He has risen to fame as his own brand of singer and song-writer. Lambert is also open about being gay and has helped promote LGBTQ+ tolerance in the music industry. Lambert's latest album Velvet is bound to come out in 2019. In the video of “You Need to Calm Down,” he gives Ellen DeGeneres a tattoo.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres hardly needs an introduction. The comedian first came out as a Lesbian in 1997. She is an icon for many and she supports many advocacies. DeGeneres is certainly one of the people who has paved the way for more LBGTQ+ visibility in the mainstream media.

Billy Porter

Billy Porter is known for his role as Pray Tell in the FX Show Pose . Prior to that, he has starred in various theater productions. At the 2019 MET Gala, he made a splash with his entrance dressed like a Sun God being carried by six men. In “You Need to Calm Down,” Porter struts in front of the protesters in a red caftan and an afro while Taylor Swift tells the protesters to not step on his gown. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race Alum Drag Queens

Drag Race Alums Jade Jolie (as Taylor Swift), Trinity K. Bonet (as Cardi B), A’keria Davenport (as Nicki Minaj), Delta Work (as Adele), Adore Delano (as Katy Perry), Trinity the Tuck (as Lady Gaga), and Tatianna (as Ariana Grande) are dressed as celebrity impersonators in a pop queen pageant. Each one looks fierce and fabulous just as they do in their own careers. These drag queens are not just entertainers; they are also activists.

RuPaul Charles

RuPaul is not just the host of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The mogul is the one who cemented the place of drag race in mainstream media. RuPaul recognizes true talent in drag queens and gives them a platform to let their talents known. In the video, RuPaul is carrying a crown, which he throws in the air for everyone.

Katy Perry

Dressed in the same hamburger outfit she wore at the 2019 Met Gala, Katy Perry surprisingly appears in the “You Need to Calm Down” music video. Her appearance ends the years-long quarrel between her and Taylor Swift. Truly, there is no more pitting these two against each other.

Ryan Reynolds

Reynolds is not part of the LGBTQ+ community, but he most certainly is an ally. His Deadpool is a pansexual. In the video, he is shown painting a picture of a Pride parade.

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