#QueerHeroes Day 16 – Lady Gaga
I’ll never forget watching Lady Gaga’s acceptance speech for the Fame Monster at the 2010 VMAs. She announced her upcoming single, “Born This Way” and sang the chorus to a wowed audience. It was right before I came out of the closet, and a year later, I’d run out of school to listen to it for the first time in my 2000 Camry.
A bisexual woman horrified at the onslaught of queer teen suicides, Gaga founded the Born This Way foundation in 2011. It’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a “braver, kinder world” for queer youth. It’s an important cause to her because she was relentlessly bullied herself until finding a niche in the dive bars she’d perform at in New York’s lower east side.
Over the years I’d listen to Judas on my way to confirmation class, I’d write a strongly worded letter to the editor of the school newspaper pointing out that the Hitchcock allusions in Bad Romance were not superficially sexual pop lyrics. I’d find myself constantly defending this woman, feeling a kinship in a way I’d never felt for a celebrity before.
Her fashion was dismissed as a gimmick. America’s obsession with her was decried as a phase. People claimed there was no sincerity in her, and now she’s come so far. I’m so proud that this legend is a part of our community.