Gays for Gaga, Gaga for gays

The symbiotic relationship between the pop sensation and the popular gay rights movement

Ayame Ulrich

There seems to be no larger fan base for pop sensation Lady Gaga than the gay community; they love Gaga, no question about it.

It is unclear whether they love her for her unique, cutting-edge style, which she describes as “eccentric,” or for her David Bowie and Madonna-inspired music.

Whatever makes the gay community go gaga, it’s rightfully deserved by the star, who does a glorious job showing her love and giving back to the gay community – especially when it comes to equality.

Before Lady Gaga, a.k.a. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, gained commercial success and sky-rocketed to fame in 2008 with her first album, The Fame, she couldn’t get radio airplay.

That changed when an LGBT* marketing company in Manhattan began to work with her label and give her the spark that she needed. After that, she started to gain a fan base.

The star is humble about her companionship with the gay community.

“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 fan base,” she stated.

Although Lady Gaga has publicly demanded equal rights for gays and lesbians, her biggest contribution to the cause occurred recently, when she demanded that the U.S. military’s Don’t ask, don’t tell (DADT) policy be repealed.

DADT is a policy created in 1993 by former president Bill Clinton that prevents all gays, bisexuals and lesbians from serving openly in the U.S. military.

About 14,000 soldiers have been fired under this policy, 400 of them since Barack Obama became president. It was time the policy ended, and luckily Gaga had the power to help.

The icon’s first stand took place at the 2010 MTV Music Awards. Gaga turned heads and dropped jaws at she strutted the red carpet with gay and lesbian soldiers who had been discharged or opted out from the U.S. army due to DADT.

This bold move was very controversial, but it never fazed the star.

In September 2010, shortly after the music awards, Gaga put out an online video that urged fans to contact their senators and demand for a repeal of the policy.

Gaga personally called out her senators and then phoned them. Her devotion to the issue showed that she truly does support and stand for the gay community.

Lady Gaga helped bring overdue justice to the gays. The star is a key factor in why the Senate repealed the policy in December 2010 and President Obama signed the papers. Her commitment, loyalty and perseverance helped evoke change and bring equality.

The bond between Gaga and the gay community only grows stronger, one overcome obstacle at a time.

Lady Gaga needed an army at first to help her get going, and the gay community became that army. This true alliance was successful in breaking down another wall of inequality.

High profile celebrities have an amazing opportunity to use their voices for great causes and should be praised when they do so.

Graeme Coleman is a student at the University of Winnipeg.

Published in Volume 65, Number 16 of The Uniter (January 20, 2011)

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