Lady Gaga Doesn’t Get It
Yes, that’s right. At the risk of being black balled from the queer scene entirely, I have something critical to say about Lady Gaga. Now, I like Lady Gaga’s music; I listen to it on a regular basis, I like her queery genderfucking costuming, and I plot multiple drag numbers to her songs. Upon first discovering her, I figured she was queer and was taking her identity to fuck with society, good for her. But now its become apparent that this ‘Lady Gaga’ experience is more complicated that just her being one of us.
In an interview by Times Online this past weekend, Gaga is described as having “legendary” devotion and promotion of “gay culture.” First of all, I think you gotta be around longer than a few years to be legendary. Second, I definitely was not aware that Lady Gaga had been appointed our PR rep. Gaga is described AND describes herself like she is the mother AND savior of queers everywhere, but when it comes to her listing “all the freaks” that she parents she names gay and lesbian men and women, but not even her own community of bisexuals! And as usual us trans kids aren’t included, or maybe we are absorbed into the greater “gay.” Surprise, surprise.
Third, and most importantly, what exactly is “gay culture?” I didn’t know there was one big “gay culture” that all of us fit into. Last time I checked all “gay” people aren’t homogeneously living in one bubble of fads, fashion, and fabulousness. (The word does has homo in it, so maybe that’s where they made the mistake.) The author, who has a crush on Gaga so obvious that I didn’t know if I was reading a legit article or a 15 year old’s diary, talks about Gaga like she is a superhero or a ghost – hence describing her as legendary. The article records a trip to a Berlin bar/sex-club, describing the people there by listing the most culturally ‘shocking’ elements, just to make sure the reader knows this is a place where GAY PEOPLE hang out and have chain and leather studded SEX. Gaga is described as follows:
“Bisexual herself, while her musical education might have been classical, her cultural education was homosexual.. .”
Her “cultural education was homosexual”? Can someone please tell me what the fuck that means? What, so she grew up around homos? She was born in a gay bar? Please tell me, cause I can’t even begin to rant about what the fuck this is about. So I’ll just move on to the next topic. Gaga discusses feminism, stating that feminism is about “protecting who [women] are, down to the core.” Which she then connected to her interest in a transman who played a role in her video Telephone. I assume that here she is trying to support trans identities through all this- saying that based on her feminist principles, a woman has a right to be herself, even if herself is actually himself. If she were talking about me I wouldn’t consider that to be an ideal thought process, but others may not have a problem with it. It could be worse. But then she describes the guy as such:
“…the girl I kiss… lives as a man. And as someone who does like women, something about a more masculine woman makes me feel more… feminine.”
But hey Gaga, new flash he isn’t a masculine woman, he’s a man. [5.25.10 Correction: the person in question here is not a transguy, but I stand by my assertion about her apparent concept of female masculinity. And since the person she is describing is indeed not male identified, then what does she mean by ‘lives as a man?’ Gender role stereotype anyone? If she isn’t a man, then how can she live as one? Or does she, or in Gag’s view, just live like one and its an issue of semantics?] Clearly she doesn’t know shit about trans identities. So much for being the mother of all the freaks. She can’t even tell us apart. You may argue “Nobody’s perfect or always says the right thing,” but like as not you say that because your identity is probably not the one being fucked up here. If she’s gonna claim to be some awesome freak-icon, she should know her shit. If she likes us so much, fucking educate yourself. Gaga says that her new video for the song ‘Alejandro’ is “a celebration and an admiration of gay love” but then she says that it is also about:
“the purity of my friendships with my gay friends… And how I’ve been unable to find that with a straight man in my life… I’m pining for the love of my gay friends – but they just don’t want me.”
Ok, so Gaga can’t get a boyfriend (guess she isn’t looking for a gf) and so she swoons over her gay guy friends who aren’t interested. Honestly, this sounds more like an anthem for straight people than for queers. So thanks for the attention Gaga, but really this is about you not us and our “gay love” – which is apparently different than straight love. But that isn’t the worst of it. Gaga says that the song
“…confesses my [Gaga’s] envy of the courage and bravery they require to be together.”
Let me get this, so Gaga is JEALOUS that we, queer people, have to fight against society to be together. She is jealous of our OPPRESSION. She thinks its cool to be gay; our struggles are fascinating and romantic to her. She is dreaming of being tortured by some Romeo and Juliet-like love, jealous of our pain like some angsty teenager who is trying to find some purpose in life. She dramatizes our fight to live our lives as a fantastical melodrama that she admittedly wants to be apart of. How the hell is that not a mother fuckin’ problem? Why don’t we just set up some cages on the side of the road so Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kathy Griffin, and all the other lookie-loos can stop by and pretend to be a part of the ‘gay’ struggle. We can sell “gay? fine by me” t-shirts and host how-to sessions on how to be a pop-culture friend to the gays, hosted by Lady Gaga, PhD in Homosexual Cultural Education. People entertain themselves as being “devoted” to us and “promoting” us (whatever that means) but really, they just thinks we’re neat and wants to eat lunch with us. They call themselves allies but like Kate says, we don’t need allies we need members. I know plenty heterosexual people who are bigger and better queers than some folks who wear a supposed ‘gay identity’ or claim ‘ally’ but don’t know their ass from their elbow about us or our communities. Like straight people who want to be friends with queers because it gives them brownie points. I really think I should just start asking for cash. And as society gets more “liberal” and the demand for ‘token gays’ increases we can expand the trade; Token work, trading social relationships for money. Its the next generation of queer prostitution, brought to you by capitalist liberalism.
I am certain that Gaga is dedicated to queer people in whatever way she feels is best, but I am more certain that she is obsessed with gays like a fashion trend. It isn’t bad to want to be in a community were she feels she belongs, or to identify with the struggles of others. But that empathy isn’t her her method here, its her fucked up envy. She is mistaking romanticizing our experiences as an oppressed people with solidarity, and that is dangerous. You may say, “Well she does a better job than Katy Perry.” Yeah that’s true, because anyone would do better than that homophobic, bad-hair-color-havin’ poser. I’m sick of people thinking they are so fabulously savy about queer stuff just because they have a queer sexual orientation stapled to their heterosexual privilege. It is obvious that Gaga is only thinking about gay, non-trans men in her scope of ‘gay culture,’ though she mentions lesbians, anyone with half a brain would know that gay men and lesbians have a very different cultures, albeit we are all in the same greater queer community. Lets call this like it is, she’s a god damned musician who is working through her shit through her music, and she just happens to be bisexual. Big whoop. She isn’t doing anything that Madonna or Marylin Manson didn’t do before her as far as advocacy, genderfucking, raising up out-casts, or political-sexual visibility. I’m still gonna do a number to one of her songs, and maybe more than one, cause its not like she’s a monster like Katy Perry. But Lady Gaga doesn’t fucking get it. If she did she wouldn’t be a dumbass and think being in a violently oppressed community was equal to a star-crossed love-story. She needs to check herselfon what our reality really is. And if queer people want an icon for a media revolution we have to make it ourselves, not leave it to the gay-fans who treat us like side show acts or museum pieces.