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Taylor J. Swift Opens Up About Sharing Name With Taylor A. Swift

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Taylor J. Swift Opens Up About Sharing Name With Taylor A. Swift

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Night Two Of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Taylor A. Swift.
(Photo by TAS2023 via Getty Images)

Somewhere out there, there is someone who shares the same name as your favorite pop star — turns out, that someone is Taylor J. Swift, the Director of Government Capacity at POPVOX Foundation.

Swift, 30, opened up about sharing his name with the mega-famous pop star, Taylor A. Swift, who recently released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, in an essay published by Business Insider on April 20.

According to Taylor J., he was 15 when he first heard of the singer. “At first, I thought, no big deal, she’s a singer with a hit song or two, this won’t impact me — but I was wrong,” he shared.

At first, Taylor J. admitted that he found the similarity frustrating, especially as a teenager who had just started at a new school. “I had a Justin Bieber haircut, I had glasses, and I was on the debate team, it wasn’t a fun time,” he explained.

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“Similar to most kids, I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be, but a couple of high school bullies and a choir teacher who would make jokes about my name didn’t help,” Taylor J. added. “When it came time to go to college, and I was getting ready for a fresh start, I knew I had two choices. I could change my name, or I could start fresh and embrace it.” Taylor J. decided he’d “run with” the name Taylor Swift, instead of an abbreviation like “TJ.”

“Even though my name comes up in every social interaction, including in my political career, I’ve decided to embrace it, have fun with it, and see it as an overall positive,” he said. “I like my name and I think it has helped me more than it has hurt me, even at work.”

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Taylor A. Swift.
(Photo by Ashok Kumar/TAS24/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

He explained that having a name like “Taylor Swift” makes him memorable to “new staffers, new constituents, new lawmakers, or interns,” which is helpful for him when working somewhere like POPVOX, which “works to inform and empower people and make government work better for everyone,” according to the foundation’s website.

“It’s good to have something that helps you stand out — for me, it’s my name,” Taylor J. said, adding that he often makes Taylor Swift jokes and uses her lyrics in conversation to make other people feel “less weird” about his name, even congressional interns.

“To make them feel less weird about it, I pause, grab the microphone, and say, ‘Yes, my name is Taylor Swift. Please feel free to make jokes, I’ll just shake it off, later,’ a Taylor Swift reference,” he shared. “Then everybody laughs and they become more comfortable.”

He added, “Political work can be stressful, so if making a joke about my name makes someone laugh, smile, or remember me, I do it.” He noted that he will ask the press to refer to him as Taylor J. Swift in quotes so no one confuses him with the singer. “This way, no one wonders why Taylor Swift (without the J) is speaking on congressional modernization and oversight,” he quipped.

Despite the benefits of having a name like Taylor Swift, Taylor J. admitted it does take a little extra work for new people to take him seriously. “In the past, I think my name has thrown people off a bit. But, then as I engage in conversation with them, or if I’m briefing a member of Congress, or holding some sort of meeting, they see I’m serious about the work we’re doing,” Taylor J. said.

“I very much take pride in the work that we do, and after a minute, or two, people see how dedicated I am to the cause we’re working on and my name doesn’t take away from that.”

He concluded, “I now think, that if my name is the biggest struggle I have in life, I’m doing OK. It feels trivial to believe otherwise.”

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