Lady Gaga: Gay Icon; Gay Activist
Lady Gaga has 146 million single sales, six Grammy Awards, and leads in most rankings dealing with being an influential figure. Because of these standings, the LGBTQ community is fortunate to have her as an activist.
Even deeper, Lady Gaga has true roots in the cause. She explains in an open letter that she even suffers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from all of her experiences in being discriminated against. From her recent Super Bowl performance, to standing a gay flag on top of a mountain, to her non-profit organization, Born This Way, Gaga cares and is making strides.
Gaga kicked off her Super Bowl performance with lines from traditional, American songs: “The Pledge of Allegiance”, “God Bless America”, and “This Land is Your Land”. I.e., she was very plainly, from the start, going to get real and political in this performance.
The timing matters, too. The Super Bowl took place just two weeks after President Trump was sworn into the presidency. Trump is known for going back and forth in his stance with LGBTQ rights. Lady Gaga sang lyrics from one of her all-time greatest hits, “Born This Way” which has many lines stating she is gay, she is strong, and she is proud. Let’s not forget she started off her performance with drones in the shape of the American flag… no big deal.
“Music is one of the most powerful things the world has to offer. No matter what race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or gender that you are, it has the power to unite us, so this performance is for everyone. I want to, more than anything, create a moment that everybody who’s watching will never forget—not for me, but for themselves,” stated Gaga in a recent press conference. So, for anyone who thinks the flag, the patriotic songs, and the gay lyrics were all just a coincidence: think again.
Gaga has been open about her sexuality even early on in her career. This all began in 2009. She has even been targeting specific policies discriminating against gays and does so in very memorable ways. For example, Gaga took her stance against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy by dressing up in a meat dress saying “if we don’t fight for our rights, pretty soon we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones”.
The coolest thing about Gaga is her action with politics. Let’s be honest, most celebrities that call for change do so in their songs and maybe in a few press conferences here in there: Not Lady Gaga. This activist even takes to YouTube to encourage her fans to call their senators and marches in protests.
Gaga also walked away from a big, moneymaker deal with Target when the company refused to donate to LGBTQ charities. Go on, name someone at her level of fame that actually makes decisions that will benefit society as a whole rather than his or her net worth.
Lady Gaga and her mother founded the Born This Way Foundation in 2012. The foundation is focused on empowering youth to remain to true to themselves and fighting bullying. The foundation strives to “create a kinder and braver world”.
Gaga sees the importance of starting change with the youth. After all, they are the next generation and will make decisions impacting our future. The youth is where change begins. The Born This Way Foundation has one other big name behind, other than Gaga: Harvard University. That’s some pretty good backing for what the celebrity calls her “passion project”.
In a statement, Lady Gaga said “My mother and I have initiated a passion project […] to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment.” The Foundation has had opportunities to speak around the country and even in the White House. President Obama has mentioned speaking to her on the topic of gay rights in his press conferences before.