You might know Taylor Swift, mega pop-star, and girlfriend of actor Joe Alwyn. And you might know that her BFF is Karlie Kloss, model and coder, fiancée of Joshua Kushner, brother to wretched Jared Kushner. But did you know that there’s an entire community of Karlie and Taylor stans who think the two of them are actually secretly in L-U-V?
The relationship is called “Kaylor” (and you can also be “a Kaylor”) and this nearly 40-slide Powerpoint presentation or this Tumblr post compiled by dedicated shippers might enlighten you if you’re confused. And I admit if I tilt my head a certain way and stare at their friendship, I could entertain Kaylor. For starters, I probably think too often about this passage in a 2014 Rolling Stone cover story of Swift:
Swift leads the way into one of her four guest bedrooms. “This is where Karlie usually stays,” she says – meaning supermodel Karlie Kloss, one of her new BFFs, whom she met nine months ago at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. There’s a basket of Kloss’s favorite Whole Foods treats next to the bed, and multiple photos of her on the walls.
Multiple photos! There was also their gushy Vogue spread in 2015 and the fact that I’m apparently supposed to believe that Swift’s Reputation song “Gorgeous,” which includes the chorus “You’re so gorgeous / I can’t say anything to your face,” is about her boyfriend Joe and not her best friend who is literally a model.
When Kloss announced her engagement this week to longtime beau Kushner, I worried for the Kaylor shippers. Many of them write online about how Kaylor has helped them realize their own sexuality. “The majority of us have been fans of Taylor and her music for a very long time and most of us are gay as well,” one Kaylor fan Abby writes to me. “The idea that a woman who has built a career on fairytale love stories, personal happiness and strength, and heartbreak could be singing about an experience we all share (loving women) is so powerful.”
So how are the Kaylors coping? Will they keep posting even after Kloss gets legit married to a MAN? I reached out to some Kaylor stans on Twitter and Tumblr to get their thoughts. Some were upset, others could see the engagement coming from a mile away. One Kaylor stan tried to deeply troll me by responding “I still believe that Taylor Swift and Kylie Jenner are secretly dating” and for that, I thank them. Most of them seem to think Scooter Braun had something to do with the engagement. Either way, it doesn’t seem like a diamond ring will stop the Kaylors.
Responses have been condensed and combined for clarity.
Beverly, 17, says she knew it was “only a matter of time”
I honestly was not shocked when I saw Karlie’s Instagram post due to the fact that other clients (Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber) under her manager, Scooter Braun, have also gotten recently engaged. I knew it was only a matter of time before they got engaged as so many were questioning why they weren’t engaged after a six year relationship. As well as the pressure on Josh to get married due to his age. My stance on Kaylor at the moment is tentative as anything could happen but also hopeful due to the fact that recently a “blind item” was shared that Taylor and Karlie would soon reunite after Karlie went through a big life event and that would eventually lead to Karlie and Josh’s breakup and the emergence of Kaylor. But again blind items could also be inaccurate and honestly who knows Karlie’s team’s strategy.
I think the biggest misconception about Kaylors is that we’re crazy. Yes there are some fans that take things a little too seriously and invade boundaries but every fandom has those kinds of fans and you can’t generalize an entire fandom based off a select few. Furthermore, I think that the only reason that Kaylor is slept on or that Kaylors are called crazy is that it’s absolutely unfathomable to the majority of fans that Taylor Swift, America’s Sweetheart, could possibly not be straight. If Karlie was a guy then every Swiftie would be shipping Kaylor. And just to add one more thought, I honestly think this engagement was a last ditch effort at saving Karlie’s fading career.
kaylor-otp.tumblr.com, 16, says it’s “heartbreaking”
First I don’t support Trump at all so it is really heartbreaking that Karlie considers Josh as a man to marry or even as a beard.... But I also think that Kaylor is in fact real! But I also have to say that after the announcement I was quite down and I thought for a short moment that Kaylor is dead but after thinking about all the evidence the Kaylor supporters have found I found new hope that the engagement is just a big ass lie. I will continue to believe in kaylor and I will stop when Karlie really is married! I think a lot of people just ignore all the signals and lyrics that Taylor gives I don’t know why but it sadly is like that.
Dee, 20, says she’s always been “a Joshlie shipper” anyway
To be honest, I’m really happy about the engagement, but also really sad that this means Kaylor had broken up. I’ve always been a Joshlie shipper too, because they’re so cute! Hahah. Kaylor is still the real deal. I believe that it really happened at some point. Whether it lasts for years or even only for months, we don’t know that for sure. The things that people still misunderstand about Kaylor is that in every platform of social media, we have different characteristics. If you had looked on Tumblr, you’ll see that we have [a] different reaction towards Karlie’s engagement. Safe to say, Kaylor in one platform does not represent the other.
Many people who [don’t] pay attention to their relationship said that they’re not friends anymore. I myself don’t believe that. I believe that something happened so they need to lay low. None of us know the truth about them, of course. From the pictures and how they act around each other, I think it’s safe to say, even if they never dated, they had a feeling towards each other.
Anonymous, 17, says she’s “happy for them both”
I personally believe that what it once was is over. Kaylor was a thing that happened back in 2014 and they slowly progressed into a downfall and now they are nothing. I don’t feel like they hate each other or anything it’s just awkward since they’ve both moved on and now that Karlie is married. I mean yeah I’m sad that it’s like official for Kaylor to be over now that Karlie is engaged, but just got to live and move on. I’m still watching and looking around for anything that’s wonky about the whole scooter Braun making all his clients engaged though. But honestly I don’t have much to say. Life is life and if they were never a thing that’s fine too. It’s not my place to run my mouth about someone else’s private life. I’m happy for them both regardless if they’re together or not.
Reputationisaboutkaylor.tumblr.com, 16, says it’s “just a PR stunt”
I believe that Karlies engagement is just a PR Stunt that her manager, Scooter set up. I still believe in Kaylor definitely, and it is the real deal. There is so much evidence pointing to it being real, such as kissgate and the Reputation album. As a Kaylor I feel like the thing that’s misunderstood is that we (Kaylors) are trying to break up Karlies and Taylors so called “boyfriends” or as we call them, beards. We are NOT trying to break them up, we are just open to the idea of how Taylor and Karlie are forced to stay in the closet. We are being supportive in both of the girls being homosexual. Another thing is that people are also mad that we are trying to out them. We never intend to ever give evidence that outs them for sure. I will still post Kaylor related things after karlie gets married (if she does) because taylor and karlie have definitely inspired me. For example, karlie inspired me to try coding and taylor also helped me step out of the comfort zone.
Anonymous, 22, says she’s “very happy for Karlie”
I don’t actually believe they are a real couple. I’m just a fan of both of them and I’m very happy for Karlie’s engagement. Most of the fans just want Taylor and Karlie to be happy.
Alice, 19, says she’s “quietly still hoping that their relationship is real”
I’m more a shipper than somebody who truly believes in Kaylor, so I have a distance for this and I’m chill about what is happening. I’m happy for their engagement, but I watched a lot of her old interviews and for me it’s clear she’s a lesbian, not even bi. [Josh] kinda looks just gay in the way how literally he stands, sits, etc. Maybe it’s just his way to be. I can only base on the pictures. I might be wrong ofc. So if it’s just a fake relationship, I get why they [are] doing this. Karlie works in a supportive industry so getting out of the closet would be much easier for her, but there are still very homophobic people.
Many people who just saw pictures of [the] engagement and Taylor with Joe can think Kaylor is dead, but the pics of them “hiding from paparazzi” are just clearly fake. And especially when somebody just doesn’t want to be [in] a photo, they’re doing everything to not be [caught.] It’s clear to me Taylor and Karlie will not do anything public very fast. I have a good [feeling] about Taylor’s 30th birthday, that something big happens. But I will take what the media will give us [to believe] what they say, quietly still hoping that their relationship is real.
Abby, 24, says she’s “cautiously optimistic” it’s a “long-con”
Definitely in the 24 hours after the announcement, there was a lot of shock and disgust, not only from me, but a lot of people. It’s not necessarily that I think that it’s a legitimate engagement, or even that I think Josh and Karlie will actually get married, but it seems like a foolish strategy. Not only does it seem like a transparent strategy (no ring in the original post, facetiming her family to tell them after the fact and posting it on Instagram even though her family is notoriously private), it seems like an absolutely tone-deaf one, considering the current political and social [climate.] Seeing Ivanka Trump comment on Karlie’s Instagram welcoming her to the family was alarming and revolting to say the least!
At the moment, there’s two distinct camps – either this is all in the master plan and Taylor is in on it, or they’re broken up and have been for some time. At first, I wholeheartedly believed the latter, as I do not believe Taylor would ever willingly align herself with someone willing to go so deep into the Trump extended family. However, I’ve somewhat softened my stance. There’s a lot of evidence that Taylor and Karlie are still close (signals from matching outfits, Taylor’s happiness in singing lyrics week after week that we believe are about her relationship with Karlie, social media posts, timing of Taylor’s off-days of her tour, just to name a few) that seem just as convincing as anything else.
I’m currently cautiously optimistic that this is in fact some sort of long-con strategy, one that they understand the negative consequences of. It’s not a stretch to think this is a stunt that will result in increased positive publicity for the Kushners at a time when they desperately need it, and Taylor (who has been noticeably silent, with not even an Instagram post) is involved in the strategy...I genuinely think it could go both ways, I want to hope, because the alternative is that Karlie has been very inauthentic about who she is and what she believes, and that would be heartbreaking. If nothing else, gay women are used to living on hope.