Álainn or Appallin’: Lady Gaga
We often talk about “our straight brothers and sisters” and how important it is to have “straight allies”, although bisexual, many people hold Lady Gaga up to be the perfect example of both. Born Stefani Germanotta in 1986, this New Yorker has become the icon of our time and is looked up to by countless teens and young adults. Gaga hit the ground running with her debut album in 2008, The Fame, which went to number one in no less than nine world wide record charts. She subsequently released an extended version, The Fame Monster, in 2009. Her two debut singles Just Dance and the massive Poker Face (about her bisexuality) cemented Gaga at the very top of the music industry and it seems she is happy to remain just there. Working tirelessly her live shows gain rave reviews all over the world.
Tour after tour and hit after hit this controversial artist, and she is an artist in every sense of the word, has grabbed the headlines for her wardrobe almost as much as her music. However, it is as an advocate for the LGBT community that she has won many hearts. Who could forget the tweet she received from the late Jamey Rodemeyer and her subsequent moving tribute?
For me it is the sincerity with which she supports our community that I find most touching. It never seems staged or just done to be different, at last there is an icon that uses their position to talk about tolerance and love. You get the impression she had a hard time of it herself, being different from the norm, and that she really does want acceptance to be her message.
I am sure many people are put off by her eccentric dress sense, not least the infamous meat dress at the MTV awards or arriving at the Grammys in what can only be described as an egg pod. However, as we all know, you need to look beyond the surface whenever you weigh up a person and Gaga definitely fits into that category. She isn’t being different to grab the headlines, she is just being herself and to hell with you if you don’t get it, exactly what better role model can there be?
As LGBT’s we have to applaud her Born This Way single, the title track from her second studio album. It’s like a wonderful It Gets Better video and I defy anyone to dislike it. To think that millions of young people, gay, straight, trans and everything else, are listening to songs like this is heart warming. Imagine, someone singing about tolerance is cool these days, it’s about time.
Not to mention her drag persona, Jo Calderone, who she attended the American MTV music awards as earlier this year. Jo was never a joke but another attempt at pushing what is accepted. Annie Lennox having done something similar in 1984.
In an interview with MTV she was asked about how she got started, finding it initially difficult to get radio play Gaga says
The turning point for me was the gay community… I’ve got so many gay fans and they’re so loyal to me and they really lifted me up. They’ll always stand by me and I’ll always stand by them. It’s not an easy thing to create a fanbase. … Being invited to play [the San Francisco Pride rally], that was a real turning point for me as an artist.
Wow, someone actually remembers that we gave them a shot before anyone else, perhaps some boy bands out there and a few other artists should take note. Not only that, but when attending the 2010 MTV awards Gaga was accompanied by four service members who, under DADT, were stopped from serving openly and proudly. Earlier this year I was in Rome when she attended Europride, she gave a 20 minute speech about human rights and equality, saying
Today and every day we fight for freedom. We fight for justice. We beckon for compassion, understanding and above all we want full equality now
She also did an acoustic version of Born This Way that was just amazing. My favourite quote, however, has to be
I am a child of diversity, I am one with my generation, I feel a moral obligation as a woman, or a man, to exercise my revolutionary potential and make the world a better place. And, on a gay scale of 1 to 10, I’m a Judy Garland f*cking 42.
So what do you think? Is Gaga just using the gay audience to sell records and be controversial or do you agree with me when I say that she is a very powerful voice for equality of all kinds all over the globe?